Ten years ago, Jay-Z was making plans to retire from the rap game to focus on his growing business portfolio. For six years, at the time, Jay-Z had delivered a new album every calendar year, delivering an abundance of hits. Along the way, he introduced a number of other artists through his Roc-A-Fella label. But, for Jay-Z, he was preparing for the end.
The “last” in the string of Jay-Z albums came in 2003, with the release of The Black Album. Jay-Z had stated in Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter that there would be a time when fans would miss him and his impact on the game. From the beginning, Jay-Z was making plans for the ending, but his retirement lasted three years before he released two albums on the heels of each other.
Returning ten years after he first released Reasonable Doubt, many fans expected another decade of yearly albums from Jay-Z. In 2008, Jay-Z was working on another album, but it was not released until the fall of 2009. Since The Blueprint 3, fans have waited for the official comeback album from Jay-Z.
After Watch the Throne was released in 2011, many were expecting Jay-Z’s solo album in 2012. Fans were excited, especially after the birth of Blue Ivy Carter, his daughter with Beyonce. Jay-Z immediately recorded a song celebrating Blue Ivy’s birth, “Glory,” which charted on Billboard. Many felt the song was the lead single from a new project, but Jay-Z told the same magazine his rap career was again on hold, as he bonds with his daughter.
It seems Jay-Z is more retired now, anyway, than he was during his 2003-2006 retirement.