Jermaine Dupri Claims to Know the Name of Jay Z's New Album
Last summer, super producer Jermaine Dupri caused tremors in the blog world in an interview with Rap Radar. He revealed that he knew the name of Hov's forthcoming album and that the project "might be done." “Me and Jay have conversations that I’m probably sure he doesn’t have with anybody,” Dupri said, teasing fans even more by revealing, “I know the name of Hov’s new album. It might be done.”
Vic Mensa Calls Hov's New Music "Fresh As F--k"
Vic Mensa injected more hope for a Hov album after his interview with Rap-Up. First, the Roc Nation artist delved into his relationship with Jay Z and Beyonce. Then, he offered up his opinion regarding their new catalog.
“They’re just smart people, really good people. That’s something I find as I meet more people in this industry: some of the top dogs are the kindest and in a sense most humble,” he said of his time with the two. “Beyoncé has that queen personality where she makes people feel comfortable. Well, I mean, she probably makes people feel mad uncomfortable because they’re super-fans, but she’s super cool to people that I’ve seen her interact with, and she always has been really nice to me. As far as music, all I can say is that Beyoncé’s tour and her album are amazing. I’ve heard a little bit of some Hov shit and it’s fresh as f--k, but I can’t say anything about anything else."
Zaytoven Was in the Studio With Jay Z
Another clue came from an Instagram post in November 2016 by Zaytoven. The picture displayed Zay and Jay in the studio posing together with the caption reading "JAYtoven." Earlier this year in an interview with Billboard, the heavyweight beatmaker spoke on his interaction with Jay, and their collaboration possibly living on "both of our projects."
"So when Jay Z invited me to his house and told me what type of beats he wanted, it opened my mind up to be like, 'My music is reaching everybody and touching people in a certain way,'" the producer explained. "There's a distinct something when they hear my music. I feel like [the collaboration] is gonna be for both of [our projects]. I know it's going to be a trophy for me."
Mike WiLL Made-It Sent Beats to Hov Back in 2014
After connecting with Mike WiLL Made-It for their 2013 collaboration "Beach Is Better," the "Humble" producer told HipHopDX in 2014 that he sent over some beats to Jay. “I’ve been sending him tracks,” Mike WiLL said. “He’s been recording to them. He’s been telling me to put some stuff to the side. We don’t really know where it’s gonna land. Really, we’re just doing it for the art. Wherever it ends up landing, it ends up landing.” He also was running late to a studio session with Hov during an interview with Billboard last November.
Swizz Beatz Says Hov Is in "Album Mode"
The biggest giveaway came courtesy of Swizz Beatz late Thursday night (May 4). The "On to the Next One" producer took to Instagram and posted a photo of he and the Brooklyn rapper. "They don't even know what's about to happen ---------- Album ModeZone??," he wrote.
U.S. Weekly Reported That Jay's Album Might be a Response to Beyonce's Lemonade
In 2016, Beyonce's opus Lemonade stirred the proveribal pot after she referenced infidelity and a troublesome marriage through her lyrics. According to U.S. Weekly, after being chewed by the public for his possible involvement, Hov, was rumored to drop a responde album to tell "his side of things." In an interview with Billboard last year, Just Blaze (who produced Bey's Lemonade standout "Freedom") remained tight-lipped regarding a Hov project, though he previously told Spin that he has "at least two albums’ worth of Jay Z material sitting in my vault."
UPDATE (June 12, 2017): A Damian Marley collaboration could be in the works. The reggae star told Billboard that Hov was in Jamaica and the two linked up in the studio.
"Well, I did some work with him for some stuff that he's working on," Marley said. "I'm not really sure of the details of his project in that sense, but we worked on some music together. I've been a fan of his music since he came out. We've never done any musical work together. So that was a joy to finally work together musically."
UPDATE (June 19, 2017): Jay Z's Tidal released the 30-second teaser for "Adnis" off his upcoming album 4:44. The album will be available for Tidal and Sprint users exclusively on Friday, June 30.
Twitter is also spazzing that the album may be produced entirely by Hov's frequent collaborator, No I.D. Billboard has since confirmed that the "D.O.A." producer will in fact be working on the entire album.