Jay Z Shares ‘4:44’ Album Trailer and Previews New Song “Adnis”

Jay Z's 4:44 is still shrouded in mystery right now, but with the more time that passes, the more it seems like we're getting a full-fledged project. In a new commercial promoting the partnership between Sprint and Tidal, Hova dropped off some bars from a new song, “Adnis,” fueling speculation that an album is coming.

We didn't know much about 4:44 before now, aside from it having a June 30 release date, and Jay looked like he was really trying to drag this thing out until the bitter end. Half a minute worth of bars? Come on, Jay!

At midnight, Sprint and Tidal confirmed our suspicions: A new Jay Z album is on the way.

If you go to Sprint.com and page through the links promoting their new partnership with Tidal, you end up finding this message for new and existing Sprint customers who can take advantage of a complimentary six-month trial of Tidal.

Jay Z 4:44
Image via Sprint

“Today is an exciting day to be a Sprint customer,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint president and CEO, per a press release. “Jay Z is a global icon and we’re giving customers an incredible opportunity to be among the first to experience his new album 4:44. Our loyal, existing customers, and customers who switch to Sprint, can experience the album exclusively, plus access a complimentary six-month trial of TIDAL HiFi, giving them access to content they can’t get anywhere else.”

This is a pretty drastic departure from the mysterious, unexplained 4:44 ads that popped up around around New York City, with the hype now transforming into a full-blown campaign for a 4:44 album.

This leaves us with a lot less mystery left to solve, and now we can focus on what Jay Z has to offer as a rapper at age 47. Maybe he's not able to reach the heights he did on classics like The Blueprint, but there's a recipe for success if Jay wants to reassert himself. The father of three didn't get inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on a whim, and hopefully there are still some classic bars waiting to be unleashed. And if this report from Los Angeles-based writer/director/producer Christopher Black is to be believed, the production for the project should be on point:

If we're lucky, we'll get the full “Adnis” song soon enough, and now we know 4:44 the album will be ours in late June. You can catch the video of the new spot up top, and see if you can find any more clues about 4:44 in the 30-second clip.

More from Complex

The Best TV Shows of 2017 (So Far)

The first six months of 2017, we can all agree, have been hot garbage. Everything in the news cycle ranges from merely troubling to potentially catastrophic. Thankfully, there's no shortage of distractions to give some temporary relief, coming in the form of great TV programming. On other hand, the amount of great television shows to pick from can be, frankly, panic-inducing. 

Lucky for you, it's our job to sift through the reality shows of Bravo, the comedies of FXX, the dramas of HBO, and the literally everything on Netflix to discover what is and what isn't worth watching. Mid-year brings a surprising lack of reboots (with one exception), only one superhero show, and a whole menagerie of comedies. Guess we're looking for some feel-good television (jk, you know that's not true). And with that, here are our Best TV shows of 2017 so far. 


  • 25. Billions

    Network: Showtime
    Starring: Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff, Malin Akerman, Toby Leonard Moore

    Billions centers around the financial world, which normal cinematic convention would dictate means there’s a ridiculously rich guy pitted against the law. To get more specific about it, Damian Lewis plays Axe, the manager of a hedge fund with a penchant for dirty deals and insider trades, who is constantly dodging the fury of Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti), who is the powerful, BDSM-loving U.S. Attorney General who is out to get Axe. It’s a classic set-up for juicy interrogation scenes and explosive investigations, and Billions delivers on all of that with an iconic yellow sports car to boot, but the stakes are turned all the way up in the show’s second season. This year also saw the addition of the excellent Asia Kate Dillon to the cast, who plays the first gender non-binary character in TV history. —Julia Pimentel


  • 24. The Young Pope

    Network: HBO
    StarringJude Law, Diane Keaton, Silvio Orlando 

    Jude Law played the role of Lenny Belardo, the Church’s first American-born pontiff, masterfully as he juggled dealing with the Cardinals trying to thwart his papacy behind his back while struggling with his own inner demons. The young god was in the Vatican chainsmoking cigarettes and performing miracles like it was nobody’s business for 10 of the most stylish episodes you’ll ever watch. The Young Pope is sort of like an artsy West Wing but for Vatican City as show creator Paolo Sorrentino lifts the veil on the way politics are handled in one of the world’s highest institutions. There was some dark comedy, graphic sex scenes, and powerful performances—shouts to Diane Keaton and Silvio Orlando for killing their respective roles. I wish the rules of the church would let their characters fall in love, but the life of a priest and a nun is about keeping sins of the flesh at bay, and only loving God. —Angel Diaz


  • 23. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

    Network: TBS
    StarringSamantha Bee, Allana Harkin, Ashley Nicole Black

    Trump's presidency has given Full Frontal a LOT of material for season two, and Samantha Bee uses all the insanity to her advantage. Highlights included her evisceration of Ivanka Trump and her special Full Frontal episode, “'Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner,” which included an appearance from Will Ferrell as George W. Bush. Unfortunately, Full Frontal would be a lot more funny if it weren't all so real. —Lauren Zupkus


