Skip to main content

JAY-Z's '4:44' Went Platinum Because of Sprint

Praise to Hov for his record-setting certification, by any means necessary.
DJBooth_logo2x

It took Kendrick Lamar less than one month to earn a Platinum certification for his critically-acclaimed new album, DAMN. And then JAY-Z asked Kendrick to hold his beer.

In less than a week—five days to be exact—JAY-Z's brand new album, 4:44, which is only available for stream on TIDAL, has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

4:44 marks the 13th Platinum solo album certification in Jay's illustrious career, which is more than any other hip-hop artist in RIAA Platinum and Gold history.

Scroll to Continue

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

am-world-top10-sept-16x9@2x

10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now

Our latest selections include Jay Fizzle, Goldenboy Countup, Sampa The Great, Philly Goats, and Pretty V.

Header--23-

How EKKSTACY Beat Writer’s Block to Make His Best Album

Pop anti-hero EKKSTACY finds his aggressive voice on his new album, 'misery.' He breaks down his journey through writer's block for Audiomack World.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--12-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Press play on new releases from GloRilla, Black Sherif, Protoje, Bella Shmurda, and Armani Caesar — available for stream on Audiomack.

Interestingly, 4:44 is the second JAY-Z album release in a row to spark some certification controversy. In 2013, the RIAA actually changed Gold and Platinum rules due to JAY-Z's Magna Carter Holy Grail, which allowed an album to earn a certification in less than 30 days for million-plus digital sales. At the time, Jay sold one million digital copies of the album to Samsung, which meant the day the album was released it was already technically Platinum.

Sales for 4:44 are expected to increase over the coming weeks, as the 10-track album will be made available for digital and physical purchase, but considering the album wasn't made available for stream on any of TIDAL's (much larger) competitors upon its June 30 release (i.e. YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music), the lightning-fast certification would suggest that Sprint, a minority owner of TIDAL, might have purchased one million digital copies of the album, a la Hov's '13 deal with Samsung, and made them available for stream (and later free download) for their paying customers. 

We have e-mailed the RIAA for clarification on Jay's Platinum certification. We will update our article should they graciously send us a reply.

Update: An RIAA spokesperson has replied to our inquiry, stating, "Under the program’s rules, the artist needs to be compensated and there needs to be demonstrated consumer demand in the United States, either for an on-demand stream or a sale. A sale counts toward a certification if purchased directly by the customer or a business can purchase the album or song and offer it to fans who must take affirmative steps to acquire the album or song. Fans participated, took action and downloaded JAY-Z’s album offered by SPRINT."

So, basically, Sprint purchased one million copies of the album and made them available for their customers to download. Platinum, by any means necessary.

Related

Best-of-the-Week-Header--12-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Press play on new releases from GloRilla, Black Sherif, Protoje, Bella Shmurda, and Armani Caesar — available for stream on Audiomack.

Header--22-

Exploring Young Jonn’s Reinvention

Producer-turned-singer Young Jonn made a career of hits for African artists, now he's taking center stage. He breaks down his career journey for Audiomack.

5-Albums-Header--10-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

BigWalkDog, CKay, D-Block Europe, Nailah Blackman, and Muni Long all released new albums you need to hear.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--11-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Press play on new tunes from Wizkid, G Herbo, Ayra Starr, Kaash Paige, and Ayoni.

Header--21-

yvngxchris Went From Recording on Earbuds to Viral Star

Rapper yvngxchris started off making songs on iPhone earbuds. Now, he's signed and constantly going viral.

5-Albums-Header--9-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

EST Gee, Nasty C, Idahams, Mura Masa, and KA$HDAMI all released new albums this week that you need to hear.