By K.B. Tindal
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
It’s always difficult to associate Jay-Z with a comeback, because it poses the question of when he fell off. But, being honest, this time a year ago few people figured he would come back with a new solo album. Jay-Z appeared to have settled into his executive role and done with hip hop.
Meanwhile, plenty of new faces and names took over, with his former enemy and current friend, Nas, having a strong year. Whether they be friend or foe, Jay-Z and Nas will always be in competition, whether they are involved or not. This year saw a new alliance between Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z take shape.
Not even ten days into the year of 2013, Jay-Z provided a guest verse on Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie.” Soon, they were on their own tour, Legends of the Summer, and they had the focus of the game. Jay-Z’s work with Justin Timberlake, alone, made for an interesting comeback, but when he announced his album, he immediately took the game back over.
Kendrick Lamar had a phenomenal year in 2012 with the release of his good kid, m.A.A.d. city album, which captivated the game and caused quite the stir. The Compton emcee made it clear he would not put out a follow-up in 2013, but he did turn “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” into a single, with Young Guru adding Jay-Z to the remix, putting himself back out there. Later in the year, Jay-Z also jumped on Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, closing the album on “Pound Cake.”
Justin Timberlake was right there to support, Jay-Z, equally sharing the lead single, “Holy Grail,” which put him right back in the top five that he has begun to call home. Magna Carta Holy Grail was a history-making album, as Jay-Z made the RIAA certify him platinum in a day, based off the digital sales via Samsung, a partnership between him and the company. Never before had an artist made himself platinum and then the actual sales had Jay-Z double platinum within weeks.
In a year where it was obvious hip hop moved on, with Rick Ross, Future, Drake, Ace Hood, Lil Wayne, and the others dominating, it was good to have a bit of nostalgia in the air. Jay-Z came back with some stellar singles that radio has adopted, such as “Tom Ford” and now his “Part II (On The Run)” single with Beyonce. True, Jay-Z is never out of the game, but it had been a while since he dropped new music and that was definitely the biggest comeback of the year.
Watch “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake ft. Jay-Z below:
Watch “Picasso Baby” by Jay-Z below:
Watch “Holy Grail” by Jay-Z ft. Justin Timberlake below:
Watch Jay-Z’s performance in Dublin, Ireland below:
Watch Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Barclays Center performance below:
Watch “Drunk in Love” by Beyonce ft. Jay-Z below:
Follow K.B. Tindal on Twitter @KBTindal.