  • 22. Veep

    Network: HBO
    StarringJulia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale

    This season of Veep has been so incredibly good as Selina Meyer tries to live the life of a former president the best way she can. The only thing is she was the leader of the free world for like a year and gets no respect. She’s essentially the Rodney Dangerfield of former presidents. A library for the first woman president should be a no-brainer, right? Shit, even Jimmy Carter has one; nope, no library love for the first female commander-in-chief in the history of man. But Jonah Ryan (played by Timothy Simons) steals the show, as his pettiness and incompetence knows no bounds in his role as a New Hampshire congressman. Every episode ups the ante as Selina tries to write a memoir while wrangling the gang of misfits she’s put in charge of handling her affairs. Veep is perfectly vulgar, smart, witty, and outrageous; the perfect recipe for winning a treasure trove of Emmys once again. —Angel Diaz

     


  • 21. Catastrophe

    Network: Amazon
    AmazonSharon Horgan, Rob Delaney, Mark Bonnar 

    While Catastrophe bears the great honor of having Carrie Fisher’s last onscreen appearance—which is terrific BTW—the British comedy (well, maybe dramedy) in its third season has continued to be one of the best depictions of marriage on television. Sharon (Sharon Horgan, a true kween) and Rob (Rob Delaney) are in the midst of a rough patch, dealing with infidelity, unemployment, and aging parents. While the heart of the show will always be Sharon and Rob’s relationship, which is both abrasive and loving, season three ups the ante while exploring Rob’s escalating drinking relapse–perhaps one of the more realistic portrayals of alcoholism on television. Yeah, it’s a lot of heavy stuff, but it’ll also make you laugh your ass off. (And cry because of, y’know, Fisher’s last appearance). —Kerensa Cadenas
     


  • 20. Santa Clarita Diet

    Network: Netflix
    StarringDrew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson 

    Honestly, Netflix had me at “Drew Barrymore plays a zombie real estate agent.” While my wife couldn’t be in the room because of Drew’s gorging on the flesh of the living and the gore that came with that premise, the series was deeper than Suburban Night of the Living Dead. It was about a family and its struggles to deal with each other, hiding secrets and desires while trying to do right by each other. Barrymore and Timmy Olyphant nailed their performances, grounding their black comedy with flying colors. If you can get past the ultraviolence, there’s a truly heartfelt show residing underneath. —khal

     


  • 19. Fargo

    Network: FX
    StarringBilly Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman 

    Season three hasn’t been as good as the two previous seasons, but Fargo is still premium television, especially the second half of this year’s chapter. The northern Midwest and idiot criminals go together like oh and jeez. This season feels a bit darker with Ewan McGregor playing Emmit and Ray Stussy—two brothers at odds over a rare stamp collection. When the younger of the two, Ray, tries to get the last stamp left with the help of his ex-con lady Nikki Swango (the underrated Mary Elizabeth Winstead) he sets off a series of events that can only happen on a show like Fargo. There’s also a shadowy British mob figure with bad teeth involved in all this because of course there is. Murder and mystery soon follow as Emmit, Ray, and V.M. Varga (that British mobster I mentioned earlier) try to get Eden Valley police chief Gloria Burgle (played by Carrie Coon of the Leftovers fame) off their tracks. Fargo is beautifully shot, well written, and fun for the entire family. Sex, murder, and mayhem should be enjoyed with the people you love. —Angel Diaz


  • 18. The Americans

    Network: FX
    StarringKeri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Maximiliano Hernandez, Holly Taylor

    When this story of two high-level, ultra-secret and deadly KGB spies debuted back in 2013, it was a good show. But now that our President might be a Russian hack himself and we might as well be pledging allegiance to Mother Russia, The Americans has gained an eerie, prescient quality that only adds to the show’s already suspenseful tone. This season has been Philip and Elizabeth Jennings struggling more than ever before with their spy work in America, as the toll their life takes on their family comes into sharp focus with every passing day. This fantastic slow-burning drama showed it knows how to play the long game in this year’s season, with several expertly drafted parallel storylines and supremely well acted moments, and even though we know from showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields that there will only be one more season, The Americans has likely already cemented its place in TV’s hall of fame. —Julia Pimentel


  • 17. Girls

    Network: HBO
    Starring
    Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver

    This year brought the official end of Lena Dunham’s white female millennial story, and with it came the end of one of the most distinct and unapologetic shows in recent history. Although the show was often at the center of controversy—most notably its lack of diverse character representation—it still managed to become one of the best representations of the millennial social milieu ever depicted on television, and that is largely because of Dunham’s ambitious knack for raw storytelling. The show’s final season is an ode to growing up in New York City: how has the Hannah Horvath who asked her parents for money in the first scene of the first episode changed, now that she is raising a biracial baby on her own upstate? The show’s dedication to character development is its greatest strength. —Julia Pimentel


