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Since Jay-Z’s new album, 4:44, was released last month, it went platinum in less than a week and introduced us to the musical stylings of his kid and his mom. It’s also inspiring at least one obscure band in a completely different genre of music to make a new EP and give it the appropriate title.
The band’s name: 4:44. The name of the band’s newest EP: Jay-Z.
4:44 is a progressive rock band from the Philadelphia area, and in the past, the three-piece collection has said, “We are doing our best to reinvent the standard rock approach to music.” Apparently, it’s also come up with a solid way to come up with album names.
The first entry on the EP is called “Hallelujah,” and it feels more like a jam band song than a true prog tune. Take a listen to a few of the songs, inspired by the world’s most influential hip-hop artist.
If you’re expecting true prog like old-school Genesis or modern-day Porcupine Tree, that’s probably not what you’re going to get. The music sounds less like Rush and a little more like RX Bandits or My Morning Jacket (though there does seem to be some pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd elements in the music).
While the idea of a band named 4:44 naming its album Jay-Z because Jay-Z named his album 4:44 is clever, it’s not the first time this kind of accidental symbiotic cohesion has occurred.
When R.E.M. released Green in 1988, the band named Green released a single called “REM.” In 2010, after Nada Surf had released a covers album called If I Had a Hi-Fi, the band IfIHadAHiFi put out an EP called Nada Surf.
Lest anybody think 4:44 is upset about Jay-Z’s choice of album title, the band was blunt in its reactionary EP cover, stating simply, “This is a shameless marketing technique.”
If you hadn’t heard of the band 4:44 before you began reading this story, the technique has worked.
H/T the Key
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.