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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
  
Leonard Fournette Signs with Roc Nation

Leonard Fournette
Signs with Roc Nation ... I'm With Jay Z Now!

Leonard Fournette is following in Dez Bryant's footsteps ... he just signed with Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports to rep him as he prepares for the NFL Draft. The LSU running back is widely considered… READ MORE >

Jay Z Throws Epic Subliminal Diss At Phil Jackson Over Posse Comment

Jay Z
Throws Epic Subliminal Diss At Phil Jackson ... Over Posse Comment

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- 168 days ago
Jay Z's Pep Talk To Dez Bryant Proves Ineffective In Loss To Giants (VIDEO)

Jay Z
Pregame Pep Talk To Dez Bryant ... Clearly Didn't Work

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Jay Z -- Check Out My Prince Sales Pitch ... That Failed (PHOTO GALLERY)

Jay Z
Check Out My Prince Sales Pitch ... That Failed

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Kanye West -- Attacks Beyonce and Jay Z (VIDEOS)

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Attacks Beyonce and Jay Z

Kanye West went after the woman he fiercely defended just a few years ago ... none other than Beyonce. Yeezy went ham on Bey Saturday night at his concert in Sacramento, indignant because… READ MORE >

- 191 days ago
Lil Wayne -- Birdman Who? Jay Z's the Real Homie Now (VIDEO)

Lil Wayne
Birdman Who? Jay Z's the Real Homie Now!

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- 197 days ago
Prince Estate to Jay Z -- NO Deal For His Recordings ... Issues With Tidal Deal Too

Prince Estate to Jay Z
NO Deal for His Recordings ... Issues with Tidal Deal Too

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- 198 days ago
Tina Knowles -- OOPS!!! Silly Me, Posting Elevator Pic of Solange & Jay Z! (PHOTO)

Tina Knowles
OOPS!!! Silly Me, Posting Elevator Pic of Solange & Jay Z!

Tina Knowles has some big regrets today ... after posting a pic of Solange in an elevator with Jay Z, reminiscent of perhaps the singer's greatest hits. Beyonce's mom immediately yanked the… READ MORE >

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