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Jay-Z

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Shawn Corey Carter was born 4 December 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Raised in Brooklyn, Carter was a school friend of The Notorious B.I.G.. He first started releasing records in the late 1980s. In 1990, he appeared on records by his close friend, Jaz ("The Originators") and Original Flavor ("Can I Get Open"), and later scored an underground hit single with 1995's "In My Lifetime". Drawing on Jaz's dealings with mercenary labels, Jay-Z set up his own Roc-A-Fella imprint in 1996 with entrepreneur 'Damon Dash' and 'Kareem 'Biggs' Burke'. His debut set, "Reasonable Doubt", which reached US number 23 in July, attracted fans with a mixture of hard-hitting street lyrics and rhymes, epitomized by the collaboration with The Notorious B.I.G. on "Brooklyn's Finest". The follow-up, "In My Lifetime, Vol. 1", was released in the aftermath of The Notorious B.I.G.'s murder, and debuted at US number 3 in November 1997. Featuring guest appearances from Sean Combs (aka "Puff Daddy"), Lil' Kim, Too $hort, Blackstreet and DJ Premier, this sombre and intensely personal album included the stand-out tracks, "You Must Love Me" and "Where I'm From". Although in demand as a guest artist, Jay-Z found the time to write, produce, and direct the semi-autobiographical short, "Streets is Watching". The gold-selling soundtrack introduced several of Roc-A-Fella's rising stars, including Memphis Bleek, Rell and Diamonds N' Ruff, and featured the hit single, "It's Alright". Jay-Z then became a major star with the hit singles, "Can I Get A ... " and "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)", the latter built around a line from the musical, "Annie". One of the more bizarre samples to be used on a hip-hop track, the single nevertheless became an international hit (UK number 2, December 1998/US number 15, March 1999). The album of the same name featured hotshot producer Tim Mosley (aka "Timbaland"), in addition to the usual team of Ski and DJ Premier. Guest rappers included DMX, Foxy Brown and Too $hort, on a package that diluted Jay-Z's hard-hitting lyrical edge in an attempt to corner the crossover market. "Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life" easily succeeded in its aim, staying at US number 1 for five weeks, before finally being deposed by Alanis Morissette's new album. Despite a hectic schedule as a guest producer/writer and rapper, Jay-Z still found the time to enter the studio and record tracks for his new album. Released in December 1999, "Vol. 3: The Life and Times Of S. Carter" confirmed his status as one of hip-hop's most popular artists when it topped the album charts the following month. The following year's "The Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2000", another US chart-topper, was originally planned as a supergroup collaboration with fellow Roc-A-Fella rappers Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Amil.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Jay-Z Addresses Elevator Fight with Solange

Jay-Z
Finally Talks Elevator Incident with Solange ... Sort of

Jay-Z has finally broken his silence over the infamous elevator video in which Solange Knowles attacked him as Beyonce looked on. Jay was on the podcast "Rap Radar" when he addressed the… READ MORE >

Lonzo Ball: Thank You, Jay-Z! Your BBB Shoes Are Coming!

Lonzo Ball
Thank You, Jay-Z! ... Your ZO2s Are Coming!

Lonzo Ball says he's incredibly thankful to Jay-Z for ordering 3 pairs of his ZO2 kicks -- but reminds the mogul the shoes ain't coming for another 3 months! We got Lonzo out in Bev Hills over… READ MORE >

- 1 day ago
JAY-Z Honors Chester Bennington at UK Concert

JAY-Z
Light it Up for Chester Bennington!!!

JAY-Z paid homage to the late Chester Bennington Saturday by performing "Numb" at a UK concert. JAY and Linkin Park have history ... they re-did the band's hit "Numb" back in 2004, so the mogul… READ MORE >

- 3 days ago
Jay-Z Chills in London, New Bel Air Homeowner Acknowledges Kanye Feud

Jay-Z
New Bel Air Homeowner Acknowledges Kanye Feud

Jay-Z re-surfaced in London Friday night, after opening up about his feud with Kanye West. Jay hit up Chiltern Firehouse, after releasing his interview on Tidal, in which he says Kanye crossed the… READ MORE >

- 4 days ago
Jay-Z: 'Kanye Crossed the Line,' Don't Talk About My Family!

Jay-Z:
'Kanye Crossed the Line' ... Don't Talk About My Fam

No wife. No kids -- that's the "Scarface" rule ... and Kanye West violated it, so says Jay-Z.  Hov finally opened up about his beef with Kanye -- revealing that West crossed a line during a… READ MORE >

- 5 days ago
Jay-Z: I Support LaVar Ball 100%, I Bought 3 Pairs Of ZO2's

Jay-Z
I Support LaVar Ball 100% ... Bought 3 Pairs Of ZO2's

Jay-Z says he is 100 percent behind LaVar Ball ... so much so that he bought 3 pairs of ZO2 shoes, and says that all of black America should support Ball too, because BBB is an African-American… READ MORE >

- 5 days ago
Beyonce & Jay-Z in the Mood for Sushi Date Night

Beyonce & Jay-Z
Roll Together For Sushi

Beyonce and Jay-Z aren't letting parenthood -- or L.A. traffic -- cramp their social lives. Bey and Jay hit up Sushi Park Wednesday night in WeHo to itch their sushi craving. Sushi Park's one… READ MORE >

- 20 days ago
Jamie Foxx Shows Off Spot-On Vin Diesel, Jay-Z Impersonation

Jamie Foxx
Who Wants To Hear My Vin Diesel, Jay-Z Impersonation?!

Wanna hear Jamie Foxx's spot-on-call-it-a-night-and-put-the-kids-to-bed impersonation of Vin Diesel and Jay-Z? We got you. Jamie was leaving Mr Chow Wednesday night in Bev… READ MORE >

- 20 days ago
Beyonce & Jay-Z Home Purchase, Neighbor Says Welcome to Bel-Air, You're Our Wet Dream!!!

Beyonce & Jay-Z
Neighbor Says Welcome to Bel-Air You're Our Wet Dream!!!

Beyonce and Jay-Z might be the lucky charms their future next door neighbor dreamed about. There's a couple that owns a Bel-Air house next door to the one where Bey and Jay are about… READ MORE >

- 31 days ago
Rumi and Sir Carter Birth Certificates, Delivered by Kardashians' OB/GYN

Rumi & Sir Carter
Birth Certificates Reveal Kardashians' Baby Doc Did the Deed

Now we know ... Rumi Carter is the big sis and Sir is the little bro -- their birth certificates reveal when and how they came into the world. TMZ obtained the docs for Beyonce and Jay-Z's… READ MORE >

- 36 days ago
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