He is Shawn Corey Carter, but everyone knows him by his stage name of Jay Z. This rapper, record producer and business mogul is widely considered as one of the most successful hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs in the country. He has flourished, whether it is in the world of music or the halls of business. He has also been lucky with women, snagging Beyonce Knowles as his wife.
4 From the Projects to Jay-Z
Jay Z came from a housing project in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn called Marcy Houses. His mother raised him and his three siblings, even as he jumped from one school to another. He attended the Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, but had to transfer after the school closed down. He then went to the George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, but he did not finish there as well. He moved to Trenton Central High School in New Jersey but failed to graduate as well.
During that period, he became classmates with other future rappers, like AZ, The Notorious B.I.G., and Busta Rhymes. He also claimed in his songs that he was involved in some scrapes with the law, including a shooting incident against his brother for stealing his jewelry, and selling crack cocaine.
His interest in music surged when his mother bought him a boom box, thus encouraging him to do some freestyles and write his own lyrics. People in the neighborhood were soon calling him Jazzy, which eventually developed into Jay-Z. The name was also a smart way to honor his mentor, Jaz-O, and the J/Z subway services that stops at Marcy Avenue near his home. In July 2013, however, he said he would drop the hyphen and would prefer to be known as simply Jay Z.
3 The Music
Jay Z has released several studio and collaboration albums through the years. Among them are:
Reasonable Doubt, 1996
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, 1997
Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life, 1998
Vol. 3...Life and Times of S. Carter, 1999
The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, 2000
Jay-Z: Unplugged, with The Roots, 2001
The Blueprint, 2001
The Best of Both Worlds, with R. Kelly, 2002
The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse, 2002
The Black Album, 2003
Unfinished Business, with R. Kelly, 2004
Collision Course, with Linkin Park, 2004
Kingdom Come, 2006
American Gangster, 2007
The Blueprint 3, 2009
Watch the Throne, with Kanye West, 2011
Magna Carta Holy Grail, 2013
Three of his albums, namely Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint and The Black Album, are landmarks in the hip-hop genre and are part of the 500 greatest albums of all time as ranked by Rolling Stone magazine.
As a result, Jay Z is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time. He has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and he has won 17 Grammy Awards. He holds the record for most albums by a solo artist to have hit number one with 13. He is considered as one of the top 10 artists of the 2000's, and one of the 100 greatest artists of all time, also according to Rolling Stone.
2 The Business
Jay Z is a successful entrepreneur. He founded a clothing line called Rocawear. He sold the rights to the brand in 2007 to the Iconix Brand Group for $204 million. He has retained his stake in the company, however, and still oversees its marketing and product development.
He is also the co-owner of the 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar with branches in New York City, Atlantic City and Chicago. There are also plans to open in Tokyo and Singapore.
He has an investment in Carol’s Daughter, a line of beauty products for the hair, skin and hands.
He used to be part owner of the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA, but he has since sold his shares to Taiwanese investor Wilber Pan, after Jay Z launched his own sports agency called Roc Nation Sports.
He has a stake in J Hotels, a property development venture that plans to build a high-end hotel or art gallery in Chelsea, New York.
1 The Concert Tour
Jay Z’s concert tours have been lucrative. In 2010, he earned $9 million in two weeks of touring during his Blueprint 3 series. Just this summer, he toured with Justin Timberlake in a tour called Legends of the Summer. There were 14 shows, and while Timberlake was expected to be paid $1 million per night, Jay Z’s take is an even higher $1.5 million per show. That’s $21 million for one month of 14 shows with another major artist.
The upcoming Magna Carter tour has 34 shows lined up, with Jay Z the sole headliner of the concerts. He will probably earn more than $80 million for this tour.
The Magna Carter tour dates are as follows:
30 November – St. Paul, Minnesota, Xcel Energy Center
1 December – Lincoln, Nebraska, Pinnacle Bank Arena
2 December – Denver, Colorado, Pepsi Center
6 December – Anaheim, California, Honda Center
7 December – San Diego, California, Valley View Casino Center
9 December – Los Angeles, California, Staples Center
10 December – Fresno, California, Save Mart Center
11 December – San Jose, California, SAP Center at San Jose
13 December – Las Vegas, Nevada, Mandalay Bay Events Center
18 December – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Chesapeake Energy Arena
19 December – Houston, Texas, Toyota Center
20 December – San Antonio, Texas, AT&T Center
21 December – Dallas, Texas, American Airlines Center
27 December – Atlanta, Georgia, Philips Arena
28 December – Birmingham, Alabama, BJCC Arena
1 January – Fort Lauderdale, Florida, BB&T Center
4 January – Charlotte, North Carolina, Time Warner Cable Arena
5 January – Greensboro, North Carolina, Greensboro Coliseum Complex
8 January – Cleveland, Ohio, Quicken Loans Arena
9 January – Chicago, Illinois, United Center
10 January – Detroit, Michigan, The Palace of Auburn Hills
12 January – Brooklyn, New York, Barclays Center
13 January – Brooklyn, New York, Barclays Center
16 January – Washington, D.C., Verizon Center
17 January – Uncasville Connecticut, Mohegan Sun Arena
18 January – Boston, Massachusetts, TD Garden
19 January – Uniondale, New York, Nassau Coliseum
21 January – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CONSOL Energy Center
22 January – Newark, New Jersey, Prudential Center
24 January – Montreal, Quebec, Bell Centre
27 January – Toronto, Ontario, Air Canada Centre
29 January – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wells Fargo Center
30 January – Buffalo, New York, First Niagara Center
- 31 January – State College, Pennsylvania, Bryce Jordan Center
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