Rapper Jay Z is highly respected musician in the entertainment business. He is one of the best-selling musicians of all time, having sold more than 100 million records, while receiving 21 Grammy Awards for his music.
Check out these other essential facts to know about Jay Z.
1. Born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969. Raised along with his three siblings by their mother, Gloria Carter after their father, Adness Reeves abandoned the family.
2. Attended the same school as Notorious B.I.G and Busta Rhymes at Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Brooklyn, New York.
3. Once lost a rap contest judged by LL Cool J, aged 15 at the time. Years later, he got revenge beating Cool J in a rap battle.
4. Known as “Jazzy” growing up, he later adopted the showbiz/stage name “Jay-Z” in homage to his mentor Jaz-O. He would drop the hyphen in 2013.
5. Somewhat of a child prodigy, by sixth grade, he was testing at a 12th grade level.
6. Never writes his raps down, writing them in his head and memorizing them before going in the studio.
7. First official rap single was called “In My Lifetime”, for which he released a music video. An unreleased music video was also produced for the B-side “I Can’t Get with That.
8. Sold CDs out of his car and, with Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs, created Roc-A-Fella Records as an independent label in 1995. After striking a distribution deal with Priority, Jay Z released his 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt with beats from acclaimed producers such as DJ Premier and Super DJ Clark Kent and an appearance by The Notorious B.I.G.. The album reached number 23 on the Billboard 200, and was generally favored by critics.
9. One of the best-selling musicians of all time, having sold more than 100 million records.
10. Won 21 Grammy Awards.
11. Estimated net worth at $810 million, making him the second richest hip hop artist in the United States.
12. Married singer-songwriter Beyonce in 2008.
13.Invested $20 million in JetSmarter, an app that lets people book private executive plane rides in seconds in 2015.
14. Won a lawsuit for the song “Made in America” with Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean against Joel McDonald in 2016.
15. Produced a documentary series on the life of Kalief Browder who was imprisoned for three years and committed suicide upon his release. He also addressed racial profiling and police brutality in a conscious manner.