Jay-Z's Arrest Not Expected To Delay Album Release

Big sales anticipated for Vol. 3 ... Life and Times of S. Carter, due at end of December.

NEW YORK — Jay-Z's arrest Thursday on charges of stabbing a record company executive at a New York nightclub may have burdened the rapper's wallet and potentially restricted his freedom, but it has not affected the release of his highly anticipated new album.

Gabrielle Peluso, a publicist for Jay-Z at Def Jam Recordings, said Monday (Dec. 6) that the 29-year-old's fourth album, Vol. 3 ... Life and Times of S. Carter, will come out as scheduled Dec. 28.

Jay-Z (born Shawn Carter) performed songs from the album during a listening party at Irving Plaza on Thursday. That gathering was held just hours before Lance "Un" Rivera — who founded the Untertainmant label with the late Notorious B.I.G. — was stabbed in the back and chest at the Kit Kat Club during a separate party for Q-Tip's Amplified.

Hip-hop insiders predicted that, despite the publicity surrounding the Kit Kat brawl and the arrest — Jay-Z made the cover of the New York Daily News on Friday — Vol. 3 ... Life and Times of S. Carter will sell well.

"I think people judge Jay-Z based on his music. He's an incredible artist," said Tracii McGregor, the executive editor of hip-hop magazine The Source.

On Monday, police reported no new details on the incident, or what lay behind it.

A spokesperson for Rivera could not be reach for comment Monday on what may have caused the altercation.

Gerald McKelvey, a spokesperson for Jay-Z, said Friday that the rapper would have no further comment on the matter; the day before, the rapper denied any role in the stabbing. A spokesperson for Roc-a-Fella Records, the label Jay-Z co-manages, also could not be reached for comment Monday.

Last year, Jay-Z became the first hip-hop performer to hold the #1 slot for five consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The chart-topping album was the rapper's quadruple-platinum Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock Life, which featured the single "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" (RealAudio excerpt).

McGregor said she felt enough people would reserve judgment on Jay-Z that it wouldn't adversely affect his sales this time around.

Speaking at the Jay-Z listening party, Irv Gotti, the director of A&R for Def Jam, was bolder. He predicted that Life and Times and DMX's And Then There Was X, also a Def Jam release, would each sell "over a million copies" in their first week of release. And Then There Was X comes out Dec. 21. Gotti and partner Lil' Rob produced "Watch Me," a track on Life and Times featuring Dr. Dre.

"They're just two of the best in their field ," the 26-year-old Gotti (born Irv Lorenzo) said of Jay-Z and DMX.

In 1998, DMX became the first hip-hop artist to have his first two albums (It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh — Blood of My Blood) debut at #1 in the same year. Jay-Z and DMX co-headlined the 54-date Hard Knock Life tour in the spring.

Jay-Z posted his $50,000 bail only hours after being arrested, and he returned to his home in New Jersey early Friday morning, McKelvey said.