ARTIST PROFILE

Jay Z

Name: Shawn Corey Carter

Birthday: December 04, 1969

Fav Dish: Lucali

Born Shawn Corey Carter on April 12, 1969, Jay-Z was raised by a single mother, Gloria Carter. He had experienced the tough life on the streets of New York where he grew up. Fortunately, the streets life was not the only thing on his mind as he briefly attended high school in where he also explored his rap skill. Alongside partners from his early group “Original Flavor”, Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem ‘Biggs’ Burke co-founded an independent label called Roc-a-Fella Records. Later, Roc-a-Fella folding into Def Jam Recordings.

Jay-Z may be considered as a person who could do almost everything. Began his career as a rapper and a businessman, he in the future times holding an important president and CEO position on Def Jam. “I was forced to be an artist and a CEO from the beginning, so I was forced to be like a businessman because when I was trying to get a record deal, it was so hard to get a record deal on my own that it was either give up or create my own company,” says Jay-Z.

As an artist, Jay-Z has sold more than 18 million albums worldwide. Started from his debut album “Reasonable Doubt” (1996) up to the latest one alongside nu-metal band Linkin Park “Collision Course” (2004), Jay-Z has collected many prestigious awards, including the 2004 BET Award for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, for his achievement in music scene.

Aware of the hard days and the success that he had been through, which surely an interesting diary to be read by his fanatics, Jay-Z published his autobiography entitled “The Black Book” along with the release of “The Black Album” (2003).

Despite his victorious career in music and business, Jay-Z is romantically linked to former Destiny’s Child singer Beyonce Knowles. The couple who once were invited by Prince Charles to dine at Buckingham Palace, worked together on Beyonce’s album “Crazy in Love.” Above all, Jay-Z deserves two thumbs up as he has put his name as the first person in many occasions, naming some was as the first hip-hop artist to have his own Showtime TV concert special aired live and the first one to be featured on TV program “60 Minutes II.” Furthermore, he is also the first non-athlete to have his own signature sneaker, ‘the S. Carter’ by Reebok.

The success of “The Black Album,” however, could not prevent the rapper from taking a break from the industry though during that time he also gave contribution to girlfriend Beyonce’s second solo album “B’Day” (2006), singing together in one of its tracks tentatively titled “Deja Vu.” Amidst the period of time there were rumors swirling in Hollywood, speculating on his going to marry the R&B singer. As whispers of their wedding talk made the gossip pages everyday, Beyonce made it clear to everyone, released a public statement saying she won’t get married in the near future. The pop singer, during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres aired on September 5th, 2006, claimed all the wedding reports as “big fat rumors”, while revealed further “One day I hope to be married with children.”

And ending his three years retirement from music scene, Jay-Z released an announcement, confirming his comeback with his forthcoming set, “Kingdom Come”, which was released in November 2006. For the comeback album the man worked together with some music experts, like Timbaland, Kanye West, Dr. Dre and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. The album like its predecessor received a warm welcome from his fans and was sold well over two million copies worldwide. Rumors were warm that Jay-Z would leave his position as the CEO of Def Jam to join his lover Beyonce in Columbia. However, during an interview in August 2007, the rapper denied having made decision to leave Def Jam and claimed that his contract with the label merely expired and not yet renewed. He came out with the announcement of a new album in September 2007 after being inspired by a movie called ‘American Gangster’. The producer that shined that year through a collaboration with Rihanna in ‘Umbrella’, prepared it as a concept album that is also titled ‘American Gangster’. First single ‘Blue Magic’ was released on radio outlets on September 20, 2007 followed by the second one ‘Roc Boys (And the Winner Is…)’ that was produced by P. Diddy. Upon the album’s release on November 6, it entered the Billboard Hot 200 chart at #1 after selling 425,000 copies. This achievement has put him in the same position to the late legendary singer Elvis Presley to have all 10 of his albums opened at the top position.

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