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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
  
Josh Norman -- 'Humbled' By Jay Z ... Thanks for the Lyrical Shout-Out! (VIDEO)

Josh Norman
'Humbled' By Jay Z Thanks for the Lyrical Shout-Out!

What's it like to have Jay Z drop your name on a track???? Josh Norman would know ... he got a shout-out from Jigga on DJ Khaled's "I Got the Keys" -- and he tells TMZ Sports he's humbled by… READ MORE >

Jay Z -- Manhandles Crazed Beyonce Fan (VIDEO)

Jay Z
Manhandles Crazed Beyonce Fan

Jay Z was on the verge of going into attack mode when a crazed fan went for the Beyonce money shot. Jay and Bey showed up at the SVA Theatre in NYC Monday, and word quickly spread. By the… READ MORE >

- 5 days ago
Beyonce -- Look Out Below!!! Crazy Yacht Diving (PHOTO GALLERY)

Beyonce
Look Out Below! Crazy Yacht Diving

Beyonce isn't even living life on the edge anymore ... she's going right over it! We got these shots of Bey and Jay Z balling out off the coast of Sardinia on their rented super yacht, the Halo.… READ MORE >

- 11 days ago
Beyonce & Jay Z -- We're Teachin' Ivy ... This is How to Poop Deck (PHOTO)

Beyonce & Jay Z
We're Teachin' Ivy This is How to Poop Deck

Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy are cruisin' like they're some kind of music royalty. The Carters docked in Capri Tuesday, after several days of tooling around the Mediterranean. Ivy's… READ MORE >

- 17 days ago
Beyonce & Jay Z -- Jet Skis Will Never Sink Us!!! (PHOTOS)

Beyonce & Jay Z
Jet Skis will Never Sink Us!!!

Beyonce and Jay Z were fully protected on their jet skis ... so protected they barely got wet. The famous couple hit the water with helmets, life jackets, in Jay's case a wet suit, and shades… READ MORE >

- 19 days ago
San Francisco Giants Sued -- Cart vs. Fan Collision ... At Beyonce Concert

San Francisco Giants Sued
Cart vs. Fan Collision ... At Beyonce Concert

A woman claims she got run over by an electric cart at AT&T Stadium during a Beyonce show ... and she's pointing the finger at the S.F. Giants.  It all went down in 2014 -- Jay… READ MORE >

- 20 days ago
Jay Z -- Motorboatin' with Beyonce (PHOTO GALLERY)

Jay Z
Motorboatin' With Beyonce

Jay Z and Beyonce are running the best damn summer camp EVER for Blue Ivy ... latest stop -- Monaco!!!  The Carters hit the Mediterranean with their daughter and some friends… READ MORE >

- 27 days ago
Beyonce -- LAPD Target Beyhivers For Alleged 'Becky' Hack

Beyonce
LAPD Target Beyhivers For Alleged 'Becky' Hack

Beyonce's most rabidly loyal fans took things up a notch and hacked her one-time nemesis Rachel Roy ... at least that's where the clues are pointing the LAPD.  You'll remember, Rachel had a… READ MORE >

- 28 days ago
Tyrese -- I Didn't Mean to Diss Jay Z (PHOTO + VIDEO)

Tyrese
I Didn't Mean to Diss Jay Z

Tyrese wants to make it abundantly clear -- he was NOT calling out Jay Z, DJ Khaled and Future as hip-hop stars not doing enough for their community ...… READ MORE >

- 32 days ago
Beyonce -- THIS Is Paris on $19k per Night (PHOTO GALLERY + VIDEO)

Beyonce
THIS Is Paris On $19k per Night!

Beyonce didn't venture far for postcard-perfect shots of the Eiffel Tower ... she just stepped out on the balcony of her stupidly ballin' hotel suite. We're told Bey holed up at the Shangri-La… READ MORE >

- 32 days ago

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