Every celebrity or musician started as an ordinary person. No one was born a celebrity, and definitely not Jay-Z. He climbed from being a regular studio rat, to being an Hip Hop god.
Jay-Z was once a drug addict, as he was surrounded by violence and grew up in poverty. He had nothing to take him away from this cruel experience, so he turned to music. He chose rap music while he was very young. In a bid to pursue his dreams of becoming a star rapper, he became a mentee of the old artiste Jaz-O, who was also a rapper. He recorded his first popular and known song, “The originators”, with Jaz-O in 1989. The song eventually won them a feature on an episode of a TV show called, ‘Yo! MTV Raps’.
It was after this show that Carter decided to start bearing the name Jay-Z. He said it was both a tweak to his childhood nickname ‘Jazzy’, and a way to reference a subway station around his house in Brooklyn: the J/Z subway station.
This song with Jaz-O wasn’t enough to put him in everyone’s minds yet. So, he still had to do a lot of work and since it was still in the early years of his professional career, he had time.
After a number of years, in 1996, Jay-Z started a record label with two of his friends, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke. They called the record label ‘Roc-a-Fella Records’. Then they went ahead to release Jay-Z’s debut album in June 1996, titled Reasonable Doubt. This album officially and properly marked the beginning of the Hip Hop star, Jay-Z. He had some hits like “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” in which he featured Mary J. Blige. He also did a collaboration with Notorious B.I.G. Reasonable on the song “Brooklyn’s Finest”. At that period, it was just another successful album release having climbed up to number 23 on the Billboard 200. Now, it is tagged a classic hip-hop album.
After two years, in 1998, Jay-Z released another album titled Hard Knock Life. This album definitely did better than the first one. Hard Knock Life is still considered to be the Hip Hop star’s most popular song till date. That’s some achievement after 20 years of the release. This album also won Jay-Z his first Grammy ever. The title song was also nominated for many awards over the years.
This was a major step to the Jay-Z we now know as he continued to release hit songs and albums from that period. In 2001, The Blueprint, another album was released and was tagged as one of the best albums of that decade.
In 2003, he dropped another album titled; ‘The Black Album’. It shocked many fans to hear that it was going to be his last, as the Hip Hop star said he would retire soon. He mentioned in an interview that he was retiring because he did not have any competition anymore.
Jay-Z is now married to Beyonce, and they have three children together. Although they have had their own marital problems but they have resolved and they are happy together.