He was born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York, but the world knows him better as Jay-Z. At the time when he chose the moniker that would make him famous, Carter had no idea it would become a household name around the world. But then, who would have imagined that hip-hop could make it that far?
From humble roots and mostly due to his rap skills and business savvy, Jay-Z is one of rap music’s best known and financially successful MCs. He’s an artist first, but his creation of the Roc-A-Fella label imprint and his subsequent presidency of Def Jam Records have all added to his bottom line. His career is still the dream of most in the hip-hop world, one built on a combination of artistic respect and commercial success.
Jay-Z started out in Brooklyn like most kids of the time, fired up by the new form of verbal expression available through rap music. He was also reportedly a drug dealer who was well known to his peers in the Marcy Housing Projects. Whatever is true about his career as a hustler, Jay made his fortune rhyming about the streets, the crack game and the combination of skills needed to survive and thrive in his “hard-knock life.” Along the way, he shored up the spirits of the Brooklyn community after the death of their homegrown legend, the Notorious B.I.G., emerging as the borough’s most viable rap artist in the wake of Biggie’s death.
In the 2000s, with seven albums throughout the decade, Jay-Z stood tall over the competition. His hits, his pop culture influence and his dominance of the marketplace are what have made him one of rap’s most enduring artists. In fact, it is his 11-album catalogue has been the center of Jay’s success, unlike many other rap artists who’ve enjoyed enormous grosses outside of the career they began with. (See Will Smith, LL Cool J and Ice Cube.) He’s no model or actor, nor a commercial pitchman, but Jay made some brilliant moves in and outside of the studio by investing in himself and exercising quality control in his work. His label moves and his deals would be imitated by others in the rap game, but his overall blueprint hasn’t been duplicated.
His marriage to superstar Beyonce Knowles could have been viewed as another savvy move, as his might be the only woman on the planet aside from Oprah Winfrey who has as much money and as great a work ethic as he does. But if you read between the lines of Jay-Z’s songs, (“Lost Ones,” for example) it appears that their’s is a love match among real equals. How refreshing. On this as in everything else he does, Carter leads the pack.
Next up: His fourth collaborative album, “Watch the Throne,” with Kanye West, an artist he put on the map as a producer and watched turn into one of the few artists near his caliber. Also on deck is J. Cole, the latest to get the Jay-Z Stamp of Approval as one of his first signees to Roc Nation. (But no pressure, though.)
May real hip-hop reign!
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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