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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
  
Beyonce & Jay Z -- Screw Pineapples ... We're Pushing Lemons (PHOTO GALLERY)

Beyonce & Jay Z
Screw Pineapples ... We're Pushing Lemons

Beyonce's working with sour accessories in Hawaii ... call it a sweet marketing ploy. Bey and Jay Z are currently enjoying paradise beachside. Check out the pics ... Beyonce traded diamonds for a… READ MORE >

Beyonce Sued -- You Squeezed 'Lemonade' from MY Movie!

Beyonce Sued
You Squeezed 'Lemonade' from MY Movie!

Beyonce bitching about Jay Z's alleged affair wasn't even her idea ... according to a filmmaker who says Bey's visual album copies a movie he made more than a year before "Lemonade" dropped. … READ MORE >

- 18 days ago
Rihanna & Jay Z Sued -- She's Unfaithful to Fans and My Pockets

Rihanna & Jay Z Sued
She's Unfaithful To Fans and My Pockets

3:35 PM PT -- A rep for Roc Nation tells TMZ ... "Rihanna, Roc Nation nor anyone associated personally or professionally with either party was in contact with this person. Unfortunately this… READ MORE >

- 19 days ago
Blue Ivy -- I'm Running the Show and You'll Take No For An Answer (VIDEO + PHOTO)

Blue Ivy
I'm Running the Show And You'll Take No For An Answer

Blue Ivy laid down the law with her famous father in tow ... NO pictures!!! Blue channeled her inner Meghan Trainor Monday in NYC while tagging along with mama Beyonce and Jay Z at the… READ MORE >

- 19 days ago
Jay Z and Pusha T -- Fire Back at Beyonce Hating Host ... We Got Your 'Drug Dealer' Right Here! (AUDIO)

Jay Z and Pusha T
Fire Back at Bey Hater ... We Got Your 'Drug Dealer' Right Here!

Jay Z and Pusha T clapped back at the conservative news host who blasted Beyonce after the Super Bowl -- by taking her words and slapping it on their new track ... "Drug Dealers Anonymous."… READ MORE >

- 25 days ago
Beyonce -- I'm #2 ... I Need to Try Harder (PHOTO)

Beyonce
I'm #2 I Need to Try Harder

Beyonce is just one step from strapping on a sandwich board that reads, "Buy my album, please." Bey and Jay Z took a post-dinner stroll through Midtown NYC Thursday, which doesn't happen… READ MORE >

- 30 days ago
Jay Z -- Cheating All the Way to the Bank!!! (PHOTO)

Jay Z
Cheating All the Way to the Bank!!!

Jay Z is embracing his wife's cheating song, making it clear he's ultimately the winner because it gives him heat. Jay appeared on a remix of Fat Joe and Remy Ma's "All the Way Up," in which he… READ MORE >

- 32 days ago
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 >

- 40 days ago
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 >

- 54 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 >

- 56 days ago

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