Jay-Z Jay-Z
Rapper, entrepreneur
Jay-Z Jay-Z
Shawn Corey Carter, better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. He is one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2012, Forbes estimated Carter's net worth at nearly $500 million. He has sold approximately 50 million albums worldwide, while receiving fourteen Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations.
Biography
Jay-Z's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Jay-Z from around the web
Jay-Z Recalls Rise From Public Housing To Boardroom In Rocawear Ad
MTV News - almost 5 years
'I don't know if you're ever done; it's almost like climbing a mountain,' Hov says in new clip. By Nadeska Alexis <P>Even after 16 fruitful years in the game, <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/jay_z/artist.jhtml">Jay-Z</a> continues to push himself, achieving new career milestones with each passing year. In a new ad for his Rocawear clothing line, titled "Marcy to Barclays," the Brooklyn-bred mogul reflects on his rise to the top. </P><P> </P><P>"Marcy to Barclays" references <a href="/news/articles/1633743/jay-z-and-the-nets-break-ground-in-brooklyn.jhtml">Jay-Z's investment in the NBA Nets</a> and their transition to the newly constructed Barclays Center, which the team will inhabit in Downtown Brooklyn beginning this fall. The 30-second, black-and-white clip begins with snapshots of New York City an ...
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MTV News article
Atlantic Yards Report: Ratner amps up the Jay-Z claim: “He is the one that is not only designing the suites, but the lounges, the restaurants, giving the thing a whole feel.”
The Brooklyn Paper - almost 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-37799" href="/Bruce+Ratner+1">Bruce Ratner</a> gives a tour of the under-construction Barclays Center to the ever-unskeptical Fox 5.”Everything in this arena is related to Brooklyn. What do I mean by that? The exterior …
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The Brooklyn Paper article
Katy Perry: This one goes out to all my ninjas
Byron Shire News - almost 5 years
ALL-American singer's attempt to cover classic by <a class="fplink fp-132665" href="/Jay+Z+1">Jay-Z</a> and <a class="fplink fp-159319" href="/Kanye+West+1">Kanye West</a> is as about as awkward as you'd expect it to be.
Article Link:
Byron Shire News article
Hip-Hop Rumors: Jay-Z Working on $150 Million Tour Deal for Beyonce
All Hip Hop - almost 5 years
Jay-Z is reportedly brokering a tour deal for Beyonce worth $150 Million! Sources are saying that Jigga has approached Live Nation to partner with Bey for a world tour that would be dubbed as Beyonce’s “comeback” after giving birth to her first child, Blue Ivy Carter. “Just weeks after the birth of Blue Ivy, Jay…
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All Hip Hop article
Hip-Hop Rumors: Jay-Z Shelving Jay Electronica Album For Lack of Singles
All Hip Hop - almost 5 years
Last week, <a class="fplink fp-132736" href="/Jay+Electronica+1">Jay Electronica</a> tweeted that his album was completely done and had already been handed in to his label, Roc Nation. Well, according to Questlove of the Roots, Roc Nation boss Jay-Z doesn’t feel the album is complete because it “has no singles on it.” “Jay, Shawn Carter, has the record and listens to…
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All Hip Hop article
PHOTOS: June Ambrose Fetes 'Styled By June' With Jay-Z
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
If you're one of June Ambrose's nearly 400,000 devoted Twitter followers or loved watching her high-fashion high jinx videos on Youtube then you've been waiting...
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Huffington Post article
Jay-Z rocks SXSW
CNN - almost 5 years
Getting up early to wait in line for tickets to a concert was never so fruitful. As one of the first few in line I scored sweet floor tix to the AMEX Sync Show featuring Jay-Z. By far one of the best shows I've been to, and probably one I'd never be able to actually get such great tix to normally. THANKS AMEX!
Article Link:
CNN article
Jay-Z Takes Over SXSW With Hit-Packed Set
Rolling Stone - almost 5 years
For roughly 75 minutes on Monday night Jay-Z led a New York takeover of downtown Austin The proof came near the end of his special AmEX-Sync concert for SXSW when Jay-Z asked some 2700 fans in attendance how many New Yorkers were in the house before launching into "Empire State of...
