With nearly five years having passed since the release of his last studio album, 4:44, in 2017, it appears that Jay-Z is currently in the process of creating its follow-up. The rapper and mogul has reportedly been hitting the studio with longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz, whom he has also been rumored to be working on a collaborative album with since January of last year. Swizz recently fueled further speculation that he and Hov were working in tandem by posting a photo of Jay, O.G. Juan, and himself boarding a private jet.
News of Jay-Z looking to make a full-fledged return to the music scene has been brewing for quite some time. He was first rumored to be planning a new album back in 2019, but ultimately joined forces with Jay Electronica in 2020 for A Written Testimony instead.
The rap icon has been particularly active on the musical front over the past year, appearing alongside former rival Nas on two occasions, first on the DJ Khaled collaboration “Sorry Not Sorry,” then on the song “Bath Salts” from DMX’s posthumous release, Exodus. These pairings created murmurs of a joint album between the Hov and Nas, particularly given the relationship between producers Hit-Boy and DJ Khaled, who’ve worked with both on various occasions.
Add in his appearances alongside Kanye West on his Donda album, Kid Cudi on Netflix’s The Harder They Fall soundtrack cut “Guns Go Bang,” and Pusha T on his It’s Almost Dry single “Neck & Wrist,” and it’s clear the Brooklyn-bred icon is setting the table for what some have predicted will be a fourth-quarter release.
Last October, the 52-year-old made a trek to film a music video, which has yet to be released, a move that came shortly after confirmation that a Watch The Throne 2 album with Kanye West was also on the table. With so many moving parts, it remains unclear exactly what we can anticipate or expect from a new Jay-Z album, but the possibility of him unleashing one sooner than later surely has our interests piqued.