Jay-Z began his career as a rapper in the ’90s while living in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects. His lyrics reflected his experience with illegal drug dealing, but he wanted a legitimate way to make money. So he and two friends formed Roc-A-Fella Records to release his debut album, 1996’s Reasonable Doubt. Eventually, it sold over a million copies stateside.
Since then, the entertainment mogul has built an empire from a seemingly endless stream of releases, collaborations, and business ventures. He has also garnered more than 20 Grammy Awards and an astounding net worth. Plus, in 2021, the Roc Nation founder became the first living rapper inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Full name: Shawn Corey Carter
- Birthday: December 4, 1969
- Hometown: Brooklyn, New York City, New York
- Height: 6’2″
- Net worth: $1.3 billion
- Spouse: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (m. 2008)
- Children: Blue Ivy Carter, Rumi Carter, Sir Carter
- Genres: Rap, hip-hop
- Top tracks: “99 Problems,” “Big Pimpin’,” “Dead Presidents II,” “Empire State of Mind,” “Holy Grail,” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “Niggas in Paris,” “No Church in the Wild,” “Otis,” “Run This Town,” “Where I’m From”
- Top albums: 4:44, The Black Album, The Blueprint, The Blueprint 3, Magna Carta Holy Grail, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, Watch the Throne
- If you like this artist, you might also like: 50 Cent, Common, Mobb Deep, Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West
Visit Jay-Z’s website, Roc Nation.