- 03:22 AM, May 23
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