Got a Tip? Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here
READ NOW

TMZ SPORTS

  • FS1
    M-T-Th-F:
    9:00 PM PST

    W:
    9:30 PM PST
clock-iconREMIND ME TO WATCH

Jay Z

Powered by imdb

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 & Beyonce -- Aced Out By Tom Ford in Mansion Bidding War

Jay Z & Beyonce
Aced Out by Tom Ford In Mansion Bidding War

Jay Z and Beyonce got outbid again in their search for an L.A. home ... this time designer/director Tom Ford beat them out. Our real estate sources tell us ... Tom offered $50 million on… READ MORE >

Zendaya -- I Was On Music Video Set ... 'Lemonade' Was NO Shock to Jay Z (VIDEO)

Zendaya
I Was On Music Video Set 'Lemonade' Was No Shock to Jay Z

Zendaya dropped a huge hint Jay Z was totally on board with Beyonce airing the couple's alleged dirty laundry on "Lemonade."  We just got her at LAX and asked her about her… READ MORE >

- 115 days ago
Jay Z -- Spinning Blue Ivy at Beyonce's Show

Jay Z
Spinning Blue Ivy at Beyonce's Show

Jay Z may be questionable in the husband dept ... but evidence shows his daddy game is super strong as he twirled Blue Ivy around backstage at Beyonce's concert. Jay and Blue danced like nobody… READ MORE >

- 116 days ago
Sir Mix-A-Lot -- Beyonce Got It Wrong ... Real Beckys Got Whack Ass Hair

Sir Mix-A-Lot
Beyonce Got It Wrong ... Real Beckys Got Whack Ass Hair

The only person who knows "Becky" better than Beyonce -- and allegedly Jay Z -- is Sir Mix-A-Lot ... and he says Bey's description of the thot is way off base. Of course, Mix first made the name… READ MORE >

- 119 days ago
Jay Z -- I'm Puff Daddy Through All the Becky Buzz (PHOTO)

Jay Z
I'm Puff Daddy Through All the Becky Buzz

Jay Z ain't the least bit worried about "Becky" or any alleged affairs ... as long as he can light up a Cuban. Jay was chilling in Miami, smoking a cigar with a friend on the eve of Beyonce's… READ MORE >

- 121 days ago
Mya on Beyonce's 'Lemonade' -- I'm Not Becky and I Never Have Been! (VIDEO)

Mya on 'Lemonade'
I'm Not Becky ... and I NEVER Have Been!

Mya's dodging the Beyhive by declaring she's never been a side chick to Jay Z -- but she's not exactly giving him a vote of confidence on the cheating rumors. Our photog asked the… READ MORE >

- 122 days ago
Tampa Bay Bucs -- Shout-out from Beyonce ... For Letting Jay Z Train In Team Gym

Tampa Bay Bucs
Shout-out from Beyonce For Letting Jay Z Train In Team Gym

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got a "special thanks" from Beyonce at the end of her "Lemonade" special this weekend ... and TMZ Sports has learned it all has to do with a favor the team did for Jay… READ MORE >

- 122 days ago
Beyonce's Mom Tina Lawson -- Ashes to Ashes ... Dust to Side Chicks

Beyonce's Mom
Ashes to Ashes ... Dust to Side Chicks

Beyonce's mom Tina Lawson is backing up what most people are thinking about her daughter's marriage after listening to "Lemonade."  The Beyhive thinks the album is all about Beyonce… READ MORE >

- 122 days ago
Rachel Roy -- Buzz Off Beyhive ... I Respect Marriages

Rachel Roy
Buzz Off Beyhive ... I Respect Marriages

Rachel Roy is taking a stand against Beyonce's fan base who have accused her of causing big time issues between the singer and Jay Z. Beyonce released her new album "Lemonade" Saturday and there's… READ MORE >

- 124 days ago
Kanye West -- The LIES of Pablo ... Sued Over Tidal Promise

Kanye West
The LIES of Pablo ... Sued Over Tidal Promise

Kanye West pulled a fast one on his fans by backing out on a promise that Tidal would be the ONLY place to get his new album ... at least that's how one pissed off fan sees it, and he's suing.… READ MORE >

- 130 days ago

Around The Web