Local Current Blog

JAY-Z bitterly addresses Prince estate in new song ‘Caught Their Eyes’

JAY-Z’s new album 4:44 is out today. On one song, “Caught Their Eyes,” the rap icon and entrepreneur bitterly addresses his battle with Prince’s estate.

“I sat down with Prince, eye to eye,” raps JAY-Z (who’s newly reclaimed the hyphen in his name, and upgraded himself to all-caps). “He told me his wishes before he died/ Now, Londell McMillan, he must be color blind/ They only see green from them purple eyes.”

McMillan is an attorney who worked with Prince during his lifetime and became a close advisor to the late Minnesota music great’s estate in the first months after Prince’s death. That put him at the center of firestorms including an ongoing dispute with JAY-Z’s streaming service Tidal.

Prince made an agreement with Tidal during his lifetime, and the precise nature and scope of that agreement have become a matter of contention between Tidal and Prince’s estate. Tidal has claimed the agreement gave them exclusive rights to stream Prince’s entire catalog for a certain period of time; the estate, on the other hand, claims the agreement only covered a single album (2015’s Hit N Run Phase Two) for a more limited window. JAY-Z also reportedly made an unsuccessful bid to manage Prince’s music catalog, giving him further reason for beef with the estate.

The reference to color-blindness may be an allusion to the fact that one reason Prince favored Tidal over other streaming services — which now have much of his catalog — was that it’s a black-owned business. The reference to green…well, that’s less ambiguous.

“This guy had ‘slave’ on his face,” continues JAY-Z. “You think he wanted the masters with his masters? You greedy bastards sold tickets to walk through his house. I’m surprised you ain’t auction off the casket.”

Those lines, of course, refer to Paisley Park — now open as a museum. Prince didn’t have a casket, but he does have a controversial Paisley-shaped urn.

Via Billboard, McMillan responded to the lyrics. “I like the beat,” he said, “but I wonder who he thinks helped Prince to take ‘slave’ off of his face. It was a homie JAY-Z grew up with in the same neighborhood, Londell McMillan.”

4:44 is available exclusively on Tidal. For the complete “Caught Their Eyes” lyrics, and further analysis of the Frank Ocean collaboration, see Genius.

Prince factors into the 4:44 story in a more roundabout way as well. On the album’s opening track, “Kill JAY-Z,” the rapper addresses the infidelity that became the subject of his wife Beyoncé’s acclaimed album Lemonade. “You almost went Eric Benét,” JAY-Z raps, addressing himself. “Let the baddest girl in the world get away.”

That refers to the fact that Benét, an R&B singer, was formerly married to Halle Berry. Benét, taken aback given that he’s remarried since, responded to the rapper on Twitter.

Benét’s current wife? Manuela Testolini, who was married to Prince from 2001 to 2006.

  • laytonian

    Come on, JAY-Z. Prince also charged money “to walk through his house”. Do you seriously believe Paisley Park should become some free-for-all? It’s probably breaking even to support itself, which is fine for now.

    • chocolate_cherry0561

      Totally agree 💯! He just making Tidal look worse than they already look! Pay his estate GREEDY!

    • Vergiertighe

      my classmate’s half sister makes $71 each hour at home.. she has been out of a job for 7 months.. the previous month her pay check was $15257 just working on the internet three hours each day..➤ check
      ➜➜➜http://www.GoogleFinancialCashJobs278SolutionSite/Site/Wage….
      ❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉:.::kr278

  • Linda Ann Eknoian

    JAY-Z, sounds like you’re in it for Green $$$$, just like the other corporate exces. Pay the Prince estate! Your greedy billionaire ass! And of course, fans want and will pay to visit Paisley Park — it now a museum you idiot! They want to see pay their respects, see Prince’s musical legacy, his contributions! Something you will never have when you pass this earth!!

    • laytonian

      Really. What will people want to see when Shawn Carter is gone? HIS elevator?

    • Jean Hooe

      Cut him with a knife sister! I will cherish my trip to Paisley Park. Bittersweet but worth every penny.

  • Jean Hooe

    JAY-Z will never be the man Prince was.