Unless your name is Beyonce, it takes a lot to call Jay Z out for anything. Nevertheless, the rap king is far from perfect. Just like the rest of us, Jay has done a lot of embarrassing things that he wants his fans to forget- not that all of us actually have fans, but you get what I’m saying. We all have done things that we are not necessarily proud of and Jay Z is a human being.
The man has so much “don’t mess with me” street cred, yet Hov has gotten himself into some of the weirdest situations and feuds with the most unexpected people- and yes, I may or not be referencing a certain elevator incident. Not only does he have normal embarrassing moments, but he’s actually done some super questionable things-to put it mildly. Some of these misdeeds and legal issues help build Jay Z up to be the prolific rapper that he is today and that’s cool, but stabbing (multiple) people isn’t really something to brag about. But then again, I’m not in the rap world so what do I know?
At this point, it really seems like Jay Z has such a perfectly crafted image, so it does make sense that some unflattering moments from the past have been swept under the rug and pushed into the background- very firmly into the background. But thanks to the internet, social media, and sites like this, it is pretty tough for anyone, especially a celebrity mogul like Jay Z, to let all of their past embarrassment remain in the past. These are fifteen of Jay Z’s least flattering moments.
15. He Shot His Brother When He Was 12
Unlike a lot of other rappers, Jay Z doesn’t have to reach for street cred. In this case, I don’t feel like that’s actually a good thing since it involves family, but my point is that Jay Z really does walk the walk instead of just talking the talk when it comes to his persona as a rapper. But anyway, at the tender age of twelve, Hov shot his older brother Eric. Where did a tween find a gun? Apparently he just went to someone’s house and took it. Casual. Why did he shoot his own flesh and blood? He stole a ring. Well, that seems like a little bit of an overreaction to me. Thankfully for the young Shawn Carter, Eric did not press any charges and he ended up apologizing to Jay Z for being a crack addict. Why am I not at all surprised that Jay Z shot someone and he ended up apologizing to him about it?
14. His Mom Made Him Apologize To Nas
There’s no doubt about it- Jay Z is not someone that I (or any sane person) would ever want to mess with, but the man has had been involved in what seems to be a million different feuds. Arguably, his most notable feud is with fellow rapper Nas. The two had bad blood for years and things really got ugly between them. In fact, things got so nasty, that Jay Z’s mom had to step in and tell her son to issue a public apology. Apparently Gloria Carter is the only person who can actually put Jay Z in his place. On the track “Super Ugly” Jay took shots at the mother of Nas’s child. Jay Z explained the motherly intervention to a radio station: ““Mom put in a call and said, ‘That went too far.’ And she’s never, ever called me about music. So I was like ‘Okay, okay, okay. I’ll go shut it down,’” Well, damn. She has quite the power over the rapper. If only Mama Carter told Jay that he was going to far with the adultery. Too much for me to say? My bad.
13. He Stole Lyrics From Eminem
There’s always been issues with rappers having ghost writers or recycling lyrics, but this just seems like a straight up robbery to me. So it makes perfect sense that the Eminem Stans (hopefully you get my allusion with that one there) brought up the nearly identical lyrics. Jay Z seems like a pretty smart guy, so I have no idea why he couldn’t just write his own songs. In Jay Z’s song “Success,” he raps: “I used to give a f**k, now I give a f**k less. What do I think of success? It sucks, too much stress… I guess I blew up quick cause friends I grew up wit see me as a premie but I’m not and my nuts big.”
If that sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because you’ve heard the Eminem song “I’m Back.” But just in case you haven’t, the lyrics to Eminem’s song (that came out first) were: “I used to give a – f**k, now I could give a f**k less. What do I think of suc-cess? It sucks, too much press I’m stressed… Too much stares two breasts, too upset. It’s just too much mess, I guess I must just blew up quick (yes). Grew up quick (no) was raised right. Whatever you say is wrong, whatever I say is right.”
12. The Internet Started Referring To Him As An Instagram Husband
Jay has a reputation as a pretty tough dude, so when everyone saw him in the reflection of his wife Beyonce’s photo snapping the pic, the internet went crazy. I didn’t think it was a huge deal. Boyfriends and husbands take photos all the time, right? Personally, I wouldn’t know, but that’s beside the point. Everyone kept referring to the rapper as an “Instagram husband.” The memes started blowing up on Twitter and Instagram and people just could not stop making fun of Hov. I don’t really get the point of hating on someone who took a photo for his wife, but whatever. It’s easy to be a savage when you are an anonymous person on the internet. So much for Jay’s image as a tough rapper. His wife made an entire documentary about him cheating on her, turned that into a tour, and now it seems like he’s just her personal assistant snapping the pics. He could have worse problems though. The internet has really gone in on Jay Z for things way worse than this one.