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Rolling Stone article
Jay-Z gets police escort to concert
Bucks Free Press - almost 5 years
Jay-Z had to use a police escort to get him to a gig at South By Southwest, after arriving in late to Texas.
Article Link:
Bucks Free Press article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jay-Z
    FORTIES
  • 2012
    Age 41
    In May 2012, Jay-Z announced his endorsement of President Obama's support of same-sex marriage for gay couples.
    More Details Hide Details Harry Belafonte has been openly critical of Jay-Z and Beyoncé's relatively safe political stances, saying that they "have turned their back on social responsibility" in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. Studio albums Collaboration albums
    Jay-Z took the subway to his sold out show at The Barclays Center On October 6, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Jay-Z that states his earliest exposure to music was through his parents' record collection, which was mostly of soul artists such as Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway. He says "I grew up around music, listening to all types of people... I'm into music that has soul in it, whether it be rap, R&B, pop music, whatever. As long as I can feel their soul through the wax, that's what I really listen to." He often uses excerpts from these artists as samples in his work, particularly in the Kanye West-productions included on The Blueprint. Royce da 5'9" and Fredro Starr of Onyx both describe Jay-Z's emphasis on flow in the book How to Rap – Starr says that Jay-Z is "a master of the flow—he can flow fast, he can flow slow". The book describes how Jay-Z uses 'rests' to provide structure to a verse and how he uses 'partial linking' to add more rhymes to a verse. Jay-Z's early style is described by Vibe as "a distinctly Das EFX-type, stiggety style" on his 12" single "Can't Get With That", referring to the fast rhythms and vocal delivery of the group Das EFX. He is also known to write lyrics in his head, as described by Pusha T of Clipse in How to Rap, a style popular with many MCs such as The Notorious B.I.G., Everlast, Bobby Creekwater and Guerilla Black.
    Jay-Z and Rihanna are to be the two main headlining acts for BBC Radio 1's 2012 Hackney Weekend music festival on June 23 to June 24.
    More Details Hide Details Jay-Z opened his set with an appearance from Rihanna, they performed "Run this Town". On September 6, "Clique" was released, a single for the album "Cruel Summer", by GOOD Music. Kanye West and Big Sean star alongside Jay-Z in the track.
    He hit me right back like, ‘Yo, I’ma go in on this,’ or, ‘I like this.’” The same month, Jay-Z and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Jay-Z will be the curator and the headliner for the first annual "Budweiser Made in America" festival at Fairmont Park in Philadelphia on September 1 and September 2, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details The performance will be produced by Live Nation and will assemble an eclectic lineup of “rock, hip hop, R&B, latin music and dance” musicians.
    In May 2012 it was reported that Jay-Z is working on new music with Roc Nation producer Jahlil Beats.
    More Details Hide Details In an interview with XXL, Beats stated: "Me and Jay-Z been going back and forth. He picked a couple of my joints that he’s working on. I don’t even wanna say too much about Jay, but we definitely working on some stuff. I haven’t even sent him a bunch of beats. I sent him my favorite stuff.
    On January 9, 2012, Jay-Z released "Glory", a song dedicated to their child, on his social website LifeandTimes.com.
    More Details Hide Details The song detailed the couple's pregnancy struggles, including a miscarriage Knowles suffered before becoming pregnant with their daughter. Because Blue's cries were included at the end of the song and she was officially credited on the song as "B.I.C", at 2 days old she became the youngest person ever to appear on a Billboard chart when "Glory" debuted on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number 74. During his retirement, Jay-Z also became involved in philanthropic activity. On August 9, 2006, he met with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan at the organization's headquarters in New York City. The rapper pledged to use his upcoming world tour to raise awareness of and combat global water shortage. Already on the look-out for a way to, in his own words, "become helpful", he had been made aware of this issue during a visit to Africa. The effort took place in partnership with the UN, as well as MTV, which produced a documentary entitled Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life, first airing in November 2006. Along with Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross' relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. Jay-Z stated his support for Kanye West after the latter's outburst against President Bush during a live Katrina charity telethon. He also addressed the issue of the Katrina disaster, and the government's response, in his song "Minority Report".
