The mystery surrounding “4:44” has been a source of speculation for the better part of June after posters started popping up around New York City and Los Angeles with the ambiguous number looming like a broken clock. People quickly tied the numbers to a new JAY-Z album considering their apparent connection to his streaming service, TIDAL, and as the weeks went on, confusion continued to swirl. Was it a film? Was it a music video? Is it really a JAY-Z album?

The code was finally cracked last week after it was confirmed that “4:44” was, in fact, Hov’s 13th studio album4:44 — and is scheduled for a Friday (June 30) release. Evidently people want to know why the number “4” is so important to the music mogul and husband to Beyoncé.

Let’s break it down.

Important Birthdays

JAY-Z’s superstar wife Beyoncé was born on September 4 while Hov’s birthday falls on December 4. Mrs. Carter’s mother, Tina Knowles, also celebrates her birthday on January 4.

Former President Barack Obama

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States. The Carters have enjoyed a close relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Obama throughout the eight years they lived in the White House. JAY referred to “44” as the “greatest rapper of all time” in a recent tweet.

Wedding Anniversary

Beyoncé and JAY-Z tied the knot on April 4, 2008, making their wedding anniversary 4/4 every year. On April 4, 2017, the Mrs. posted a video montage to Instagram of their life together.

? 4.4.17 ?

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Blue Ivy

The second half of of Bey and JAY’s first daughter’s name, Blue Ivy, can be broken down to ‘I-V,’ which is the roman numeral for “4.”

Musical Significance

In 2011, Beyonce released her fourth studio album, 4. That’s not necessarily something profound, but it’s … something. July 4, 2017 also marks four years since JAY’s last album, 2013’s Magna Carta Holy Grail.

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 12.53.50 PM


JAY-Z and Beyoncé both have matching “IV” tattoos on their fingers. (See the tattoos in Beyoncé’s anniversary video above.)

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Look closely. There’s a red “IV” on Beyoncé’s ring finger.

Whatever “4:44” means to JAY-Z might be something he keeps to himself or it may be revealed when the album drops. Either way, fans and critics alike are having a field day trying to decipher it, some going to ridiculous lengths.

Does it really matter? Probably not, but that never got in the internet’s way before.