By Ralph Bristout & Rob Hansen
When 2015 gave way to January 1, 2016, excitement was in the air for many reasons. Between New Year Resolutions and exciting film releases, there was plenty to look out for, especially music. As new albums fueled up the anticipated lists for 2016, so did anniversaries for a batch of historic releases. For rap diehards, one of the biggest milestones that year was Jay Z’s pristine debut, Reasonable Doubt.
Marking 20 years, the celebration honored rap’s best paradigm for Superman, possessing an impenetrable armor that allowed him to traverse generations via his hustler’s dreams and laments-turned-perennial parables. So in a year in which he celebrated two decades of excellence, a new album to commemorate the anniversary seemed like a sure shot. After all, the vibe is still in his veins. Unfortunately though, that came and went.
Despite showing signs last summer through guest verses for Fat Joe and Remy Ma, Pusha T, and DJ Khaled, along with releasing his first solo record in three years with "Spiritual," a new album from Jigga failed to materialize.
But here we are again.
Just months after Atlanta hitmaker Zaytoven revealed work with Hov in the studio and weeks after his reemergence on Frank Ocean’s “Biking,” it looks as though the #NewJiggaAlbum talks have once again resurfaced. Only this time, all signs are pointing toward the recent announcement of his headlining gig at Made In America’s 2017.
As reported, the Big Apple titan will headline the Philadelphia two-day event alongside J. Cole. The news is interesting, seeing as how this will mark Jigga’s first U.S. festival headlining gig since the induction of Made In America back in 2012. In addition, Made In America is also Jigga’s second headlining slot this year, as he is also set for V Festival in August. Other than the mentioned verses above, Jay has remained Luke Skywalker-level silent about any and just about every possibility of an album. However, these set of shows have only further fuel the speculation of a #NewJiggaAlbum.
Just ask these fans:
Jay Z headlining Made In America this year confirms (in my mind) that he dropping an album this summer. Everything is lit.— Somebody Did This (@__TheBigHomie) May 1, 2017
The way jay z is on these festival line ups shows you he's dropping an album— Jezza (@JerryYoungs) May 1, 2017
The last album released from Jay was 2013's Magna Carta... Holy Grail. Since then he has been said to have been working on material, including a guest feature on Nas' new album, a monster posse cut for Swizz Beatz, and a joint album with wife Beyoncé.