11. He Sued Rita Ora For $2 Million
Rita Ora was the pop star that never was. Weirdly enough, I actually am a fan of hers and I think that she is a very talented singer, but let’s be honest: her career hasn’t exactly taken off. Sure, she was Jay Z’s protege, but something happened and people were just not picking up what she was laying down so they stopped releasing her music. Then Rita sued Jay to get out of her record contract so she could go elsewhere. Honestly, I don’t get why Jay wouldn’t just drop her, but maybe there was a personal vendetta involved when it came to keeping her trapped at his label (cough cough those affair rumors). The funniest part about this is that Jay decided to counter-sue the not-so- successful singer for $2 million.
10. He Stabbed A Record Producer
I figured that someone who had guilt from stabbing his own brother when he was just a tween would have it in him to stay away from the knives, but apparently that’s not the case since Jay Z actually committed another stabbing. Yep, that’s right; in 2001 Jay Z pleaded guilty and everything. As per usual, the celeb did not get into any actual trouble over the incident, but it did happen. The incident went down in 1999 at a listening party for a Q-Tip album. Jay stabbed record producer Lance “Un” Rivera. Apparently Jay Z was livid that this producer had a hand in bootlegging his not-yet-released album. I totally understand why the man would be mad, but I don’t think that stabbing someone is going to do anything to fix the problems associated with the unauthorized release of music. That seems like a serious overreaction if you ask me.
9. He Used To Be A Drug Dealer
I mean this isn’t super-shocking because Jay brought it up a lot in his songs, especially the earlier work, but at this point I’m sure that the rapper wants to move away from being associated with his past as a drug dealer. Now he’s this super-polished businessman who doesn’t really need to do anything for himself. It’s a very far cry from his days of hustling to get by. Sure, I think Jay Z is proud of his work ethic and how much he has done to come so far to the point where he is at today, but I don’t think that he wants to talk about or hear about anyone discussing his drug dealer past on a daily basis. Now he is all about being a mogul, trying to make Tidal work (lol), and revamping his image as a family man and husband after Beyonce decided to capitalize on his infidelity and call him out in a super-public manner. With that said, the last thing he wants to be associated with is selling drugs at this point.
8. He Bought Tidal
To put it bluntly: there was absolutely zero need for Jay Z to shove Tidal down all of our throats. Everyone was just fine buying their music from Apple and Spotify. We had everything we needed. The world didn’t need life to get even more complicated by Jay Z creating his own streaming service and trying to get artists to release exclusive content on Tidal. He tried his best (and the constant plugging was so annoying), but everyone eventually ended up doing dual releases on iTunes. There was no real reason to pay for Tidal. Jay Z just needs to stop trying to make Tidal happen. It’s never going to happen. Ever. No one needs this and I have no idea why Jay Z thought that the service had some sort of unique selling proposition to offer because it really doesn’t. I’m just going to call it now, RIP Tidal.
7. He Cheated On His Wife
There is no chance the world is ever going to forget about this one. Beyonce has made sure of it. She “wrote” an album, created a documentary, and designed a tour all around Jay Z’s adultery. Sure, what he did was messed up- zero doubt about it- but now Beyonce is profiting off of it. So I guess that’s a win? I don’t know. They try to do their thing as the golden couple in music, but before every Beyonce tour there are always rumblings that there is trouble in paradise and the ticket sales skyrocket- WHAT A COINCIDENCE. As much as I assume Jay Z doesn’t want to get thrown under the bus as a cheater and someone who fulfilled a negative stereotype of what a rapper is like, his family is profiting off of it. So I guess he’s gonna have to wait until Beyonce’s Formation tour is over.
