Shawn Corey Carter, or the stage name popularly known Jay Z. Absolutely self-made artist who started his career as a rapper and a songwriter is also an entrepreneur, record executive, record producer and media proprietor by profession. He is the first billionaire of the hip-hop community. Also adding to this list of his glory, he is one of the most influential people of and obviously the greatest rappers of all-time. Also, he has an extraordinary achievement of winning 22 Grammy awards, highest by any rapper until now and he has a record of most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200.
Carter was born on Dec 4, 1969 (51 years as of now) in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A to Gloria Carter and Adnis Reeves. After a while, Reeves abandoned his wife and children, Carter was raised with 3 other siblings by their mother. He had a tough childhood and had to go through a lot. He completed his School from George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School and joined Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey for graduation but couldn’t complete it. He also revealed later that he used to smuggle cocaine for living and was shot 3 times during this period.
Carter had a great support from his mother. He used to drum kitchen vessels and seeing his developing interest, his mother brought him a boombox for his birthday which further ignited his passion for music.
Jay Z started discovered his interest in music at a very young age and started rapping. At the age of 20, he met Jaz-O who was his sort of mentor. He collaborated with Jaz-O and recorded a song named “The Originator”, from here there was a rise in his career. He got an opportunity to go to MTV rap show to showcase his talent, and thereafter there was no looking back. After the show ended, he realised he needed a stage name so he chose Jay Z, inspired from his mentor Jaz-O and also in school, “Jazzy” was his nick name. His songs were awesome but were not in mainstream to make him count in A-list. Therefore, he started his own record label which gave his a lot more recognition and eventually reputation.
In the year 1998, his career glorified when he achieved his first Grammy for his song Hard-Knock-Life.
From 1998-2003, he produced numerous songs but his album named “The Blueprint” became the most famous one.
In 2003, he retired from rapping and making songs because he thought there weren’t any good rappers to give him competition. So, he shifted his focus from rapping as a career to becoming a producer. He became the president of Def Jam Recordings where he signed in a lot great artists such as Rihanna, Kanye West and Ne-Yo. Later on, he started his own business which he handled very well.
In 2006, he decided to make a comeback into the hip-hop industry and started recording songs. Till date, he has won 249 awards and has been nominated 400 times.
Jay Z is definitely one of his kind and working in the industry since 1988, which definitely reflects his diligent work making him the first ever billionaire in the hip-hop community. He individually has a net worth of $1 billion and if combined with that of Beyoncé it is $1.5 billion.
He has invested in numerous ventures and absolutely they’re running perfectly to hold his name in the billionaire’s list. He started his own clothing brand known as Rocawear in the year 1999. In the year 2003, he established his new company that is a luxury sports bar chain-40/40 Club. Both the companies have grown to become multi-million-dollar corporations. He sold Rocawear to Iconix for $204 million. This funded Jay Z to lay foundation for his entertainment company known as Roc Nation in the year 2008. In 2015, he captured Aspiro-a tech company and took charge of their media streaming service Tidal.
In 2017, he became the first rapper to be honoured with Songwriters Hall of Fame. Later on, in 2018, he was honoured with commemorative “Salute to Industry Icons” award at the 60th Grammy Awards. In June 2019, he officially became the first ever hip-hop billionaire, which made him the fifth wealthiest African American and also the wealthiest American musician. In December 2020, Jay-Z launched a line of cannabis products called “Monogram”.
In the year 2002, Beyoncé and Jay Z collaborated on the song named “03 Bonnie & Clyde”. They have maintained a low-profile relationship ever since then. They got married on April 4, 2008 which was also kept low profile and was an intimate affair. On April 22,2008 their relationship became a matter of public record. They both refrain from discussing about their relationship, Beyoncé has even stated that this has helped them while Jay Z agreed to this by giving a statement that they do not “play with relationship”. They both as a couple have been listed as the most powerful couple for ‘Time’s magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2006’. They have also been ranked in Forbes as Hollywood’s top-earning couple.
On January 7,2012 Beyoncé gave birth to their first daughter, Blue Ivy in New York. Thereafter on June 18,2017 Beyoncé’s father confirmed that they have welcomed twins; a daughter named Rumi and a son named sir.