Well, that was quick: Just nine months after swearing he was leaving the game for good, out of retirement comes Jay-Z, joining Ol' Blue Eyes, Bowie, and a long list of other entertainers who didn't stay gone long enough for us to miss them. The occasion is a sequel to his 2002 hip-hop-slash-R&B, king-of-the-streets-meets-the-king-of-the-bedroom pairing with R. Kelly, who hasn't let his own hangups -- charges of child pornography still pending in his native Chicago -- keep him out of the studio or off the charts; his latest two albums, Happy People/U Saved Me
, debuted inside the Billboard
top five last month.
Kelly's legal troubles were a primary reason his collaboration with Jay-Z, The Best of Both Worlds, sold poorly and wasn't accompanied by a tour. This time the duo announced its 40-date concert plans first, then revealed that an accompanying Best of Both Worlds album -- pointedly subtitled "Unfinished Business" -- will follow in late October. And since no one has appeared, in Jigga's absence or Kelly's time of trial, to dethrone either as kings of their respective genres, this is a tour with the potential to live up to its billing.