Lessons from "4:44"

I felt that it was only right to listen to Jay-Z’s new album, “4:44” at 4:44pm. As a life long fan of HOV, I felt like anything less would have been disrespectful. Little did I know, the title track from his new collection would be the one that I kept on repeat, hearing new things each time I replayed the song. In the end, two things were apparent; this was the most introspective song that Jay had ever created and he once again was the architect of a blueprint, the blue print for getting your girl or guy back after cheating. Now, it’s not like people haven’t done it before but unless you’re dealing with a dummy, there are a few things that MUST be done if you intend on winning back the person that you cheated on.

 

“I Apologize…”

This should be common sense but for some reason it’s hard for people to humble themselves in order to make a proper apology; one that is filled with regret and awareness as well as, sincerity and transparency. All throughout “4:44”, Jay apologizes to his wife for a number of things including infidelity, wasted time, and not loving the mother of his children the way she deserves. Though a simple apology can’t heal the wound caused by cheating, it can start the process. An apology is the first step to finding your way back to the heart you broke.

 

“I Will Be Emotionally Available…”

Jay raps with a clarity that is needed when trying to get back the person that you betrayed. You must know your reason for stepping out on your partner so that you can clearly explain it to them. How can someone believe that you will not repeat your mistake if you don’t know why you made the mistake to begin with? Not communicating your feelings to your partner usually has terrible outcomes like cheating. Take the time to communicate what was wrong, whether it is something that you were doing or something that you felt you weren’t receiving from your partner. Whether you were unhappy, chasing ass, or like Jay-Z, not emotionally mature, you have to be aware of these things in order to change it.

 

“And If My Children Knew, I Don’t Even Know What I Would Do…”

Maybe the most gut wrenching part of “4:44” comes when Jay speaks on the effects his cheating could have on his relationship with his children. Often times, the reason the person you cheated on can’t take you back is because they find it hard to believe that you truly value your relationship and all that comes with it. You must acknowledge not only the mistake that you made but also what you risked when you cheated. When a person cheats, it shows indifference to what they may or may not lose. When trying to come back from cheating, you must show that possibly losing everything does matter to you.

 

She Made Lemonade

Jay-Z’s track makes no mention of the “popular drink…” but it does substantiate the cause of the 2016 album from his superstar wife, Beyoncé. Let’s face it, the world hearing about his transgressions against one of the most beautiful people on the planet had to be hard, but from the lyrics in “4:44”, it was a small price to pay in order to keep his marriage and family together. If you cheated, there will be consequences and their ain’t shit you can do about it but accept them all without saying a word if you want any chance of having your relationship back. Putting your cheating ways out on social media, kicking you out of the house, constantly going through your phone and questioning your every move, going out and not telling you when or if they’re coming back, or even letting them step out of the relationship are all ways in which you could receive your well deserved punishment. In the end, when you have cheated in your relationship, you’ve opened the door for your partner to do whatever they see fit in retaliation and if you want them back, you have to let them do what they need to while you sip lemonade and watch.

 

Work

A man whose net worth, according to Forbes, is valued at 810 million dollars is definitely not a stranger to putting in work. You can surely bet that in order to “Never Go Eric Benet”, he put in A LOT of work to not allow, “the baddest girl in the world get away”.  Even if you cheated on someone who doesn’t look like Beyoncé, if they make you feel like Lucky Lefty, be ready to put in the work to get them back. Whatever you use to do when you first started dating, do that again PLUS a whole lot more! Your job is to show the other person why they should think about staying with you. You have to put in enough effort to prove to your lover that even though you betrayed their trust, chose to share the most intimate parts of you to someone else, gave way to lust over self control, and was willing to risk something special for something that obviously wasn’t worth it, you should be given another chance. That’s alotta work!

 

People come back from cheating everyday. We all make mistakes and if you are able to show remorse in a way that is clear to your partner and if they feel that the relationship is worth it, they’ll eventually come back. However, many times, once you cheat, ain’t no coming back from that shit! Not only because the person is hurt by your actions but also because the trust is gone. Without trust, you have no relationship. Without trust, you won’t even want your relationship back. Time will reveal whether your relationship is strong enough to withstand the damage that cheating has done to your relationship. Think about it, if you read the lyrics from both Lemonade and 4:44, you can clearly see that this has been at least a 3 to 4 year process. Hopefully, next year we’ll get the joint project that we’ve been waiting for from Hip Hop’s Royal Couple that signifies the to of them making it through all of this but until then, let’s learn from the lessons that they seem to teach through their music time and time again!

J Rod Tanner

Los Angeles. New York. Virginia