Jay-Z, Method Man, Redman Working On Albums

Hard Knock Life tour rappers announce plans as 54-date outing wraps up.

NEW YORK -- Now that their blockbuster Hard Knock Life tour is over, rappers Jay-Z, Method Man, Redman and mix-tape producer and radio personality DJ Clue are working on new albums.

They announced their plans, which include Jay-Z's follow-up to the quadruple-platinum Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life and a Redman-Method Man collaboration, at a tour-ending press conference Tuesday at the China Club.

The 54-date, 70-day outing, headlined by DMX -- who did not attend the press conference -- and Jay-Z, ended Friday in Miami. It attracted 600,000 people and grossed around $18 million, according to Damon Dash, chief executive officer of Roca-a-Fella Records, Jay-Z's label.

A documentary on the the tour will be released later this year, Dash said. "We have endless, endless, like 80 tapes of just film," he said. "We definitely think it's big enough to have a theatrical release."

At the beginning of the trek, DJ Clue said he planned to record an album on a mobile studio in the tour bus using all of the Hard Knock Life rappers. "We didn't get all the songs done," he said. "We gonna do a couple more songs in the studio and then we're going to put the album out in the next couple months."

The album will be called The Professional on Tour.

Jay-Z (born Sean Carter) said he hopes to have the follow-up to Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life, which included "Money Ain't a Thang" (RealAudio excerpt), in stores by Christmas week. "[I'm aiming for] December 26, or maybe the week before," he said.

Method Man (born Clifford Smith) and Redman (born Reggie Noble), meanwhile, said they're collaborating on an album for fall release. The as-yet-untitled disc will build on the joint sets the pair performed while on tour, they said. The two traded rhymes and served as comic relief before Jay-Z's and DMX's headlining sets.

"All we doing is writing right now," Method Man said. "It's just in the beginning stages, that's all."

Method Man appears on Redman's 1998 album Doc's Da Name 2000, which includes "Brick City Mashin'!" (RealAudio excerpt).

Hard Knock Life organizers donated the gate proceeds from a show in Denver last month to the families of the victims of the April 20 ambush at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. The donation was more than $100,000, Dash said.

Dash also said some of the performers are considering an offer to bring the tour to Europe for three additional dates this summer.

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