    He encouraged the team's relocation to Brooklyn's Barclays Center (from New Jersey) in the 2012–2013 season, at which point the team took on the Brooklyn Nets moniker.
    More Details Hide Details In October 2005, he was reported in English media as considering buying a stake of Arsenal F.C., an English soccer team. He has also invested in a real estate development venture called J Hotels which recently acquired a $66 million mid-block parcel in Chelsea, New York. Jay-Z and his partners are contemplating constructing a high-end hotel or an art gallery building on the newly acquired site which has the potential to go up about twelve stories. Through his company Gain Global Investments Network LLC, he had an interest estimated between 2 and 7% in the Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) consortium, which in January 2010 was awarded a contract to operate a 4,500 slot machine racino at the Aqueduct Race Track. Jay-Z became interested in the project after New York Governor David Paterson who awarded the contract said there had to be an affirmative action component to the ownership. Jay-Z initially approached Steve Wynn who was also bidding on the contract. On March 9, 2010, Jay-Z and Flake withdrew from the project and Paterson recused himself from further involvement.
  • 2011
    Age 40
    In April 2011, Jay-Z launched a blog-like, lifestyle website by the name of Life + Times.
    More Details Hide Details It covers everything from music, to fashion, to technology, to sports. The site is curated based on Jay-Z's interests, and he himself works with a small staff to produce every single piece of content. Jay-Z collaborated with M.I.A. on the single "XXXO", which achieved a fair level of success and went on to become remixed by several producers worldwide. On September 23, 2010, Q-Tip confirmed working on Jay-Z's follow up album to The Blueprint 3, saying the album was to hit stores by spring 2011. The album has not yet been released; it has been confirmed 3 songs have been recorded and one of which features Frank Ocean.
    Jay-Z and West later gave a surprise performance of "Otis" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.
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    At the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé revealed that she was pregnant with their first child and on January 7, 2012, she gave birth to their daughter, named Blue Ivy Carter, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 2010
    Age 39
    In August 2010, it was revealed that Jay-Z and Kanye West would be collaborating on a five-track EP entitled Watch the Throne.
    More Details Hide Details Although, it was later revealed by West that the project had become a full-length LP. Recording sessions for the album took place at various recording locations and began in November 2010. The first single released for the project was "H•A•M". The track was co-produced by Lex Luger and West himself. The track ended up being on the deluxe edition of the album. The follow-up to that was the second single "Otis", which premiered on Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show, and was later released to the iTunes Store eleven days later. The song's existence, along with several other tracks from the album, was confirmed during a listening session hosted by Jay-Z. The album was first released on the iTunes Store, five days prior to it being released in physical format, a strategy Jay-Z later said was used to block an internet leak. It debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Store in 23 countries. It also broke Coldplay's record for most albums sold in one week on the online retailer, selling 290,000 copies on iTunes alone. It held that record, until Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV was released twenty-one days later, selling only 10,000 copies more. It debuted on the US Billboard 200 chart at No. 1, selling 436,000 copies in its first week. The album received generally positive reviews.
    Jay-Z was the supporting act for U2 on the Australian and New Zealand leg of their U2 360° Tour, beginning in Auckland, New Zealand in November 2010, followed by Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth in December.
    More Details Hide Details He also appeared on stage during U2 performances of "Sunday Bloody Sunday", and in Auckland also joined the band for a performance of "Scarlet", singing some lines of his song, "History".
    In June 2010, Eminem and Jay-Z announced they would perform together in a pair of concerts in Detroit and New York.
    More Details Hide Details The event was dubbed The Home & Home Tour. The first two concerts rapidly sold out, prompting the scheduling of an additional show at each venue.
    On January 23, 2010, Jay-Z released a track, "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)", with Rihanna, and U2's Bono and The Edge, as well as performing it at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon.
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  • 2009
    Age 38
    At his concert on November 8, 2009 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, Rihanna joined him on stage and performed "Hard" for the very first time, then performed "Run This Town" with Jay-Z. Among his success, Jay-Z has ventured into producing Broadway shows.
