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!
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31