December 4th

December 4th


“December 4th” is Jay-Z’s lyrical autobiography, based around distinct phases in his life. He rhymes about his birth on December 4th, his days as a drug dealer, and his transition to world-famous rapper—all over a beat by one of his go-to producers, Just Blaze.

The beat samples Chi-Lites 1974 track, “That’s How Long,” while Jay-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter, narrates the stories between every verse.

In his 2010 memoir, Decoded, Jay relays the message of the song:

Ultimately, the point of this song is that I don’t blame anyone, I’m just trying to explain myself, tell you why I’m this way. It’s my story, and I’m willing to own it.