Never underestimate the genius that is Jay-Z.
Earlier today, the rapper, who recently added the hyphen back into his notable name, released a new commercial teasing his highly anticipated (and hyped) new album, 4:44, which drops on Friday.
The 23-second commercial from Sprint and Tidal features striking imagery and a rather dramatic name, “Kill Jay Z,” which is very likely a reference to Hova’s recent name switch.
The “Kill Jay Z” clip shows an African American teenage boy, sweating profusely as he runs through and alley with a t-shirt that has the words “Stay Black” across his chest in white letters. Dramatic music plays as sirens can be faintly heard in the background. The teen appears as if he’s running for his life.
As previously reported by E! News, the 4:44 project—widely presumed to be a visual album—debuts June 30 via Sprint and TIDAL. It is rated NC-17.
This isn’t the only out-of-the-box advertising that the father of three has used to promote his latest musical endeavor.
Earlier this month, billboards with the mysterious message “4:44” started appearing all over New York City, leading fans to speculate about a potential new project, which turned out to be real.
As part of the U.S. campaign, Sprint and TIDAL have pledged support to the 1Million Project, an educational initiative that will assist 1 million low-income U.S. high school students who are not connected to the internet at home.
Additionally, on June 18, Sprint released a teaser for the project, which featured a snippet of a new song titled “Adnis.” The music man cast Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as a boxer and Danny Glover as a trainer. Set to footage of the actors, the 47-year-old superstar——raps, “Letter to my Dad that I never wrote / Speeches I prepared that I never spoke / Words on a paper that I never read / Proses never penned / They stayed in my head.”
“Today is an exciting day to be a Sprint customer,” Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s president and CEO, said. “Jay-Z is a global icon and we’re giving customers an incredible opportunity to be among the first to experience his new album.”
The “Empire State of Mind” rapper’s last studio album, Magna Carta…Holy Grail, was released on July 10, 2013. In a similar fashion, the rapper debuted his album by partnering with a telecommunications service; Samsung subscribers downloaded the album before the general public could.
The rapper will likely perform his new material during the Made in America Festival in Philadelphia Sept. 2-3, as well as the Meadows Music & Arts Festival in New York City Sept. 15.