Artist Spotlight: Jay-Z


On December 4th, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, Shawn Corey Carter was born to Adnes Reeves and Gloria Carter.

Though many people believe that their children will be extremely successful, not many could fathom their child becoming a multimillion-dollar rapper who is a writer,  producer and Hip Hop mogul.

Beginning his career as a rap artist, Carter is one of the many celebrities that started off small and became humongous. As a young artist, he collaborated with fellow rapper Jaz-O on a song called “The Originators”. Carter and Jaz-O appeared on MTV’s, Yo! MTV Raps and that’s when Carter dawned the stage name Jay-Z thus beginning a legacy. Shortly after his appearance on Yo! MTV Raps, Jay-Z and friends Damon Dash and Kareem Burke, founded Roc-A-Fella Records in 1996. Later that year Jay-Z released, ‘Reasonable Doubt’, his debut album. Featuring artists such as Mary J Blige and the Notorious B.I.G., the album reached number 23 on the Billboard 200.

Jay-Z did not make it to where he is now with just a few artist features on his albums.  Along with features from artist in his hometown, he worked with artists much larger over time. For instance, Carter has worked with legends such as Rick Ross, DMX, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Rihanna. Jay-Z works hard to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to come up. In fact he has been known to sign many up-and-coming artists to his then label, Roc-A-Fella Records. His career was thought to have come to an end when he announced in 2003 that he would be retiring from the rap game and would only be featured on other artist’s albums. Then in 2006 he came out of retirement and brought his album ‘Kingdom Come’ along with him.

Fast forward to today and Carter has a new album entitled ‘4:44’ which he released on June 30th, 2017. It is an album that can only be described as pure genius as it features the voices of Carter’s family members and entails tips on how to live a successful life.

Jay-Z, who is married to R&B/Pop star Beyoncé , lives in New York City with their three children.