  • 16. The Breaks

    Network: VH1
    Starring: Afton Williamson, Wood Harris, Tristan “Mack” Wilds

    With an impressive backdoor pilot in the form of 2016’s TV movie The Breaks, the first season of The Breaks stayed truer to the world of hip-hop than series like The Get Down and Empire. Where The Get Down fancied itself as a glamorous re-telling of the time before hip-hop was a thing, and Empire is a glamorous soap about hip-hop at its excess, The Breaks keeps it a buck, staying grounded in that sweet spot of hip-hop finding its way in a mainstream that was ready for it. No one was balling like that, which made the hunger 20 times realer. Afton Williamson is a star as Nikki, and hold her own alongside a cast featuring everyone from The Wire alum Wood Harris, Tristan “Mack” Wilds, and Method Man to Sinqua Walls, Melonie Diaz, and David Call. It’s no wonder that the series picked up its second season, even though it’ll be interesting to see what a move to BET will do for the future of the show. —khal


  • 15. Twin Peaks

    Network: Showtime
    StarringKyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson 

    TV revivals are certainly in vogue, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to be good: the X-Files had a particularly embarrassing return to the small screen last year, with Arrested Development not faring much better the year prior. But in the case of Twin Peaks: The Return, the long-awaited third season of David Lynch’s dreamy mystery series, the beloved show has never been better. Stuffed with guest stars like Naomi Watts and Michael Cera and oscillating between crime stories in New York City, South Dakota and the titular Twin Peaks, The Return um, returns, to Lynch’s perennial obsession with the seedy underbelly of suburbia in traditionally gorgeous form. Far more meandering and opaque than the quirky, coffee-fueled small town story that preceded it, Lynch has expanded the world of his series tenfold: to sumptuous, rebelliously satisfying effect. —Aubrey Page


  • 14. I Love Dick

    Network: Amazon
    Starring: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dunne 

    Did you ever realize that you needed to see Kevin Bacon, in full cowboy garb, hand rolling a cigarette? Would you ever guess it might be one of the sexiest TV scenes of the year? Well, that’s a very good reason to watch I Love Dick immediately. Another one is the truly underrated and completely compelling Kathryn Hahn as Chris, a manic, brilliant filmmaker who follows her academic husband to Marfa, Texas when her movie is rejected by a major film festival. There she falls for Dick (played by Kevin Bacon), a fellow academic where her husband will be residing. Chris and her husband Sylvere become obsessed with Dick—which culminates in a letter writing project—that stirs up their formerly dormant libidos and Chris’s creativity. From Jill Soloway, the mind behind Transparent, I Love Dick doesn’t care about traditional television structure or narrative—it can be tough to watch but it’s utterly engaging and breathtaking at times. Episode five, “A Short History of Weird Girls,” might be the best television episode of the year AND the best examination of female desire on screen ever. —Kerensa Cadenas


  • 13. New Girl

    Network: Fox
    Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield 

    Listen, there are higher-rated sitcoms, sitcoms with more award buzz, sitcoms that are brilliant in their own right. But New Girl is the funniest most original situation comedy out right now. The fact that it's long in the tooth—renewal was so touch and go this year the finale was filmed to serve as a *series* conclusion if need be—is its greatest benefit. These are characters so uniquely bizarre and actors who have been inhabiting them and cohabiting with each other for like a decade now. Their freedom and trust to be wacky with their personas and with each other is unbridled, earned, and a fucking joy to watch. What Lamorne, Jake, and Max Greenfield do in any given episode should be taught in comic courses everywhere. This is the series that made Megan Fox funny for Christsake, case closed. —Frazier Tharpe


  • 12. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

    Network: The CW
    Starring: Rachel Bloom, Vincent Rodriguez III, Donna Lynne Champlin 

    Season two of The CW’s Golden Globe-winning twisted musical rom-com upped the ante on Rebecca Bunch’s craziness. After much dogged determination, the apple of her eye—the dull Josh Chan—was finally hers. Well, not without many ups and downs. While Josh and Rebecca’s relationship completely went off the rails, the best part of season two was Rebecca’s blossoming friendships with the women around her and finally some semblance of self-awareness. Don’t worry, it all rapidly falls apart in the absolutely perfect finale and season three Rebecca is primed for revenge. And that’s great, because our favorite Rebecca is the most unhinged version of herself, which always promises even better songs. —Kerensa Cadenas


  • 11. The Keepers

    Network: Netflix
    StarringTom Nugent, Deb Silcox, Gemma Hoskins 

    True crime shows have oversaturated the television game in recent years, but the story brought to light in Netflix's The Keepers is an account worth telling. With the pace of Making a Murderer and a theme that echoes 2015's Spotlight, The Keepers seeks to uncover the mystery of Cathy Cesnik, a popular Baltimore nun whose murder remains unsolved. Without much cooperation from the police, Cesnik's tenacious former students form a grassroots investigation to find both answers and healing in the wake of their favorite teacher's death. Much like Making a Murderer and The Jinx, The Keepers has inspired a renewed effort to revisit the seemingly botched case. —Lauren Zupkus


