Jay-Z released his comeback album Kingdom Comein 2006 after announcing his retirement from the game a few years prior. Upon its release, critics and fans branded the LP as one of his lesser realized works as a result of his situation during the time that he recorded it. During an interview with Complex.com, Young Guru revealed that L.A. Reid forced Hov to rush the recording of the album to give Def Jam a boost, forcing him to record the album while on his Water for Life campaign.
“Now, everything rides on this Jay-Z album. Jay goes on a world tour and goes to Africa to do his Water for Life thing. He’s doing all this stuff and L.A. Reid is looking at me, like, ‘We need the Jay album by the end of the year,'” he says. “I’m like, ‘We’re not ready. I have some songs but it’s not done and he’s in Africa.’ They’re like ‘If this shit doesn’t come out, people are getting fired. I can’t pay my bills, this record has to come out at this time.’”
Guru insists that he tried to push back the album because Jay was overseas, but was instead sent to Taiwan to spur the recording of the album. Jay was tired from performing to massive arenas, which Guru says may be the culprit for the LP’s quality.
“I’m begging, ‘Can I please push this back? He’s in Africa’ and they’re like, ‘Alright get on a plane.’ I ended up meeting Jay in Taipei, Taiwan and we didn’t really get to record until we got to Australia. But it’s like, you’re in the middle of a world tour doing soccer arenas that hold 60,000, to 100,000 people,” he continued. “He’s doing a show with 70,000 people and then I’m asking him to go to the studio right after that; his voice is gone. We’re in a foreign place trying to catch a vibe so it’s like double work. Not only did you have to memorize and do a two-hour show, now I’m asking you to be creative. This is why you get Kingdom Come.”