Jay-Z shared his latest album, 4:44, five long years ago. Save a few other projects, including a collaboration album with Beyoncé, fans have been left wondering—is he ever coming back?
The famed rapper can be seen answering that very question in a new teaser clip for season 2 of Hart to Heart, actor Kevin Hart’s Peacock series. For Jay-Z the answer is easy—full retirement is not in the cards.
In an intimate chat with Hart, the 24-time Grammy award winner says he’s leaving his career up to chance these days but doesn’t have plans to fully step away from music.
“I don’t know what happens next. 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. It’s a gift and who am I to shut it off?” the rapper said in the clip.
Though Jay is not the only artist who has ever taken such an extended break from releasing music – we’re looking at you Frank Ocean and Rihanna – it’s easy to see why fans have chalked up his absence to him quitting for good. He famously announced his retirement from hip-hop back in 2003 after the release of The Black Album only to return with another LP just three years later, Kingdom Come. Though he didn’t stick to his original retirement plan, the threat of Jay-Z leaving the game was always there.
Fans can rest easy though, as Jay added that he was “terrible” at complete retirement.
“I tried that [retirement]. I’m terrible at that. I just needed a break. But I really thought that I was really burned out at the time,” the rapper explained. “I was releasing an album every year — ’97, ’98 — and then in between that, soundtracks, other people’s album, ROC-A-FELLA, touring back to back … and I had just looked up one day and I was like … ‘I’m tired.'”
Though he has no definite plans to break his current hiatus, the rapper does estimate that he will one day put out new music. “It’s open to … whatever. And it may have a different form, a different interpretation. Maybe it’s not an album. Maybe it is. I have no idea. I’m just going to leave it open,” he added.
Watch the teaser from Hart to Heart below. Season 2 premiered Thursday (July 14) on Peacock.
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame )