June 20, 2017
Photos by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Roc Nation and Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Just in time for the debut of his 13th studio album, the rapper formerly known as Jay Z has changed his name. Five years ago Hov subtly dropped the hyphen from his moniker, but the pesky little punctuation mark has officially returned. In a statement to Pitchfork, the 47-year-old father of three now goes by JAY-Z (peep the ALL CAPS).
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) June 19, 2017
While it’s too early to know if the reimplementation of the rapper’s name has a deeper meaning or if it’s just a creative, kind of cool thing, we can’t help but think of an earlier legend that made the same change, but with a much louder and more intentional statement.
In 1993, while in a contractual dispute with Warner Bros., Prince changed his name to a symbol and began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations. Smart guy.
As previously reported, JAY-Z’s album 4:44 drops June 30 in an exclusive partnership with TIDAL and Sprint (the phone company bought 33% of the music streaming service earlier this year).
TELL US: What do you think inspired JAY-Z’s name change?