On November 25 , 2003 , Jay-Z held a concert at Madison Square Garden , which would later be the focus of his film Fade to Black . This concert was his "retirement party." All proceeds went to charity . Other performers included collaborators like The Roots (in the form of his backing band), Missy Elliott , Memphis Bleek , Beanie Siegel , Freeway , Mary J. Blige , Beyoncé , Twista , Ghostface Killah , Foxy Brown , Pharrell and R. Kelly with special appearances by Voletta Wallace and Afeni Shakur ; the mothers of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur respectively.

While Jay-Z had attested to a retirement from making new studio albums, various side projects and appearances soon followed. Included in these were a greatest hits record, mash-up projects and concert appearances with R. Kelly , Linkin Park and Phish . These appearances have kept his name in the spotlight and furthered peoples' speculation that he would not remain retired for long. The Brooklyn artist admits to why he has decided to retire. "It's a plan", Jay-z said."I want the fans to think I'm going to retire, so when I make that great comeback everyone's all excited and they buy the album." Some see it as a great business plan, others see it as Jay trying to pull one over on his fans.

Jay-Z was the executive producer of Fort Minor 's debut album The Rising Tied . Mike Shinoda got together with Jay-Z himself, as well as his Linkin Park bandmate Brad Delson , and they went over what tracks they thought should make the album.



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