  • 10. The Handmaid’s Tale

    Network: Hulu
    Starring: Elisabeth Moss, O-T Fagbenle, Yvonne Strahovski 

    When we first sat down to debate what should be on this list and where it should be, Handmaid's Tale was considerably higher. ​The first three episodes of the adaptation of Margaret Atwood's landmark '80s novel are chilling, a masterclass in an ugly narrative so beautifully made you can't look away. But you do have to pause. Even for the seen-it-all, not of faint heart, this story of a dystopian future where the New American World Order is one that hides behind biblical text to instate an aggressively chauvinist society is a tough pill to swallow. Couple that with a worldwide fertility crisis and the ultimate nightmare is engineered: the rare amount of designated fertile women, like our narrator, June, are made into handmaids. As June describes early on, not concubines but wombs with legs. Their identities and personalities are stripped—June, for example becomes Offred as in of Fred, her “owner”—and once a month a ritual rape occurs in the hopes of impregnation. It's harrowing stuff, made even more unsettling by flashbacks that show how the climate that allowed the world to devolve to this…a climate not too dissimilar from our own.

    Elisabeth Moss is rivaling her iconic work in Mad Men already—her face conveys a multitude of contrasting emotions in any given scene. Samara Wiley, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, and especially Yvonne Strahovski and Alexis Bledel, form a murder's row of talent. Too bad then, that the back half of the season is undoing itself by spending too much time in the serialized TV muck. I haven't read the book, but aspects of a rebellion plot and Offred's involvement seem hackneyed and cliched. A flashback episode revealing what happened to a character from the pilot gave me Walking Dead PTSD. The decision to pair it with another, even less compelling and illuminating male-centric flashback ep is downright bemusing. It's almost as frustrating as the music choices, which veer from workably ironic to on-the-nose and corny. But at press time, the penultimate episode is a fine return to form. A TV season is a marathon, prestige is a pace that lags and laps from episode to episode. However Handmaid finishes the race, we'll always have those first three, though. —Frazier Tharpe


  • 9. Master of None

    Network: Netflix
    StarringAziz Ansari, Eric Wareheim, Lena Waithe

    Master of None is a frustrating show. In the series’ second season, creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Wang demonstrated greater maturity and interest in the experiences of its peripheral characters, specifically the women; but its execution was inconsistent. As perfect as “Thanksgiving” was, with its anchoring performance from the ageless Angela Bassett and heartfelt exploration of Lena Waithe’s Denise, the development of Dev’s love interest this season, Alessandra Mastronardi’s Francesca, felt wanting at best.

    Because I’m taken with the show’s impeccable soundtrack, sincere love for New York, and its fairy tale qualities—something I’ve used to justify the odd performances and line readings from many of the actors, Ansari and Eric Wareheim specifically—I squinted at Francesca. I tried to give her a more generous reading, glomming on to her as a character feeling trapped by a provincial upbringing. She’s intentionally opaque to the viewer in the same way that she can be unreadable to Dev (granted, this doesn’t allow for the show to do anything sophisticated with dramatic irony, and so that’s a strike against the storytelling). But after talking about the final episodes with friends, it’s clear that she’s just not there. More time is spent on her freaking out over diarrhea medicine than on figuring out what makes her tick, and it shows that as much as the show has evolved since its first season, it still needs to grow in crucial ways.

    Still, Master of None has taste and really cares about music—see the inclusion of Timmy Thomas and Lucio Battisti and Gigi Maslin. It understands the immediate pathos of music in a way that isn’t gimmicky or hamfisted, something you can’t say about otherwise strong shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and even The Leftovers. —Ross Scarano


  • 8. Dear White People

    Network: Netflix
    StarringLogan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Marque Richardson, DeRon Horton, Antoinette Robertson 

    Based on Justin Simien’s 2014 movie of the same name, Dear White People picks up exactly where the movie left off, using the blackface Halloween party that was at the climax of the movie as the impetus for the 10 episode character-centered storyline. The show has the same Ivy League, smooth aesthetic, and since a large portion of the cast reprised their roles, everything feels familiar. Perhaps most importantly, the show embodies the same unapologetic approach to the thorniest of race issues as the film did, always straddling the line between activism and outright anger, but because the 10 episode arc has more time and space to explore the tensions within the social classes of Winchester University, the show is able to reach farther than the movie ever could. While it can, at times, get overly didactic, Dear White People is a powerful ode to “woke” culture, tackling the issue of race in modern-day America explicitly through the lens of young black folk. —Julia Pimentel


  • 7. Better Call Saul

    Network: AMC
    StarringPatrick Fabian, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks 

