Jay-Z recently spoke with Kevin Hart for the second season of the comedian's show, Hart to Heart, where he discussed the future of his music career and whether he considers himself to be retired. Additionally, the legendary rapper reflected on his first attempt at retirement following the release of The Black Album.
After being asked bluntly by Hart whether he's retired, Jay joked, “Nah, I tried that," referencing his 2003 project, The Black Album, which was billed as Jay-Z's final record before retirement.
He explained of that time in his career: "I just needed a break. But I really thought that I was really burnt out at that time. I was releasing an album every year. '96, '97, '98, and in between that, soundtracks, other people's albums, Roc-A-Fella, touring, back to back. I just looked up one day and I was like 'I'm tired.' I had never been on vacation until like, I want to say 2000, my whole life. I was just really burnt out at that moment."
As for the future of his career, Jay admitted that he's not actively working on any music, nor does he have any ideas for another album; however, he says he feels uncomfortable with the idea of labeling himself fully retired.
“I don’t know what happens next,” he said. “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.”
If Jay-Z never releases another full-length album, 2017's critically acclaimed 4:44 will go down as his final solo project. The album was nominated at the Grammy Awards for Album of the Year.
Check out Jay-Z's discussion with Kevin Hart below.