Rapper Jay-Z, in perhaps the least surprising news ever, is pondering a comeback. After announcing his retirement from recording and touring with the release of 2003's Black Album, it seemed like only a matter of time before the inevitable 'retirement from retirement' return. And, while nothing's official yet, Jay-Z, now president of Def Jam Records, seems about ready to give in to the wishes of his fans.
"You all are hearing things from me -- you just haven't heard an album," he told Billboard with reference to his post-retirement cameos on tracks by Kanye West among others. "Who knows? I'm still going in the studio, getting on remixes and things like that. But it's the people. When people want something bad enough, it happens. And they want it bad", he laughs. "I'm trying to hold out, but I don't know how long I can."
In other news, the rapper is reportedly set to launch a new, artist-driven label called Def Jam Left. It will be, he says, a label with "very low deals so people are not pressured by first-week SoundScan (sales), so we can build artists." As for his first signing, Jay-Z revealed that "I'm talking to the Roots right now. The label would probably begin at the top of the year (i.e. the start of 2006), but I hope to have the Roots signed by the time they get off their international tour."
And, since no story about Jay-Z is complete without a mention of the hip-hop star's main squeeze, we should mention that he recently denied rumours that he is about to become Mr. Beyonce Knowles. Rumours had begun to circulate about a possible engagement when Jay-Z was in London to accept the GQ International Man Of The Year award (sounds like a superhero - "International Man"). Not true, Zee told the New York Daily News. And that, friends, is that.
Writer: Neil McDonald