    While its ratings are slipping (it’s gone from roughly 3 million viewers on average in its first season to barely holding onto 1.5 million a week in season three), Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul continues to shine when it comes to quality. There’s a beauty in its turtle pace, the slow descent into madness that is Jimmy McGill’s pre-Walter White life has been a blessing. We not only get to see the entrance of Gus Fring into the series this season, and the early machinations of his relationship to Mike, but there are also some realizations regarding McGill’s shift to Saul Goodman. Honestly, though, if this series is going to be this damn good, we could deal with another season (or two) of build-up before reaching its satisfying climax. —khal


  • 6. Riverdale

    Network: The CW
    StarringK.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse 

    As the No. 1 fans of The CW, there was no way we weren’t going to love Riverdale but I don’t think we expected to LOVE it this much. Best described as The O.C. meets Twin Peaks meets Archie Comics, the show has an almost overwhelming amount of elements—teen drama, soap opera, murder mystery, romance—and could easily fall into substandard teen fare but it never does due in part to its brilliant casting. It’s a mix of unknowns for Archie (K.J. Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse, of child fame) coupled with teen stars of yore as their parents Skeet Ulrich, Molly Ringwald, Mädchen Amick, and Luke Perry. This creates a delicious dynamic of unrequited love (and, uh, incest), as a small town is rocked by mystery and solving the murder of the dead high school quarterback, Jason Blossom. Plus, we’ve really got to give it to Betty for making rage fists a thing.—Kerensa Cadenas
     


  • 5. The Good Place

    Network: NBC
    Starring: Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil 

    I’m not sure anyone expected The Good Place—the high-concept Kristen Bell-led comedy about a woman who accidentally lands herself in heaven despite not actually being a great person during her time on earth—to be quite as good as it turned out to be. Created by Mike Schur, the guy behind The Office and Parks and Recreation, The Good Place spent its lean 10-episode order building an almost deviously ingenious world, all while laying out engrossing character arcs for Bell’s deliciously acrid Eleanor, Ted Danson’s sunny Michael and William Jackson Harper’s fatally neurotic Chidi in the process. A far more diabolically funny show than the holy glow of the premise implies with one hell of a final episode kicker, The Good Place is one of the best original comedies in years—maybe even decades. —Aubrey Page


  • 4. Chewing Gum

    Network: Netflix
    StarringMichaela Coel, Robert Lonsdale, Susan Wokoma, Danielle Walters, Tanya Franks

    Carried entirely by the brilliant Michaela Coel, who created, wrote, and stars in this British comedy, Chewing Gum is a bubbly, hilarious coming of age story full of Beyoncé references and extremely unsexy sex scenes. Coel plays Tracey Gordon, a horny East Londoner who works at the corner shop and lives with her religious mother and devout sister and will go to literally any length to lose her virginity. If that seems like too simple a plot, you’re underestimating Coel’s epic comedic writing and timing; though the ridiculous ups and downs of Tracey’s relationship with her boyfriend are objectively hilarious, the show is, at its heart, a journey of self-discovery for a young black woman, and this emotional element becomes more apparent than ever in the second season. —Julia Pimentel


  • 3. Legion

    Network: FX
    StarringDan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza 

    With the run FX has been on as of late with series like Atlanta, Better Things, Fargo, and American Crime Story, there was little doubt that they’d nail the first true superhero property in their programming block. What was unexpected is how captivating a series with a C-list member of the X-Men, Legion (who is the son of Professor X) would be. The series, which separated itself from the mostly-lukewarm X-Men Cinematic Universe, scored the most points when it marched to the beat of its own drum. Legion, who is quite possibly one of the most powerful mutants ever, spent the majority of the eight-episode first season trying to understand his powers, while viewers spent most of those episodes trying to learn how to take in the fully-realized world that Noah Hawley created. Luckily, we had stellar performances from Dan Stevens as the unreliable narrator David Haller (aka Legion) and Aubrey Plaza who truly stole every scene she was in— blending a leftfield sense of mania with impressive evil undertones. Legion was a Wes Anderson film masquerading as a superhero series, and got better with each episode. —khal


  • 2. Big Little Lies

    Network: HBO
    StarringReese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley 

    Did anyone really need another show about rich white women? Not really, but wow did Big Little Lies exceed every expectation. The Jean Marc Vallee (his best work tbh) directed, Reese Witherspoon produced drama based on the novel by Liane Moriarty follows a group of Monterey, California moms—sniping and griping about their day-to-day lives, which primarily revolves around their grade school aged children. But under the picturesque California landscape, of course, lies something much more sinister. A greek chorus of Monterey parents, teachers and partners all work to unravel a murder that has rocked their idyllic community. With breathtaking turns from Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley, along with an impressive supporting cast of Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, and many #thespian children, Big Little Lies is full of salacious drama, heartbreak and utterly proves that it’s not just a “woman’s show.” A big middle finger to all those dudes out there who said that because these ladies are laughing all the way to every goddamn awards show out. —Kerensa Cadenas


  • 1. The Leftovers

    Network: HBO
    StarringJustin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston

    Seven years ago, Damon Lindelof (along with co-showrunner Carlton Cuse) delivered one of the most divisive finales of all time with LOST. It's easy to analyze the ways in which the finale of his latest series, The Leftovers, is both a reaction and commentary to the LOST fallout. But truly, the entirety of The Leftovers was one big subtweet to to the same people whose vitriol literally drove Lindelof off of Twitter. Leftovers was never a show about #answers, it was always a show with its own smoke monsters, Daddy issues, and men of science dueling with men of faith—but without an Orientation video when Justin Theroux sweatily demands answers. The Leftovers has other, much more important themes and missions: mainly, being the ultimate treatise on grief and faith that we've seen on television in some time.