6. He Was Attacked By Solange In An Elevator
This was probably the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Beyonce’s little sister Solange went crazy on Jay Z in an elevator and the entire world was obsessed with it. It was just the most random and ratchet thing I’ve ever seen. I was really living for it. Who would come at Jay Z? Obviously now that Beyonce has been talking about his cheating in every medium possible, we can all put two and two together with this elevator drama. Nevertheless, this was embarrassing. Jay Z, a tough as nails rapper, became the butt of a million jokes. There were so many gifs, memes, and tweets devoted to this. Solange made Jay Z look like a fool and I’m sure that he wishes the security footage from that night wasn’t leaked. What a mess and a half. The only plus side of this is that people now know who Beyonce’s sister is. This craziness definitely upped her celebrity- at least in my opinion.
5. He Was Arrested For Possession Of A Firearm
Jay Z has gotten himself into a lot of trouble over the years, but he’s always been able to get out of it somehow. I guess that’s just one of the many perks that come along with being a famous rapper. That’s my only explanation for why Hov could get away with gun possession. Jay and three other dudes were arrested outside a club in Manhattan for illegal possession of guns. Hold up, why would Jay need to get guns illegally? He has a ton of money to just buy a gun and a permit. Not only that, but he’s a very high profile dude. People were eventually going to find out that he had the guns illegally. Come on, everyone is watching at all times. How stupid. I’m not sure why people who are famous continue to do illegal stuff but it does happen- a lot, apparently. Shaking. My. Damn. Head.
4. He “Borrows” A Lot of Biggie Lyrics
It’s great that Jay Z thinks so highly of the Notorious B.I.G. I mean come on, pretty much every rapper and fan of the genre does, but the man has “borrowed” a lot of Biggie’s lyrics in his songs. I get that he’s (probably) paying homage to a legend, but it’s a little much. Just spit your own rhymes. Or if that’s an issue, have someone else pen some new ones. At what point does it go from honoring someone else and alluding to his words to just straight up stealing. It’s a pretty fine line and I’m sure a lot of people have differing opinions on this, but it’s pretty likely that a lot of you singing along to “Jay Z lyrics” are actually spitting out Biggie verses- especially younger fans who aren’t familiar with older generations of rap music. Does Jay Z use the lyrics fairly or is that infringing on intellectual property? I’m just so curious: Is Jay Z paying Biggie’s estate to “borrow” from his rhymes? Or is he just throwing them out there for the hell of it?
3. He Recorded A Tupac Diss Track That Was Never Released
Jay Z has had PLENTY of hip hop beefs on his own, so I don’t see why he would ever want to embroil himself in the iconic Notorious B.I.G. vs. Tupac Shakur beef. Yeah, I know Jay Z is from New York and is obviously Team Biggie, but the man really had no horse in this race. It had nothing to do with him. So I have no idea why he wanted to pour gasoline on some flames and pen a Tupac diss record. Thankfully, it was not ever released because that would have just been a total sh*t storm, but yeah, it’s 2016 and the internet exists and it’s impossible to try and keep anything private. So yes, we do know that this exists and people have heard the absolute massacre of Tupac. It’s cool that he had loyalty to the east coast and whatnot, but this was really not needed at all.
2. He Was In A Feud With Fat Joe
Out of all the people that Jay Z could fight with, why would he fight with Fat Joe? Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t take Fat Joe seriously at all as a rapper or as a person. I know that sounds like such a mean thing to say, but I actually am a fan of his. “Lean Back” is an iconic song in my eyes, but I was never listening to his music and thinking to myself, “Wow, Fat Joe is a lyrical mastermind.” He was just making fun music, but really nothing in the same lane as Jay Z. So it’s really funny to me that these two actually had a beef that they both took seriously. It just seems so hilariously off base to me. Yes, there was some supposed bad blood between Roc-A-Fella and Terror Squad, but that trickle down beef seems so stupid to me. Thankfully (I guess lol) the two made up and went to see Beyonce on tour together.
1. He Hit A Young Girl For Taking His Photo
I could not imagine what it would be like having paparazzi following me around all the time. It would suck to have people taking photos of me, immediately posting them, and having millions of people make comments against me. It really sounds like it is a lot to handle, but damn, photographers are people too. And the thing here is that Jay Z didn’t even take issue with a professional photographer. Jay Z actually hit a young girl to get away from him when she tried to take a photo. I get wanting your privacy, but coming at a young girl who is obviously a fan is in such poor taste. Not only that, but it’s obvious that this whole thing was being filmed by other cameras, so it really is a bad look for the rapper. The video is really brutal and Jay Z looks so angry. There is absolutely nothing okay about it and I’m sure (hoping) that Jay Z was embarrassed by the horrific incident.