"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it," as 1980's silver screen teen Ferris Bueller would say. Anthony Friedlander, frontman of New Jersey-based Indie/Alternative/Prog-Rock band 4:44, gets it and really seized the day on July 9th when on a whim, around 3AM, he uploaded 4-track JAY-Z EP to their Bandcamp page. Friedlander and his 4:44 bandmates—bassist Greg, Mele Jr. and drummer Zach Gormley—readily admit that "THIS IS A SHAMELESS MARKETING TECHNIQUE," as JAY-Z's latest album was seemingly "named after" their band; just imagine a stylistic mix between alt-j, Indie Rock innovators Radiohead, and the frantic, frenzied vocal delivery of Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock. "We're actually huge fans of JAY-Z. Before this whole thing even happened, I had "we are the Mike Jordans of recording" in our Bandcamp Bio; that is one of his lyrics and this was before he released his album, 4:44," Anthony Friedland told me via Twitter DM, referencing JAY-Z's "Show Me What You Got." "We know 4:44 is a very deep and personal statement, but when you're a band with zero visibility, you can't pass on an opportunity, like we had. When one of your favorite Hip-Hop artists releases a critically-acclaimed album with your band's name in it, you have to do something," Friedlander further explained.
JAY-Z EP is more or less, a 4:44 "sampler," consisting of an assortment of compositions from their three previously released albums: "Blood Red Moon" from June 2017's CARDINAL, "Hallelujah" and "Derf" from March 2017's GREENWAVE, and "Child of God" plucked from their 2015 album of the same name. While JAY-Z EP was only available on 4:44's Bandcamp page for $444, at the time of this publication, Anthony Friedlander tells me they've rather boldly attempted to upload it to JAY-Z's own TIDAL, as well as Apple Music, Spotify, etc. but it generally takes around 2+ weeks to be fully cleared and uploaded for streaming. 4:44 are fully aware, if and when their JAY-Z EP goes live on TIDAL and like-minded digital platforms, they'll likely receive a Cease & Desist letter urging them to take it down. Noting that in all actuality, "the worst thing that could happen is that it gets taken down and then, that breeds more articles!" Friedlander added, in closing, that "we do not mean any disrespect to JAY-Z. This was just too strange of an occurrence not to try to get some people to hear our music." 4:44's albums CARDINAL, GREENWAVE, Child of God, and (for now) JAY-Z EP are currently available from their Bandcamp on a Name-Your-Price basis. Anthony Friedlander, Greg Mele Jr. & Zach Gormley are currently finishing up not one, but two 4:44 records expected to be released before year's end. An assortment of releases from frontman Anthony Friedlander's solo endeavors are additionally available from his personal Bandcamp page in the form of various stand-alone singles, EP's and his In Context (mixtape) although, a more fully-formed solo album is "on the way."