Today in Hip Hop History: December 4, 1969
Shawn Corey Carter, aka Jay Z or Mr. Carter, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1969. Jay Z is a New York-based rapper, producer, entrepreneur and American celebrity. He is currently married to RnB/Pop sensation Beyonce Knowles.
Jay began his music career on several of Jaz-O‘s early recordings in the late 80’s and early 90’s. After that, he became Big Daddy Kane‘s hype man, featured on his album, and also featured on Big L‘s debut album. Lacking a major label signing, Jay Z co-created Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995. Alongside a distribution deal with Priority Records, Jay released his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996. The rest is history.
A memorable moment in Jay’s career came during his ongoing beef with legendary New York rapper Nas. The two exchanged subliminal blows for the rap crown in New York until a full blown beef occurred with Nas’s “We Will Survive.” Jay then responded with shots at him on “Takeover,” to which Nas then responded with classic diss track “Ether.” While the beef was eventually squashed, it remains as one of hip hop’s most notable competitions in history.
Jay-Z has released 12 total solo studio albums in his discography. Additionally, he has released several collaboration albums with Linkin Park, R. Kelly and Kanye West. Outside of music, he has starred in several films and been involved in multiple business ventures. He co-found the clothing brand Rocawear, owns the 40/40 Club, is a partial owner in the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, and started the music streaming service Tidal, among several other ventures.
He is indubitably one of the most successful rappers of all time. Last year, Forbes estimated his net worth at approximately $520 Million. He has sold over 100 million records and earned 21 Grammy Awards. Additionally, he is listed on several notable publications as one of the greatest MC’s of all time. Happy 46th birthday Shawn “Jay Z” Carter!