    Truly, season 2 ended perfectly. We didn't quite need a third, and that worried me. Shame on me: just when I thought Leftovers resolved all of its characters inner turmoils, it used this renewal to make the ultimate statement: we never ~truly~ get over our shit. We learn to live with it, keep living in lieu of it, but the potential for it to rear its head again is always there. And if you let it, it could ruin everything you tried to rebuild. It's been a great year for television—but whatever your fave is, it doesn't have material as weighty as this countered with truly authentically capital-w Weird shit like a Tasmanian Sex Boat dedicated to Frasier the lion, and have that not even be the weirdest, funniest aspect of the episode. Goodbye to this beautiful, captivating, soul-crushing masterpiece. I hope everyone left standing in the end is doing OK, but we all probably know the answer to that.—Frazier Tharpe

More from Complex

Woman Busted for Smuggling 27 Pounds of Cocaine in Wheelchair at JFK

A woman who was cruising through John F. Kennedy International Airport in a motorized wheelchair full of cocaine was arrested Sunday. Yoncela Stanley touched down in New York City on a flight from St. Lucia and was later arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday. 

cocaine wheelchair
Image via U.S. Customs and Border Protection

After landing on a JetBlue flight Sunday, Customs and Border Protection officials noticed something amiss with the motorized wheelchair's seat cushion. When presenting her baggage, officials said, Stanley seemed nervous. Stanley's behavior resulted in a K-9 dog being deployed, at which point the cocaine was discovered. Stanley was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection bragged about the incident on Twitter Wednesday with the cringeworthy #KeepAmericaSafe hashtag:

“This latest seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our CBP officers, and their excellence in detecting those who would try to smuggle these illegal substances,” Leon Hayward, the Acting Director of Field Operations in New York, said in a news release Tuesday.

Authorities ultimately discovered approximately 27 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $468,000. Stanley, 33, now faces charges of federal narcotics smuggling.

More from Complex

5 Things We Learned About Joey Badass on ‘Everyday Struggle’

Though a lot of the rap world has been happy to throw dirt on the New York hip-hop scene, Joey Badass continues to carve out his lane within the city's storied history. After coming up through the underground and breaking through with projects like 1999, Badass has since established himself as one of the foremost lyricists in the game on recent projects like All-Amerikkkan Badass.

The 22-year-old rapper walks a fine line between paying homage to the old guard of rap while still staying relevant and fresh in today's scene. Badass sat down with the Everyday Struggle crew on Monday, and talked about a bunch of topics, from the stagnation of New York radio, Amber Rose, and much more. Here's what we learned from the interview.

Joey feels New York radio was slow to recognize him.

The DJs in New York City have a lot of cultural gravitas, and though the streaming era has changed how we hear new music for the first time, Badass noted that he felt unsupported by local radio when he was on the come up.

“There are many ways I could have been more supported,” said Badass. “The world recognized me before my home did. They should have jumped right on it. I was young, I didn’t know how to establish relationships and keep them.”

He takes (some) responsibility for not nurturing relationships early.

Despite how he feels on the radio front, Badass admitted he's partially responsible for his own predicament. Still, he continued to emphasize that people outside his hometown were happy to show love early on compared to his hometown.

“I didn’t realize I was burning a bridge by not communicating,” he said. “I think radio should never be late on local artists. I’m from here, I’m one of the few touring globally. Just me and [ASAP] Rocky … L.A., they've always supported me. I'm getting more love from L.A. than my own town.”

Joey spent a lot of money making All-Amerikkkan Badass, but he doesn't regret it.

Fans like to focus on how much an album sold or how much profit is being made from a tour, but few people think about what it takes to put together an album. Badass highlighted the cost of putting together his latest project, but he told Everyday Struggle it's not a concern for him.

“This is probably the most expensive album,” he said. “I probably spent like, I want to say a quarter [million]. It was definitely worth it, every cent.”

Joey thinks most hip-hop beef is lame.

After Remy Ma put Nicki Minaj on the Summer Jam screen, the Everyday Struggle crew had to talk about their long, drawn-out beef. But the young rapper claims he doesn't really pay any mind to that sort of thing, because he has a preference for settling the score through competitive freestyle instead of trading songs back-and-forth.

“Don't care about that beef shit,” he said. “I prefer sparring. Hip-hop beef is not going back and forth with tracks.”