    More Details Hide Details Along with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Jay-Z helped produced the play Fela!, a musical celebrating the work of the late Nigerian star Fela Kuti. Jay-Z said he was inspired by the power of Kuti's work and his life story, which resulted in his interest to help produce the musical. Fela! is a story about an African pioneer and political activist who made his first moves on the scene during the 1970s.
    His North American tour continued until November 22, 2009.
    More Details Hide Details
    On October 9, 2009, Jay-Z kicked off his tour for The Blueprint 3, during which he supported his new album in North America.
    More Details Hide Details In a Shave Magazine review of his performance at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Jake Tomlinson expressed that "It was the type of smooth performance you would expect from the hip-hop superstar." The review gave this performance 4 stars.
    Jay-Z's 11th studio album The Blueprint 3 was originally to be released on September 11, 2009 but was instead released in North America on September 8, 2009 due to increasing anticipation.
    More Details Hide Details Its international release followed on September 14. It is his 11th album to reach No.1 on the Billboard 200 and has surpassed Elvis Presley's previous record, making him the current record holder.
    On May 21, 2009, Jay-Z announced he would be parting ways with Def Jam, and had struck a multi-million dollar deal to sign with Live Nation, with whom he would start his Roc Nation imprint which would serve as a record label, talent/management agency, and music publishing company and also partnered up with production team Stargate to start a record label called StarRoc.
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  • 2008
    Age 37
    Jay-Z got actively involved in politics during the 2008 presidential campaign, where he supported increased voter participation and helped send voters to polling stations.
    More Details Hide Details He was an early supporter for the candidacy of Illinois senator and subsequent U.S. president Barack Obama, performing for free in voter-drive concerts financed by the Democrats' campaign. He also became acquainted with Obama himself, who stated "Every time I talk to Jay-Z, who is a brilliant talent and a good guy, I enjoy how he thinks. That's somebody who is going to start branching out and can help shape attitudes in a real positive way." During the 2010 mid-term elections' campaign, Jay-Z appeared, along with other artists, in an ad prepared by the HeadCount organization, urging voters, and especially younger ones, to register and vote.
    They kept a low profile while dating, and married quietly in April 2008. It became a matter of public record on April 22, 2008, but Knowles did not publicly debut her $5 million Lorraine Schwartz-designed wedding ring until the Fashion Rocks concert on September 5, 2008 in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details Knowles and Jay-Z were listed as the most powerful couple for TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2006. In January 2009, Forbes ranked them as Hollywood's top-earning couple, with a combined total of $162 million. They also made it to the top of the list the following year, with a combined total of $122 million between June 2008 and June 2009.
    During Kanye West's August 6, 2008 concert at Madison Square Garden, Jay-Z came out to perform a new song and he and Kanye proclaimed that it was to be on The Blueprint 3.
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    He also headlined many other summer festivals in 2008, including Roskilde Festival in Denmark, Hove Festival in Norway and O2 Wireless Festival in London.
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    He married American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles on April 4, 2008. They gave birth to a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter in January 2012.
    More Details Hide Details On December 11, 2009, Jay-Z was ranked as the 10th most successful artist of 2000s by Billboard and ranking as the 5th top solo male artist and as the 4th top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent. He is also ranked the 88th greatest artist of all time, according to Rolling Stone.
    It was announced on February 2, 2008 that Jay-Z would headline the 2008 Glastonbury Festival, becoming the first major hip hop artist to headline the British festival.
    More Details Hide Details Tickets sold out before the opening of the festival. One of the more outspoken critics of his selection was Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame, who criticized the organizers of the festival for scheduling Jay-Z as a headliner for the traditionally guitar-driven festival, stating "I'm sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance. Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music and even when they throw the odd curve ball in on a Sunday night you go 'Kylie Minogue?' I don't know about it. But I'm not having hip hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong." Controversy ensued in the months leading up to the event with artists, promoters and fans weighing in both for and against. Jay-Z responded to this saying, "We don't play guitars, Noel, but hip hop has put in its work like any other form of music. This headline show is just a natural progression. Rap music is still evolving. We have to respect each other's genre of music and move forward." In response to Gallagher's criticism, Jay-Z opened his Glastonbury set with a tongue-in-cheek cover of Oasis's iconic song "Wonderwall". His Glastonbury performance was heralded as a successful response to pre-festival criticism.
