Originally intended for an unusual Friday release on Nov. 28, Jay-Z's swan song, "The Black Album," was moved up two weeks due to piracy. "I have made sure that my album is available at a lower price for my fans," Jay-Z says. "In turn, I hope my fans will support me and Roc-A-Fella Records and buy my final release in an appropriate way, either via a retail store or a legitimate digital distribution site."
The rapper's initial concept for "The Black Album" was to have a different producer for each track. "I just wanted to have all those different flavors," he says. "It was almost like a wish list of all the different people I wanted to work with before I go."
The video for first single "Change Clothes" featuring Pharrell will debut Tuesday on MTV, and features appearances by model Naomi Campbell, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, actress Kelly Ripa and vocalist Mary J. Blige.
Jay-Z will celebrate the new release with a star-studded Nov. 25 show at New York's Madison Square Garden, and will also play local radio station Z100's Dec. 11 Jingle Ball at the same venue. After the release of "The Black Album," he plans to turn his focus to developing new artists for his Roc-a-Fella label, expanding his two clothing lines, getting involved with movies and working with his philanthropic endeavors.