Family Feud

Album: 4:44 (2017)
Charted: 51
Play Video


  • Here, Jay-Z addresses divisions within the hip-hop community. There always have been beefs between rappers, especially between the different generations – indeed Jay-Z himself has been suspected of exchanging subliminal disses with the much younger Drake. This song is the Brooklyn MC's call for all hip-hop artists to get along. He explained to iHeart Radio:

    "'Family Feud' is about separation within the culture. Like, new rappers fighting with old rappers, saying all these things. So, the line is, 'Nobody wins when the family feuds.'"
  • Jay's wife Beyoncé contributes background vocals throughout the song and also delivers its outro.
  • During her Lemonade track "Sorry" Beyoncé appeared to be raging at Jay-Z for cheating on her. She ended the song with the declaration:

    He only want me when I'm not there
    He better call Becky with the good hair

    Despite ongoing speculation about the identity of "Becky," the Carters never publicly spoke about the issue. However, during this song Jay drops a direct reference to Beyoncé's supposed rival, rapping:

    Yeah, I'll f--k up a good thing if you let me
    Let me alone, Becky
    A man that don't take care his family can't be rich
    I'll watch Godfather, I miss that whole s--t
  • The song borrows elements from The Clark Sisters' 1980 gospel number "Ha Ya."
  • Al Sharpton in the mirror takin' selfies

    This is reference to an Al Sharpton Instagram post from June 18, 2017, which instantly became a viral meme sensation. As 4:44 was released less than a fortnight later, on June 30, 2017, the lyric suggests that Jay was recording the record up until just a few days before it was dropped.
  • The song's epic, nearly eight-minute music video was shot by Selma director Ava DuVerna. The clip opens with a dramatic depiction of infidelity set in the year 2444 starring Michael B. Jordan and Thandie Newton before moving onto a roundtable discussion about the constitution featuring America's "founding mothers," who created the new world order in 2050. At the head of the table is an adult version of Jay-Z's daughter Blue Ivy, played by This Is Us star Susan Kelechi Watson. Her fellow leaders are portrayed by Rashida Jones, Constance Wu, Rosario Dawson, Niecy Nash, Janet Mock, Mindy Kaling and Brie Larson.
    Blue Ivy tells her fellow "founding mothers", "America is a family and the whole family should be free. It's like I remember my father saying when I was a little girl: Nobody wins when the family feuds."

    Once the song kicks in, we're back in the year 2018 for a confessional booth church scene featuring Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Blue Ivy.

    "Happy so many are enjoying our Family Feud Film!" DuVerna wrote on Twitter. "The first scene focuses on errors. All families hurt each other. Mistakes are made. Expectations unmet. Jealousies fester."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Yacht Rock Quiz

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.

Kerry Livgren of Kansas

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular Music

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Protest Songs

Protest SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know your protest songs (including the one that went to #1)?


MetallicaFact or Fiction

Beef with Bon Jovi? An unfortunate Spandex period? See if you can spot the true stories in this Metallica version of Fact or Fiction.

Eric Burdon

Eric BurdonSongwriter Interviews

The renown rock singer talks about "The House of the Rising Sun" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."