  • 2007
    Age 36
    On December 24, 2007, Jay-Z stated that he would not remain at Def Jam as the company's President, and vacated the position effective of January 1, 2008.
    More Details Hide Details
    Jay-Z released his tenth album entitled American Gangster on November 6, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details After viewing the Ridley Scott film of the same name, he was heavily inspired to create a new "concept" album that depicts his experiences as a street-hustler. The album is not the film's official soundtrack, although it was distributed by Def Jam. Jay-Z's American Gangster depicts his life in correlation to the movie American Gangster. At the start of the album's first single, "Blue Magic", Jay-Z offers a dealer's manifesto while making references to political figures of the late 1980s with the lyric: "Blame Reagan for making me to into a monster, blame Oliver North and Iran-Contra, I ran contraband that they sponsored, before this rhymin' stuff we was in concert." Also notable about the "Blue Magic" music video was Jay-Z flashing 500 euro notes, in what Harvard Business School professor Rawi Abdelal has called a "turning point in American pop culture's response to globalization." The album has sold 1 million copies in the US.
  • 2006
    Age 35
    Jay-Z's comeback single, "Show Me What You Got", was leaked on the Internet in early October 2006, scheduled to be released later on that month, received heavy air-play after its leak, causing the FBI to step in and investigate.
    More Details Hide Details Jay-Z worked with video director Hype Williams, and the single's video was directed by F. Gary Gray. The album features producers such as Just Blaze, Pharrell, Kanye West, Dr. Dre and Coldplay's Chris Martin (single entitled "Beach Chair"). The first week saw 680,000 sales of the CD, which Entertainment Weekly said was "the highest single-week total in Jay's decade long career". This album has sold 2 million copies in the US.
    Jay-Z returned with his comeback album on November 21, 2006 titled Kingdom Come.
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  • 2005
    Age 34
    On October 27, 2005, Jay-Z headlined New York's Power 105.1 annual concert, Powerhouse.
    More Details Hide Details The concert was entitled the "I Declare War" concert leading to intense speculation in the weeks preceding the event on whom exactly Jay-Z would declare war. As he had previously "declared war" on other artists taking lyrical shots at him at other events, many believed that the Powerhouse show would represent an all-out assault by Jay-Z upon his rivals. The theme of the concert was Jay-Z's position as President and CEO of Def Jam, complete with an on-stage mock-up of the Oval Office. Many artists made appearances such as the old roster of Roc-A-Fella records artists, as well as Ne-Yo, Teairra Marí, T.I., Young Jeezy, Akon, Kanye West, Paul Wall, The LOX, and Diddy. At the conclusion of the concert, Jay-Z put many arguments to rest to the surprise of hip hop fans. The most significant development in this show was closure to the infamous hip hop rivalry between Jay-Z and Nas. The two former rivals shook hands and shared the stage together to perform Jay-Z's "Dead Presidents" blended with Nas's song "The World is Yours".
  • 2004
    Age 33
    Later in 2004, Jay-Z was named president of Def Jam Records, which led to Jay-Z, Dash and Biggs selling their remaining interests in Roc-A-Fella Records and Jay-Z taking control of both of the companies.
    More Details Hide Details Reportedly this major industry move was prompted by disagreements between Jay-Z and Dash as to what direction Roc-A-Fella could undertake. The publicized split between Jay-Z, Dash and Biggs led to the former partners sending jabs at each other in interviews.
    In 2004, Jay-Z collaborated with rock group Linkin Park, in which they released their collaborative remix EP Collision Course, which featured mashups of both artists' songs, as well as a concert DVD.
    More Details Hide Details The album's only single, "Numb/Encore", went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and was performed with Linkin Park live at the Grammys, with a special appearance by Paul McCartney, who added verses from the song "Yesterday". The EP sold over 1 million copies in the US. Jay-Z was the executive producer of The Rising Tied, the debut album of Fort Minor, the hip hop side project of Linkin Park rapper Mike Shinoda.
