Shawn Corey Carter was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1969 as the youngest child of Gloria Carter. His childhood was very difficult growing up in the Marcy Projects, an area riddled with drugs and gang violence. At the age of 11, his father left his family and his mother had to take care of four children on her own.
He started rapping at a very young age and he saw music and hip-hop as a way of creating a better life for himself. He first worked with an older rapper Jazz-O, his mentor, which inspired the name Jay-Z.
His first hit titled The Originators appeared on MTV Raps but his career didn’t take off just then. In 1996, he joined a new record label called Roc-a-Fella Records and there he released his debut album titled Reasonable Doubt which hit the 23rd spot on the Billboard 200 – a huge step forward.
The album became a classic and over the next decade, he released dozens of new albums that topped the charts. Many of his albums went multi-platinum and won GRAMMYs. In 2003, he retired from rap music and worked on his record label, clothing line, and various business enterprises. In 2007 he came back into the music scene as an artist.
In the News
Jay-Z has been surrounded by a lot of rumors and controversies, which is normal for a celebrity of his caliber. In 2005 there were stories about Jay-Z and Beyoncé breaking up due to his affair with Rihanna. There were also rumors about Jay-Z having a son outside of his marriage with Beyoncé, but they were never confirmed.
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