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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
  
Jason Derulo says Jay Z's Trayvon Martin Film Will Tug at the Heart Strings (VIDEO)

Jason Derulo
Jay Z's Trayvon Martin Film It'll Tug at the Heart Strings

Jason Derulo's already giving Jay Z mad props for his upcoming film on Trayvon Martin ... long before it hits the big screen. Jason was arriving at LAX Friday when we asked about the rapper's… READ MORE >

Jay Z Is So GOAT, He Sips Wine Wherever He Wants (PHOTO)

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Life Is a Cabernet ... It's a GOAT Thing

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- 21 days ago
Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange Party Together in New Orleans (PHOTO GALLERY)

Bey, Jay & Solange
Family Party Time, the NOLA Way ... No Drama

Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange reunited in New Orleans -- Mardi Gras style -- and this time it was a family friendly affair. Jay and Bey were on Solange's home turf Sunday ... taking in a parade… READ MORE >

- 37 days ago
Jay Z Squashed Beef with Jim Jones Mob Style (VIDEO)

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Squashed Jim Jones Beef Mob Style ... Music Collabo Next?

Jim Jones and Jay Z may have called a truce in their 13 year war -- now that Jim's signed with Roc Nation -- but they still haven't met face-to-face. We talked to Jim Wednesday about… READ MORE >

- 48 days ago
Jay Z and Jim Jones Squash Beef, Jones Signs with Roc Nation

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Epic Beef Is Over ... JJ Signs with the Roc!

Jay Z and Jim Jones just put together the hip-hop deal they said would never happen -- Jim's now part of Jay's Roc Nation empire, which officially squashes a nearly 13 year beef.… READ MORE >

- 49 days ago
Antonio Cromartie's Advice to Jay and Bey ... Have More Kids!! (VIDEO)

Jay Z & Beyonce
Advice From NFL'S Antonio Cromartie ... HAVE MORE KIDS!

Jay Z is about to get some daddy advice from a member of the reproductive Hall of Fame ... Antonio Cromartie, who says when it comes to kids, THE MORE THE MERRIER!  Cromartie… READ MORE >

- 54 days ago
Jay Z Hits the Studio After Beyonce's Pregnancy Announcement (VIDEO)

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My Wife's Pregnant ... What Can I Say?

Jay Z was broing down Wednesday night after his wife told the world they were expecting twins. Jay was leaving United Recording studio in L.A. when our photog offered best wishes, but Beyonce's… READ MORE >

- 55 days ago
Rapper Bun B Has Perfect Twin Names for Beyonce and Jay Z (VIDEO)

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Bey and Jay Should Name Their Twins ...

Rap legend Bun B's got Beyonce and Jay Z covered with baby names for their new twins ... and it's exactly what the world needs right now. We caught up with Bun B at a Habitat for Humanity event… READ MORE >

- 55 days ago
Beyonce Pregnant with Twins!!! (PHOTO)

Beyonce
Pregnant with Twins!!!

Beyonce is pregnant with not one but 2 ... she and Jay Z are having twins. 35-year-old Bey just posted on her Instagram account, "We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been… READ MORE >

- 56 days ago
Beyonce Sued Over Roc-A-Fella Logo in 'Drunk in Love' Music Video (PHOTO)

Beyonce Sued
Stop Roc-ing my Logo in Your Video

Beyonce straight-up jacked the Roc-A-Fella logo and slapped it onto one of her music videos ... so claims the guy who claims he designed the logo. Dwayne Walker says Queen B never asked… READ MORE >

- 99 days ago

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