He thinks you should respect hip-hop's youth movement.

The Everyday Struggle crew has had dust ups with some of the younger rappers in the game—what up, Lil Yachty—but Badass thinks a whole lot of people are underselling just how big some of the kids on the rise are right now.

Playboi Carti has the whole youth in his hand,” he said. Badass went on to defend Yachty, and accused Budden of downplaying the movement behind him. “You just don't want him to be happy. He might not be a star in two years, [but] he's a mega star right now.”

More from Complex

Miss Info Investigates Why the Jamaican Beef Patty Is a NYC Icon

After canvassing the streets of Los Angeles, devouring taco after taco in Watts and Compton, our host Miss Info now turns her attention back to a familiar food icon in her own hometown of NYC: the Jamaican beef patty. 

For all the rah-rah about pizza and bagels broadcasted to the world, out-of-towners may not realize that the flaky, yellow-tinged meat turnover has infiltrated every facet of NYC life. Found in school cafeterias, street vendors, pizza shops, bodegas and, of course, Caribbean mom-and-pop bakeries in strongholds like Flatbush, the patty has inspired fierce debate. Because if you think a patty is a patty is a patty…well, you're dead wrong. 

To truly understand their place in NYC culture, it's time to talk to natives who love (and argue about them) best. From heated conversations with DJ Clark Kent, to philosophical musings in the back of a Rolls Royce with Upscale Vandal, watch the video above to find out how the patty became a NYC icon. 

More from Complex

Sneaker Shopping With ASAP Ferg

ASAP Ferg has gone from a kid growing up in Harlem to becoming one of the most original voices in hip-hop and style since he came on the scene. The 28-year-old rapper has started his own clothing line, designed his own Adidas sneakers, and continually made great music. Ferg recently met up with Joe La Puma at Flight Club in New York City to talk about his humble beginnings as a sneakerhead and his current love for shoes.

Growing up in Harlem, Ferg has been wearing Nike Air Force 1s since he was young, and in this episode reminisced on spending money on super limited colorways and being one of the first to bring them back to the neighborhood. Besides talking about Air Force 1s, Ferg reflects on buying and wearing Jordan IIIs that were too small for him, and then goes on to confirm that he has another round of Adidas sneakers and clothes dropping soon. In the end, Ferg drops almost $2,400 on five pairs of sneakers.  

More from Complex

Vince Staples Discusses Beef and Michael Jackson’s Legacy on S E A B S Radio

Vince Staples is back with a new episode of S E A B S Radio on Beats 1, and today he's talking about beef. It's a similar subject that popped up during his Complex video cover story with Touré. In that conversation, Vince was adamant about not being a fan of beef in rap.

Here, Vince recties Biggie's hook from “What's Beef?” before digging into a history of beef.

“There’s so many beefs over the course of time,” Vince says. “The Jews vs. the Gentiles, the Warriors vs. New York City, the Warriors vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Based God vs everyone who wanted to defy the nature of his being, his happiness. Most beefs are started over happiness actually. My grandmother once said, a n*** doesn’t wanna hang by himself. Think about that. She really said that too that was crazy.”

Vince also reveals his favorite beef: Brandy vs. Monica in “The Boy Is Mine.” No, really.

During the radio show, Vince shares his take on what a real MC is.

He also gets into a lengthy discussion about Micheal Jackson and his legacy.

apple Music
Image via Beats 1

You can listen in live on Beats 1 here.

More from Complex

Katy Perry Is Catching a Ton of Heat for Her Obama Joke

Katy Perry’s newly dyed and cut blond tresses have been the butt of a few jokes, with the pop singer herself comparing her new hairdo to the signature cut worn by celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

 

happy #420, #nationallookalikeday and now #nevergettinglaidday @guyfieri

A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on Apr 20, 2017 at 6:29pm PDT

Perry took things a step further Friday by curiously comparing the backlash to her new hairstyle to those who prefer former President Barack Obama over the current commander-in-chief, Donald Trump.

“Aww, someone says, ‘I miss your old, black hair’,” Perry said, during an Instagram Live session. “Oh, do you miss Barack Obama as well? Okay, times change. Bye.”

The video slowly made the rounds over the weekend before negative feedback began building up on Twitter. The backlash apparently stems from Perry comparing—directly or indirectly—her signature black locks to the man who became America’s first black President. The timing doesn’t favor Perry, who is promoting her “Bon Appetit” single with Migos

Nevertheless, Twitter users who didn’t find the joke funny offered some strong opinions.

It’s unclear if users interpreted the Obama joke as a Trump endorsement, despite the fact that Perry was an outspoken Hillary Clinton supporter leading up to the 2016 election. Clinton, of course, lost the 2008 Democratic primary race to Obama (causing no small amount of tension between the candidates' supporters at the time), before accepting a cabinet position as his Secretary of State from 2009 through 2013. 

The video was filmed during Perry’s promotional run in New York City, and it’s unclear if the beverage she was filmed holding was a factor.

