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.