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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.

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Michelle Obama -- Can't Stop Malia and Sasha Pics at Beyonce and Jay Z Concert

Michelle Obama
Can't Stop Malia & Sasha Pics At Beyonce & Jay Z Show

Michelle Obama was powerless to prevent photos of her daughters from going public -- she and the girls were captured in selfies at Beyonce and Jay Z's concert last night.The First Lady chaperoned… READ MORE >

Jay Z, Roc Nation Sued -- Sound Guy Claims He Created the Magic

Jay Z, Roc Nation Sued
Sound Guy Claims He Created the Magic

A sound engineer who claims he was a key producer/creator of Roc-A-Fella's entire body of work between 1999 - 2000 wants a declaration from a judge -- he's as much the owner of the 6 albums as the… READ MORE >

- 18 days ago
Beyonce -- What Cheating Rumors?? Look at My Happy Family

What Cheating Rumors? Look at My Happy Family!!

Beyonce's trying to have it both ways -- first hinting that Jay Z cheated on her ... and now quickly trying to deflect the self-inflicted rumor by posting cute and cuddly family photos.The… READ MORE >

- 24 days ago
Beyonce -- Sounds Like She's Calling Jay Z Out for Cheating

Sounds Like She's Calling Jay Z Out For Cheating

Beyonce sent Jay Z and the rest of the world a not-so-subtle signal during her concert Saturday night ... strongly intimating Hova was unfaithful to her. Bey was performing her song… READ MORE >

- 24 days ago
Beyonce -- Come to My Concert, See My Ass

Come to My Concert ... See My Ass!!!

Beyonce and Jay Z wasted a ton of money filming a full-length trailer promoting their On the Run Tour because all they had to say was ... BEYONCE SHOWS OFF HER BOOOOOOOTY!!!!The couple kicked off… READ MORE >

- 31 days ago
Alleged Jay Z Mistress -- I've Never Slept With Jigga!! Now Apologize, Or Else ...

Alleged Jay Z Mistress
I Have Never Slept with Jigga!! Now Apologize, Or Else ...

The reality TV star accused of having an affair with Jay Z is flat out denying she ever had sex with Beyonce's man ... and now she's gearing up for a legal battle. Casey Cohen -- who was on… READ MORE >

- 45 days ago
Jay Z -- I'm Waayyy Too Busy for Your Stupid Lawsuit

Jay Z
I'm Waayyy Too Busy For Your Stupid Lawsuit

Jay Z's the hardest working man in show biz ... so claim his lawyers, who say the rapper has such a "grueling" work schedule he can't possibly make time for what they say is a ridiculous lawsuit.A… READ MORE >

- 61 days ago
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Wedding Dinner -- No Jay Z & Beyonce ... But the Caviar Was to Die For

Kimye Wedding Dinner
No Jay Z & Beyonce But the Caviar Was to Die For!!!

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's big wedding dinner at Versailles had two big holes in it -- Beyonce and Jay Z -- but we're told everything else went off without a hitch ... including fancy French… READ MORE >

- 64 days ago
Beyonce and Solange -- Lunch Sesh With Jay Z ... No Punches Thrown

Beyonce and Solange
Lunch Sesh With Jay Z No Punches Thrown

Beyonce and Solange's reunion in New Orleans really was a family affair ... TMZ has learned Jay Z also joined in on the fun.Bey, Solo and Hova all hit up New Orleans hot spot Cafe Amelie for more… READ MORE >

- 69 days ago
Beyonce -- Solidarity With Solange

Solidarity With Solange

Beyonce is putting it out there as clearly as she can ... she's a member of one big happy family.Beyonce and Solange reunited in New Orleans Saturday ... Bey posted a pic of the two embracing on… READ MORE >

- 70 days ago

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