The message from Jay-Z and Beyoncé is not feminist | Minna Salami

His new album 4.44 is a plea for his wife’s forgiveness. But their marital saga, and her humiliation, is not a story to challenge the status quo

After years of silence, Jay-Z released a new album, entitled 4:44, last week. Grown-up and confident in tone, the album addresses financial success, fatherhood and hip-hop; but the theme that particularly stands out is Jay-Z’s remorse for mistreating and cheating on “the baddest girl in the world”, Beyoncé. Indeed, much of the album is a response to his wife’s hit album Lemonade, lauded as a “revolutionary work of black feminism”. But let’s be real here: the romantic melodrama played out in these two albums is neither revolutionary nor feminist, but instead rather old and tired.

Related: 4:44: Jay-Z addresses infidelity rumours on new album

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Alex Vidal