Jay-Z Clarifies The Speculation Surrounding His Retirement

We can't talk about the evolution of American hip hop without mentioning the likes of Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Diddy and, of course, the iconic Jay-Z. Born in 1969, in Brooklyn, New York (via Biography), Jay-Z took up an interest in rap early, eventually releasing his debut album, "Reasonable Doubt," in 1996. Album after album, song after song, it soon became clear that Jay Z was arguably one of the best in the game — and boy, does he have enough accolades and achievements to show for it.

In October 2021, Jay-Z was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alongside LL Cool J, as reported by People. The following month, the "Young Forever" rapper made history after becoming the most Grammy-nominated artist with a total of 83 nominations and 23 wins. According to the New York Post, this put him ahead of English singer Paul McCartney and iconic producer Quincy Jones.

Now, with his long list of achievements, Jay-Z could go into retirement and live the good life with his wife Beyoncé and their three kids. And with his last album, "4:44," dating back to 2017, there's more than enough reason to believe the rapper has, in fact, retired. But has he really, though?

Jay-Z isn't going anywhere — at least not yet

During an appearance on comedian Kevin Hart's show, "Hart to Heart," Jay-Z opened up about his career, while addressing the long-standing notion that he has retired from the rap game. "I don't know what happens next," the rapper told Hart. "I'm not actively making music, or making an album, or have plans to make an album, but I never wanna say I'm retired."

Jay-Z further admitted that, at some point in his career, he suffered from severe burnout and truly believed he was done with music, but somehow, he ended up circling back. Now, the Roc Nation founder is hinting at a return to the studio soon. "And it may have a different form, a different interpretation," the rapper said. "Maybe it's not an album. Maybe it is. I have no idea. I'm just going to leave it open."

This new revelation comes nearly 10 years after Jay-Z first announced his supposed retirement with a blowout at Madison Square Garden in 2003, according to People. Though he did not release any personal projects in the following years, Jay-Z continued collaborating with different artists. And then in 2006, he released his album, "Kingdom Come," followed by "American Gangster" in 2007.