  • 2003
    Age 32
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 The 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, as well as the release and tour of Unfinished Business, the second collaborative album between Jay-Z and R. Kelly.
  • 2002
    Age 31
    Jay-Z's next solo album was 2002's The Blueprint2: The Gift & the Curse, a double-album.
    More Details Hide Details The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number one, selling over 3 million units in the U.S. alone and surpassing The Blueprint. It was later reissued in a single-disc version, The Blueprint 2.1, which retained half of the tracks from the original. The album spawned two massive hit singles, "Excuse Me Miss" and "'03 Bonnie & Clyde", which featured Jay-Z's future wife Beyoncé Knowles. "Guns & Roses", a track featuring rock musician Lenny Kravitz, and "Hovi Baby" were two successful radio singles as well. The album also contained the tracks "A Dream", featuring Faith Evans and the late The Notorious B.I.G.; and "The Bounce", featuring Kanye West. The Blueprint 2.1 featured tracks that do not appear on The Blueprint2: The Gift & the Curse, such as "Stop", "La La La (Excuse Me Again)", "What They Gonna Do, Part II" and "Beware" produced by and featuring Panjabi MC.
  • 2001
    Age 30
    He later performed the song "Takeover", at Summer Jam 2001, which initially attacked Prodigy and revealed photos of Prodigy dressed like Michael Jackson.
    More Details Hide Details A line at the end of "Takeover" referenced Nas, who criticized him on "We Will Survive". Nas responded with a diss track called "Ether" and almost instantly, Jay-Z added a verse to "Takeover" which dissed Nas and would start a feud between the two rappers. Jay-Z later released his sixth studio album The Blueprint which was later considered by many to be one of hip hop's "classic" albums, receiving the coveted 5 mic review from The Source magazine. Released during the wake of September 11 attacks, the album managed to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, selling more than 427,000 units; the album's success was overshadowed by the tragic event. The Blueprint has been certified 2x Platinum in the United States. The Blueprint was applauded for its production and the balance of "mainstream" and "hardcore" rap, receiving recognition from both audiences. The Blueprint was written in only two days. Eminem was the only guest rapper on the album, producing and rapping on the song "Renegade". Four of the thirteen tracks on the album were produced by Kanye West and represents one of West's first major breaks in the industry. The Blueprint includes the popular songs "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)", "Girls, Girls, Girls", "Jigga That Nigga" and "Song Cry".
    In 2001, Jay-Z spoke out against Prodigy after he took an issue with a Jay-Z line from "Money, Cash, Hoes" that he felt were subliminal shots at Mobb Deep and referenced Mobb Deep's beef with Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Death Row Records.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 2000
    Age 29
    In 2000, Jay-Z released The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, which was originally intended to become a compilation album for Roc-A-Fella artists but somehow turned into a Jay-Z album.
    More Details Hide Details The album helped to introduce newcomer producers The Neptunes, Just Blaze, Kanye West and Bink, which have all gone on to achieve notable success. This is also the first album where Jay-Z utilizes a more soulful sound than his previous albums. The Dynasty sold over two million units in the U.S. alone.
  • 1999
    Age 28
    In 1999, Jay-Z dueted with Mariah Carey on "Heartbreaker", a song from her seventh album, Rainbow.
    More Details Hide Details In that same year, Jay-Z released Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter, the album proved to be successful and sold over 3 million records. Vol. 3s most successful single was "Big Pimpin'", featuring UGK. Around the same time, Jay-Z was accused of stabbing record executive Lance "Un" Rivera for what Jay-Z perceived was Rivera's bootlegging of Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter. The stabbing allegedly occurred at the record release party for Q-Tip's debut solo album Amplified at the Kit Kat Klub, a now defunct night club in Times Square, New York City, on December 9. Jay-Z's associates at the party were accused of causing a commotion within the club, which Jay-Z allegedly used as cover when he supposedly stabbed Rivera in the stomach with a five-inch (127 mm) blade. In his book Decoded, Jay-Z addresses his assault case. While he didn't apologize for his actions, he did express regret that the incident happened and attributed it to a loss of control, saying that there was no reason for him to get into a situation that put him and people who depended on him at risk. He also vowed to never get involved in a similar situation again.
