Tidal Is Dropping A Film Starring Mahershala Ali & Lupita Nyong'o

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.
Finally, we have an answer about what those 4:44 ads meant.
This week, ads that said "4:44" started popping up as banner ads on websites like Complex, as well as IRL ads in New York City. The ads simply featured the numbers on a peach-colored background. Now, Tidal has revealed that it's behind the ads, which are teasers for a short film (or maybe a music video?) that stars Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong'o, and Danny Glover. The music streaming service has also apparently teamed up with Sprint on the project.
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Of course, a number of sleuths connected the wordless ads to Tidal before Thursday's announcement. A look at the source code on Complex's 4:44 ads (yeah, these fans went deep) suggested that Tidal was behind them. Plus, as Vulture pointed out, Beyoncé and Jay Z have an affinity for the number "4." The Carters were married on April 4, 2008, and they each have "IV," The Roman numeral for 4, tattooed on their ring fingers. The couple also happens to have each been born on the 4th of the month — Bey on September 4 and Jay on December 4.
Many people had believed the ads meant Jay Z would be releasing a new album, but it looks like that's not the case. Marcelo Claure, Sprint's CEO, teased the film on his personal Twitter account Thursday. Claure shared a minute-long teaser for the film — which is apparently rated NC-17? — that features Mahershala Ali doing some boxing exercises.
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"Excited to bring @Sprint customers exclusive content through our partnership with @TIDALHiFi - more news coming tomorrow!!," Claure wrote in the tweet. The same trailer aired on Wednesday during the NBA finals.
Sprint also published a press release Thursday noting that its customers will have access to a six-month Tidal trial as part of the partnership. The news comes after Sprint acquired 33% of the streaming service earlier this year.
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