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Jay Z      

Renowned Rapper; Hits Such as "Empire State of Mind" and "99 Problems"

He first started releasing records in the late 80s, part-financing his music by hustling. In 1990, he appeared on records by his close friend Jaz ("The Originators") and Original Flavor ("Can I Get Open'), and later scored an underground hit single with 1995"s "In My Lifetime". Drawing on Jaz's dealings with mercenary labels, Jay-Z set-up his own Roc-A-Fella imprint in 1996 with entrepreneur Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke. His debut set, Reasonable Doubt, went on to achieve gold sales and produced the US number 50 pop single "Ain't No Nigga"/"Dead Presidents", featuring future rap star Foxy Brown. The album, which reached US number 23 in July, attracted fans with a mixture of hard-hitting street lyrics and rhymes, epitomized by the collaboration with Notorious B.I.G. on "Brooklyn's Finest'. The follow-up In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 was released in the aftermath of Notorious B.I.G.'s murder, and debuted at US number 3 in November 1997. Featuring guest appearances from Puff Daddy, Lil" Kim, Too Short, BLACKstreet and DJ Premier, this sombre and intensely personal album included the stand-out tracks "You Must Love Me" and "Where I'm From".

Although in demand as a guest artist, Jay-Z found the time to write, produce, and direct the semi-autobiographical short Streets Is Watching. The gold-selling soundtrack introduced several of Roc-A-Fella's rising stars, including Memphis Bleek, Rell and Diamonds In The Rough, and featured the hit single "It's Alright". Jay-Z then became a major star with the hit singles, "Can I Get A ... " and "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)", the latter built around a line from the musical Annie. One of the more bizarre samples to be used on a hip-hop track, the single nevertheless became an international hit (UK number 2, December 1998/US number 15, March 1999). The album of the same name featured hotshot producer Timbaland, in addition to the usual team of Ski and DJ Premier. Guest rappers included DMX, Foxy Brown and Too Short, on a package that diluted Jay-Z's hard-hitting lyrical edge in an attempt to corner the crossover market. Vol. 2 " Hard Knock Life easily succeeded in its aim, staying at US number 1 for five weeks before finally being deposed by Alanis Morissette's new album. Despite a hectic schedule as a guest producer/writer and rapper, Jay-Z still found the time to enter the studio and record tracks for his new album. Released in December 1999, Vol. 3. Life And Times Of S. Carter confirmed his status as one of hip-hop's most popular artists when it topped the album charts the following month. The following year's The Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2000, another US chart-topper, was originally planned as a supergroup collaboration with fellow Roc-A-Fella rappers Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Amil. Jay-Z's remarkable roll continued with 2001's The Blueprint, another stellar work putting him out front as the current leader of the genre. The same December he was sentenced to three years probation for stabbing record producer Lance "Un" Rivera at a New York nightclub two years previously.

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Jay Z to perform at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Jay Z, Chris Martin ride London tube to rapper's concert: Timbaland ...

First, he took the subway to Brooklyn like a true New Yorker. Now, Jay Z is taking over London's tube. The 43-year-old rapper gave several Londoners quite the ...

Jay Z on His Rags-to-Riches Story, Wooing Beyoncé, and How Blue ...

In a preview of our November cover story by Lisa Robinson, Jay Z talks candidly about his family life and massive success.

Kanye West Ends Epic Interview With Shout-Outs To Jay Z, Kendrick ...

Kanye West gives shout outs to Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and baby North in the final part of his BBC Radio interview.

Jay-Z, Beyonce, others perform at Tidal concert in NYC - Yahoo News

From Yahoo News: NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce were joined by a slew of artists including Nicki Minaj and Usher at Barclays Center in Brooklyn ...

Jay Z Talks High School Rap Battle With Busta Rhymes on 'Kimmel ...

Lots of famous rappers hone their skills during high school rap battles, but very few face the stiff competition of Jay Z, who attended Brooklyn's George ...

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