  • 1998
    Age 27
    In 1998, Jay-Z released Vol. 2...
    More Details Hide Details Hard Knock Life which spawned the biggest hit of his career at the time, "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)". He relied more on flow and wordplay, and he continued with his penchant for mining beats from the popular producers of the day such as Swizz Beatz, an upstart in-house producer for Ruff Ryders, and Timbaland. Other producers included DJ Premier, Erick Sermon, The 45 King, and Kid Capri. Charting hits from this album included "Can I Get A ", featuring Ja Rule and Amil, and "Nigga What, Nigga Who", also featuring Amil. Vol. 2 would eventually become Jay-Z's most commercially successful album; it was certified 5× Platinum in the United States and has to date sold over five million copies. The album went on to win a Grammy Award, although Jay-Z boycotted the ceremony protesting DMX's failure to garner a Grammy nomination.
  • 1997
    Age 26
    After reaching a new distribution deal with Def Jam in 1997, Jay-Z released his follow-up In My Lifetime, Vol. 1.
    More Details Hide Details Executively produced by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, it sold better than his previous effort. Jay-Z later explained that the album was made during one of the worst periods of his life, he was reeling from the death of his close friend The Notorious B.I.G. The album was a personal revelation for Jay-Z as he spun the tale of his hard knock upbringing. The album's glossy production stood as a contrast to his first release, and some dedicated fans felt he had "sold out". However, the album did feature some beats from producers who had worked with him on Reasonable Doubt, namely DJ Premier and Ski. Like its predecessor, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 earned Platinum status in the United States.
  • 1996
    Age 25
    After striking a deal with Priority to distribute his material, Jay-Z released his 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt with beats from acclaimed producers such as DJ Premier and Super DJ Clark Kent and a notable appearance by The Notorious B.I.G..
    More Details Hide Details The album reached number 23 on the Billboard 200, and was well received by critics. This album would later be included in Rolling Stones "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" as No.248 and eventually reach platinum status.
  • 1995
    Age 24
    From the beginning of his professional recording career, when no major label gave him a record deal, Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and Kareem Biggs created Roc-A-Fella Records as their own independent label in 1995.
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    He made an appearance on a popular song by Big L, "Da Graveyard", and on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build", which also featured early appearances by DMX, and Ja Rule in 1995.
    More Details Hide Details His first official rap single was called "I Can't Get With That", for which he released a music video.
  • 1994
    Age 23
    He first became known to a wide audience by being featured on the posse cut "Show and Prove" on the 1994 Big Daddy Kane album Daddy's Home.
    More Details Hide Details Jay-Z has been referred to as Big Daddy Kane's hype man during this period, though Kane explains that he didn't fill the traditional hype man role, instead Jay-Z "basically made cameo appearances on stage. When I would leave the stage to go change outfits, I would bring out Jay-Z and Positive K and let them freestyle until I came back to the stage".
  • TEENAGE
  • 1982
    Age 11
    Originally from Marcy Houses, a housing project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, the future "Jay-Z" then known as Shawn Carter, was abandoned by his father and in 1982, he shot his brother in the shoulder for stealing his jewelry.
    More Details Hide Details Carter attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, along with future rapper AZ, until it was closed down. After that he attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Downtown Brooklyn, with fellow future rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes, and Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, but did not graduate. In his music he refers to having been involved in selling crack cocaine. According to his mother, Gloria Carter, her son Shawn used to wake his siblings up at night banging out drum patterns on the kitchen table. Eventually, she bought him a boom box for his birthday, sparking his interest in music. He began freestyling, writing lyrics, and followed the music of many artists popular at the time. In his neighborhood, Carter was known as "Jazzy", a nickname that eventually developed into his showbiz/stage name, "Jay-Z". The moniker is also an homage to his musical mentor, Jaz-O, as well as to the J/Z subway lines that have a stop at Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn.
  • OTHER
  • 1967
    Age -4
    Born on December 4, 1967.
    More Details Hide Details
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