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Hopefully Lana Del Rey’s perspective continues to broaden, and her desire for peace spurs her and her listeners into decisive action.

By Roslyn Talusan Lana Del Rey’s 4th major label album, Lust for Life was released last week. The record has been deemed a departure from Del Rey’s hallmark darkness and depression, in direct response to the catastrophe that is the current American political landscape. Her team has been marketing Lust as a brighter, more upbeat entry in her discography, and is a commentary on where we are as a society, and where she hopes we’re headed. Specifically, Del Rey has said that while she made her first albums for herself, this album is for her fans. The goal of Lust is to soothe, comfort, and empower her listeners affected by the 2016 American election. I was skeptical about this at first. Del Rey has often been gratuitous with her creativity at the expense of marginalized groups. One of her most iconic images as an artist is her appropriating an Indigenous headdress in the "Ride" video, and her portrayed herself as a Latina sex worker in "Tropico". The hallmark of her music, along with a leaked clip filmed by Eli Roth where Del Rey stars in a horrifying visceral rape scene, is how she glamorizes and romanticizes domestic violence. Moreover, she's made comments about how feminism just isn't that interesting to her, and that she’d rather discuss our galactic possibilities.
Related: LANA DEL REY’S HONESTY ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH HELPED ME ADDRESS MY OWN

4:44 is a raw look into Jay-Z’s mind. He offers explanations and apologies for years of toxic behavior.

Last week, Jay-Z's 13th studio album, "4:44" was released. It's the response that folks had been waiting for ever since Beyoncé's visual album, "Lemonade" dropped last year. The album chronicled the experiences of a woman betrayed by her lover and ultimately fighting through the sorrow to mend the relationship and move forward with a stronger bond. Of course, everyone began speculating whether or not Bey was alluding to her relationship with Jay.  I knew "4:44" had to be juicy because the number 4 is very significant in Jay and Bey’s lives–they were both born on the fourth day of their birth months and they were married on April 4th. Bey was most vulnerable on her 4th solo studio album, so Jay is following the theme. It’s also mad creepy that he woke up at 4:44 am to write the title track. [caption id="attachment_46839" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Jay-Z's 13th studio album, 4:44.[/caption] Jay Z’s "4:44" is a similar yet less masterfully executed attempt at relating to his fanbase and revealing his alter egos and vulnerability. He tries to outline the dissociation of Jay-Z and Hov with Shawn Carter, as evidenced by the leading track "Kill Jay-Z" and his seventh track "Bam". While Beyoncé’s introspective journey through love and identity lasted a little over an hour, Jay’s was nearly half that, deliberately coming in at around 35 minutes. The brevity could very well represent the toxic relationship that Black men have to masculinity–where even their most vulnerable moments occur in eclipses. In 35 minutes, Jay reveals and apologizes for decades of mental and emotional abuse that he put his wife through, mostly articulated in the title track "4:44". Seeing that they’ve been going at this love game since 2001/2002, he admits “took me too long for this song. I don’t deserve you”. He describes living and growing up in the projects and his progression to the over $800 million net worth that he boasts today. This album arguably encompasses four themes: introspection/apologies; industry commentary; personal growth & development and Black wealth (both individual and generational).
Related: DO IT LOOK LIKE I WAS LEFT OFF BAD AND BOUJEE?

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