Music Article

The New 'Black'

Jay-Z will launch farewell tour with benefit concert. His Madison Square Garden gig in November will benefit his foundation for teens

Here's Jay-Z's latest blueprint: first, the ''Black'' concert, then ''The Black Album,'' the black sneakers, the ''Black'' tour, and finally, ''The Black Book.'' Then, with his finances well in the black, retirement.

On Nov. 28, a date he calls ''Black Friday,'' the rapper (real name: Shawn Carter) will release what he says will be his final full-length disc, ''The Black Album,'' as well as an all-black version of his S. Carter line of Reeboks. Early next year will be the publication of his memoir, ''The Black Book.'' First, however, there's the concert that will kick off his farewell tour, a show at New York's Madison Square Garden on Nov. 25. At a press conference on Wednesday, Jay-Z announced the concert, which he said would be a benefit, with proceeds going to Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Action Network and to his own charitable organization, the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund.

''I consider this my victory lap,'' Jay-Z said of the upcoming events. Still, don't expect the top rapper to disappear completely from the airwaves. By his definition, retirement means no more albums, but he'll still release singles.

Originally posted Sep 25, 2003