One of the top hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs of our time, Jay-Z is also known for many other business ventures and for being married to Beyoncé.

Jay-Z’s rising to fame

Jay-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter on 4th of December, 1969 in New York City, and was raised in a troublesome neighborhood called Marcy Projects.Because the Projects were riddled with gangs, drugs and violence, Jay-Z started to rap as a mean of escaping the (then) harsh reality for him and his family.

Jay-z on stage in glastenbury
Jay-Z in Glastenbury

While visiting Brooklyn’s Eli Whitney High School he was classmate with the Notorious B.I.G, one of the most significant rappers of all time. He soon joined Jaz-O with whom they recorded a song called “The Originators”. The song was well received and landed them a presentation on MTV Raps.

YouTube video

The appearance on MTV was where Shawn embraced the name Jay-Z. His two friends Damon Dash and Kareem Burke signed him on their new record label called Roc-a-Fella Records. In June 1996 Jay-Z released his first album named Reasonable Doubt which wasn’t very successful and reached only number 23 on the Billboards charts in United States.

Jay-Z’s next album came in 1998 named “Hard Knock Life”. It came out  only two years after his debut album and achieved some success. The title track is the most famous Jay-Z’s rap song to date and it brought him his very first Grammy nomination.

This fortified Jay-Z’s position among the famous rap artists and he would soon skyrocket to the top. The following years Jay-Z released a wave of hit songs and albums, but the one that he is most known for is The Blueprint that came out in 2001. It is known as the best album of ’00 decade.

A retired superstar rapper

Only two years later came The Black Album, suppousedly Jay-Z’s last album before retirement in 2003. He simply stated that he cannot pursue his career any longer due to the lack of competition. There was a 3 year silent period from him until he made a comeback in 2006 with the album Kingdom Come.

The new albums took a different path to expressing music then before as they had more soul and rock roots.

Articles in same category: