Jay Z first rap EVER on TV They Didn’t Even Say His Name! With Big Daddy Kane on Rap City.
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Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known by his stage name Jay Z (formerly Jay-Z), is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2014, Forbes estimated Carter’s net worth at nearly $520 million. He is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records, while receiving 19 Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, he was ranked number one by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. Three of his albums, Reasonable Doubt (1996), The Blueprint (2001), and The Black Album (2003), are considered landmarks in the genre with all of them featured in Rolling Stone ’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
As an entrepreneur and investor, Jay Z co-owns the 40/40 Club, and is the co-creator of the clothing line Rocawear. He is the former president of Def Jam Recordings, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, and the founder of Roc Nation. He also founded the sports agency Roc Nation Sports and is a certified NBA and MLB sports agent. As an artist, he holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 with 13. Jay-Z also has had four number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, one as lead artist. On December 11, 2009, Jay-Z was ranked as the tenth-most successful artist of the 2000s by Billboard as well as the fifth top solo male artist and fourth top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent. He was also ranked the 88th greatest artist of all time by Rolling Stone.
Jay-Z married American R&B singer Beyoncé in 2008. They have a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, born January 7, 2012
Jay-Z (top) with a friend (bottom) in Trenton, New Jersey, circa 1988
Shawn Carter was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Marcy Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. He and his three siblings were raised by their mother, Gloria Carter, after their father abandoned the family. He claims in his lyrics that in 1982, at the age of 12, he shot his older brother in the shoulder for stealing his jewelry. Carter attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, along with future rapper AZ, until it was closed down. After that he attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Downtown Brooklyn, with fellow future rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes, and Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, but did not graduate. In his music he refers to having been involved in selling crack cocaine. He has also said he had been shot at three times during this time in his life.
According to his mother, Carter used to wake up his siblings at night banging out drum patterns on the kitchen table. Eventually, she bought him a boom box for his birthday, sparking his interest in music. He began freestyling, writing lyrics, and followed the music of many artists popular at the time.In his neighborhood, Carter was known as “Jazzy”, a nickname that eventually developed into his showbiz/stage name, “Jay-Z”. The moniker is also an homage to his musical mentor, Jaz-O. On July 18, 2013, he announced he was leaving out the hyphen, and prefers to be known as “Jay Z.”
Jay-Z can be briefly heard on several of Jaz-O’s early recordings in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including “The Originators” and “Hawaiian Sophie”. Jay-Z was also involved in several battles with rapper LL Cool J in the early ’90s. He first became known to a wide audience by being featured on the posse cut “Show and Prove” on the 1994 Big Daddy Kane album Daddy’s Home. Jay-Z has been referred to as Big Daddy Kane’s hype man during this period, although Kane explains that he didn’t fill the traditional hype man role, instead “basically ma[king] cameo appearances on stage. When I would leave the stage to go change outfits, I would bring out Jay-Z and Positive K and let them freestyle until I came back to the stage”. The young Jay-Z made an appearance on a popular song by Big L, “Da Graveyard”, and on Mic Geronimo’s “Time to Build”, which also featured early appearances by DMX, and Ja Rule in 1995. His first official rap single was called “In My Lifetime”, for which he released a music video. An unreleased music video was also produced for the B-side, “I Can’t Get With That.”