JAY-Z fans are getting excited that a new album might be on the way from the legendary rap titan — which they think a new auction is alluding to.
On Wednesday (November 29), PEOPLE revealed that Jay and the Brooklyn Public Library are auctioning off a piece of his “Book of HOV” exhibit – a trophy case that highlights each of his albums. It will come with the Grammy-winning rapper’s autograph and all proceeds will benefit the Brooklyn Public Library.
But though JAY-Z has released 13 albums throughout his career – there is a 14th slot in the case that’s been left blank. It follows his most recent album, 2017’s 4:44.
During his interview with Gayle King last month, Hov was asked about the prospect of him returning to the studio and recording a new album.
He replied by saying that any new material would need to have substance and impact people’s lives in order for him to share it with the world, rather than being a throwaway collection of “tunes.”
“I already [used the word ‘retirement’], I can’t do that ever again,” he said. “I’ll say I wanna make music, but it has to be something important.
“I don’t wanna just make a bunch of tunes. That’s not gonna serve me. It won’t feed me, first of all. I have to be saying something important. It has to mean something, you know? It has to mean something to a larger society.”
He continued: “4:44, for example, was a personal story, but the amount of vulnerability in there allowed for a lot of people to explore the space.”
JAY-Z previously addressed the prospect of new music last year, explaining that he’s “not actively” recording a new album but doesn’t want to close the door on a comeback.
“I tried that,” he said about his 2003 retirement in an interview with Kevin Hart. “I just needed a break. I was really burnt out at that time. I was releasing an album every year… I just looked up one day and was like, ‘I’m tired.’
“I had never been on a vacation until I wanna say 2000 — my whole life. I was really burnt out in that moment.”
He went on to say: “I’m not actively making music or making an album or have plans to make an album, but I never want to say that I’m retired. It’s a gift, so who am I to shut it off?
“And it may have a different form or interpretation. Maybe it’s not an album, maybe it is. I have no idea, but I’m just going to leave it open.”
In November 2022, The New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan claimed that JAY-Z has plans to record another joint album with his wife Beyoncé, which will serve as the third and final installment of her Renaissance series.
“Before Twitter goes down, instead of making you follow me somewhere else, I’ll just tell you what I’ve heard about the other 2 acts of Beyoncé’s 3-part ‘Renaissance’ project,” he tweeted at the time. “(2nd act is an acoustic album, 3rd act is a collaboration with JAY-Z).”
Bey previously revealed that Renaissance, which came out in July 2022, would be made up of three acts.
“This three act project was recorded over three years during the pandemic. A time to be still, but also a time I found to be the most creative,” she wrote on her website. “Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world.”