Was JAY-Z’s Name Change Inspired By Prince?

by Krystal Franklin

June 20, 2017

Photos by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Roc Nation and Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Just in time for the debut of his 13th studio album, the rapper formerly known as Jay Z has changed his name. Five years ago Hov subtly dropped the hyphen from his moniker, but the pesky little punctuation mark has officially returned. In a statement to Pitchfork, the 47-year-old father of three now goes by JAY-Z (peep the ALL CAPS).

While it’s too early to know if the reimplementation of the rapper’s name has a deeper meaning or if it’s just a creative, kind of cool thing, we can’t help but think of an earlier legend that made the same change, but with a much louder and more intentional statement.

Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images

In 1993, while in a contractual dispute with Warner Bros., Prince changed his name to a symbol and began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations. Smart guy.

As previously reported, JAY-Z’s album 4:44 drops June 30 in an exclusive partnership with TIDAL and Sprint (the phone company bought 33% of the music streaming service earlier this year).

TELL US: What do you think inspired JAY-Z’s name change?

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