Fresh off headlining this summer's Sprite Liquid Mix tour, rapper Jay-Z will return Nov. 12 with his seventh studio set, "The Blueprint II: The Gift and the Curse." The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist tel

Fresh off headlining this summer's Sprite Liquid Mix tour, rapper Jay-Z will return Nov. 12 with his seventh studio set, "The Blueprint II: The Gift and the Curse." The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist tells Billboard.com he sees the Def Jam album as a sequel of sorts to 2001's Grammy-nominated "The Blueprint," which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It has sold 2.2 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"My whole thing was to record a whole lot of music coming off 'The Blueprint,'" Jay-Z says. "That was considered a classic as soon it came out. You know how people always compare an artist's last album to their latest? I knew that that was going happen, so I wanted to make sure it was extra tight."

"The Blueprint II" will mark the first time a Def Jam artist has released a double-disc set. The lead single, "'03 Bonnie & Clyde," features Beyonce Knowles of Destiny's Child fame. The set sports appearances from Dr. Dre, Rakim, the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams, Truth Hurts, and Lenny Kravitz. M.O.P., Roc-A-Fella's newest signing, also makes its label debut on the album.

As previously reported, Jay-Z has contributed the new track "8 Miles and Running" to the Eminem-led "8 Mile" soundtrack, due Oct. 29 from Shady Records/Interscope.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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