Jay-Z was no doubt exhausted after releasing eight albums and almost 30 singles in just seven years. Nevertheless, his retirement lasted just two years. Indeed, Jay-Z did not seem to be in the mood for compromise, announcing his comeback with the I Declare War concert in New York in 2005. A year later saw the arrival of the Kingdom Come album. Jay-Z followed this with guest-heavy The Blueprint 3 in 2009 and scored another Billboard album-chart topper two years later with Watch the Throne, a joint recording with fellow hip-hop king Kanye West.
Yet more success followed, and in recent years Jay-Z has toured with Justin Timberlake, guested on tracks by Drake and DJ Khaled, and been become the first rap artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2017 he released his 13th studio effort, 4:44, but there was nothing unlucky about the album. Featuring appearances from Damian Marley, Frank Ocean and Jay-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter, the collection received a Record of the Year nomination at the Grammys.
By this point, Jay-Z had sold upwards of 50 million long players, and reached the top of the Billboard albums chart an incredible 14 times. Furthermore, he had shifted some 75 million singles and scored four number-ones for the format. The Brooklyn boy picked up no fewer than 21 Grammy Awards in the process. It is little wonder, therefore, that he is widely regarded as the greatest and most successful rapper in history.