JAY-Z found himself at the center of an elaborate April Fools’ Day joke.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that the Roc Nation mogul was releasing an African-themed album called Ascension. An alleged cover and tracklist made its way around the net, originating from Nigerian music website NotJustOK.
The project claimed to feature 16 tracks, including collaborations with Beyoncé, Rick Ross, and H.E.R., as well as prominent African artists like Nasty C, Femi Kuti, Olamide, and Sarkodie.
The purported tracklist gained traction after one of the featured artists, Nasty C, shared it with his 3 million followers on Instagram.
NotJustOK even went as far to say that the “surprise Africa-themed album” would be a TIDAL exclusive for its first weekend of release and even attributed a quote to JAY-Z.
“I’ve always wanted to get in touch with my roots and connect to the motherland,” read the alleged statement. “You know, Africa is blessed with so much talent and I felt like it was time to tap into that resource. The Ascension is not just talking or focusing on Africa but it’s also about me giving back to the people, familiarizing with the culture and connecting more with the motherland.”
But it all turned out to be one big April Fools’ prank. “We just want to say Happy April Fools Day,” the site concluded.
JAY-Z’s name started to trend on Twitter as fans weighed in over the possibility of such an album, while others were quick to realize that it was April 1. See some of the reactions below.
First it was Beyonce vs Africa on an album. With Olamide and Sarkodie on Jay-Z’s album, it’s Jay-Z vs Africa!
RocNation now rocking continents!!!
— Goodness & Mercy (@IFEontheMIC) April 1, 2021
— smokin_bandit (@smokin_bandit) April 1, 2021
Jay-Z is not naming an album Ascension for starters. Let’s be serious
— Don Paolo, The Creator. (@PaoloAbamwa) April 1, 2021
Y’all know it’s April 1st right ? Jay-Z ain’t droppin no damn African Ascension album.
— DEAD PRE$IDENT (@BlazeMxxlaH) April 1, 2021
Imagine if the Jay-Z Ascension album starts off being an April Fools joke, which turns out to be real that would be epic and crazy good marketing.
— Zimbabwean Lives Matter!!! (@Gudo2021) April 1, 2021