In news that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been following Jay-Z's "retirement," his first solo album in three years, Kingdom Come, is slated for release on November 21. Hov's comeback has been just about the worst-kept secret in the music industry over the past several weeks.
When he announced his retirement three years ago with the release of The Black Album (see "On Eve Of Final Album, Jay-Z Says, 'I've Done It All' "), few believed it was the end of Jay's recording career. He continued to tour (see " 'I Declare War!' Jay-Z Says He's Going To Air Some Rappers Out Onstage"), release collaboration albums with R. Kelly and Linkin Park (see "Jay-Z Countersues R. Kelly Over What He Calls Their 'Nightmarish Odyssey' " and "Jay-Z And Linkin Park Show Danger Mouse How It's Done") and appeared on many other artists' tracks. Jay gave details to Entertainment Weekly for its upcoming fall music preview.
"It was the worst retirement, maybe, in history," Jay tells EW. "I believed it for two years."
Some of his loosed-lipped friends — including Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West — started to let the cat out the bag weeks ago, saying they were involved in the project. Hov confirms to the mag that those three producers all have tracks on the LP; Dr. Dre and Coldplay's Chris Martin are also involved. The first single is reportedly called "Show Me What You Got." Hype Williams has already said in interviews he's directing the song's video.
Jay is currently trotting the globe, working with the United Nations and MTV in spreading awareness about the world's water crisis during the day and performing for fans at night see ("The Tour Is On!").