“You're cut off,” one member of Perry’s entourage said during the clip. 

Perry faced similar backlash in 2013 after performing in a geisha-inspired outfit during the American Music Awards. The Atlantic and other media outlets leveled charges of cultural appropriation against Perry for the performance. 

More from Complex

‘Kung Fu Kenny’ Is Just the Latest Example of Hip-Hop’s Fascination With Martial Arts

Kendrick Lamar is a man who, for a rapper, has a comparatively short list of nicknames. But on his new album Damn, his new video for “DNA,” and particularly during his set this past weekend at Coachella, he's introduced a brand new one: “Kung Fu Kenny.”

KungFuKennyVideo
Image via YouTube

At Coachella, Lamar started his set by unveiling a short film titled The Damn Legend of Kung Fu Kenny that was modeled after the kung fu films of the 1970s. Similar imagery, including the phrase “Kung Fu Kenny” spelled out in Chinese characters, appeared in the “DNA” video. The moniker itself seems to be inspired by Don Cheadle's character in Rush Hour, who goes by Kenny:

But why? Why would a rap star associate himself with Hong Kong actions films released well before he was born?

As it turns out, Kendrick is continuing a tradition that dates back to the very beginnings of hip-hop. Martial arts—in particular, martial arts as depicted in the films of the 1970s and ’80s—had a seminal influence on hip-hop culture from the start. The New York City of the 1970s that birthed hip-hop faced an economic crisis. The same forces that were burning the Bronx were also having their effects felt in the theaters of midtown Manhattan.

Joseph Schloss, a scholar and author who wrote the book Foundation: B-boys, B-girls and Hip-Hop Culture in New York, explains that the movie theaters were feeling the pinch, so they went for the cheapest programming they could find. 

“Their best economic alternative was to buy packages of these cheap Hong Kong action movies, and just show them all day long. It was that and porno movies, basically, on 42nd Street,” he tells Complex. Starting in 1981, this programming was mirrored on television as well. WNEW, channel 5 in the city, broadcast Drive-In Movie every Saturday. The program showed primarily kung fu flicks, and was a huge hit with kids. “Pretty much every single hip-hop artist that I've met from that era used to watch that show religiously,” Schloss notes.

So kung fu movies were in the theaters and on TV. But why did the kids of the era—the ones who were, as Schloss puts it, “developing their own culture”—love the films so much? What did they see in those stories?

Adisa Banjoko, founder of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation and the author of the book Bobby, Bruce & the Bronx: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess, has made a life-long study of the connections between hip-hop, martial arts, and the game of chess. To him, the affinity between black youth of that era and martial arts makes perfect sense. 

“People often forget that hip-hop was born out of the ashes of the civil rights movement, and so much of that was tied to a reclamation of black male dignity,” he says. “These films—Bruce Lee movies in particular, and a lot of the Shaw Brothers films—often dealt with one man going against an organization, or one man going against an unjust state. Because so much of this was done with just the hands, it was also a tool of the poor. You didn't have to be rich to have these skills. You just had to be disciplined and be willing to work, and you could have it.

“That was one of the main reasons that the martial arts resonated with African-American males who, people conveniently forget, had all of their warrior traditions literally beaten out of them on slave plantations and in sharecropper/Jim Crow America. So these films were supremely inspirational to masses of black males who felt culturally robbed of their warrior spirit, and inspirational on a philosophical perspective, because of the responsibility that having the skills demanded.” 

On a very direct and literal level, kung fu films also gave young black and brown kids heroes who were not white (“it's hard to understand looking back on it how revolutionary that was,” Schloss says). But there was also a new model of learning—crucial for children who, like kids everywhere and at all times, mostly hated school. People in kung fu movies learned from a master, practiced their skills obsessively, and developed new styles, all practices that made their way into hip-hop culture.

“What martial arts really did for hip-hop was to provide a model for an apprenticeship system that showed how you could respect a teacher or a mentor without diminishing your own self-respect,” says Schloss. “It was a model where you could be like, 'I'm going to learn to be humble and disciplined, and let this guy tell me what to do, but that doesn't mean that I'm letting him disrespect me.' That's a big part of what allowed the art form to develop, because when people put themselves in that situation, they were able to learn a lot of important things and push the art form forward by being open to that instruction.”

Banjoko agrees. “It gave all of these renegade artists a blueprint for mastery, because they were innovating and trying to master something that was completely new,” he says. “And so when you're looking at films like 36 Chambers and you're seeing all the times they have to practice one kick, all the times that they have to practice one punch—these guys are practicing that scratch, they're practicing the headspin, the freeze, with that same ferocity.”

But at root, the reason martial arts is so deeply embedded in hip-hop is because it was deeply embedded in the lives of the kids who created hip-hop. Schloss sums it up:

“Hip-hop was a combination of everything working-class teenage kids of color in New York City were into in the ’70s. So martial arts was just naturally a part of that.”

More from Complex