Jay-Z

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Posted by kaori 03/17/2009 @ 22:14

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Mr Hudson On Working With Jay-Z: 'I'm Pinching Myself' - MTV.com
'To be honest, it just does not sink in,' the British singer says of being signed by Kanye West and collaborating with Jay-Z. By Steven Roberts When Kanye West anointed English singer/songwriter Mr Hudson as an undeniable, across-the-board talent and...
Jay-Z - AZ Central.com
Multi-Grammy winner, part owner of the New Jersey Nets and the 40/40 Club, hip-hop artist Jay-Z continues to prove that he is an entrepreneur, performer, trendsetter, spokesman and philanthropist. Jay-Z performs older hits and new material from his...
John Legend, Jay-Z tickets on sale throughout the week - Ticket News
By Jean Henegan Tickets to catch the upcoming concerts from John Legend as well as tickets for upcoming shows from Jay-Z are on sale throughout the week ending May 23 as compiled by Ticket News. This week's onsales kicks off with tickets to catch...
Beyonce and Jay-Z get racing tips from F1 champ Hamilton - Press Trust of India
London, May 19 (PTI) Music industry's 'It' couple Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z have a new hobby, car racing and their guru is none other than F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The 'Crazy In Love' hit maker met Hamilton in Monaco during the weekend,...
Jay-Z and Ciara Set Dates For Summer Concert Mini-Tour - HipHopRX
Music artists Jay-Z and Ciara will be on mini-tour come this Summer, which has been scheduled to begin on July 3rd in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ciara will be the opening act and will be performing in support of her latest album “Fantasy Ride,” which released...
Just Announced: Jay Z, Akon, Deer Tick, CKY - Phoenix New Times
Jay-Z: Thursday, July 2, 7:30 pm, $35-$55. Dodge Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-379-2800. Matt the Electrician: Wednesday, Aug. 12, 7 pm, $10. Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 602-265-4842. Occidental Brothers Dance Band...
Ciara Can't Wait To Tour With Jay-Z - MTV.com
By Jocelyn Vena, with additional reporting by Matt Elias When Jay-Z hits the road this summer, he will be joined by "Love Sex Magic" singer Ciara. The singer says she can't wait to tour with the rapper, starting July 3 in Las Vegas....
Jay-Z Plots Intimate Summer Tour With Live Band, Ciara - Rolling Stone
Jay-Z has announced a series of intimate July concerts that will allow him to reconnect with fans before putting the finishing touches on his next album, The Blueprint 3. Fantasy Ride singer Ciara will be the opening act for the trek,...
Jay-Z is a Must See Performance for One Night Only at Dodge Theater - EVLiving
Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z will roll into Dodge Theatre for a performance on Thursday, July 2. The show will begin at 7:30pm. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, May 22 at 10am. Born Shawn Carter, Jay-Z has solidified himself as an entrepreneur, performer,...
Jay-Z's designer rider - China Daily
Jay-Z demands $400000 luxury cars and rooms heated to a specific temperature on his rider. It has been claimed the rapper requests a chauffeured late-model black Maybach car, while his dressing room must be heated to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and have...

Jay-Z

Jay-Z with a friend in Trenton, New Jersey, circa 1988.

Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), better known as his stage name, Jay-Z, is an American hip hop artist and businessman. He is the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Records. He co-owns The 40/40 Club and the New Jersey Nets. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having sold over 26 million units in the United States and receiving several Grammy Awards for his musical work.

Jay-Z's crowning achievement, his debut album Reasonable Doubt, is ranked by Rolling Stone as #248 on their "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". His critically acclaimed album, The Blueprint, was written in only two days. After announcing his retirement from recording music in 2003, he returned in late 2006 with the album Kingdom Come, which sold 680,000 copies in its first week, Jay-Z's highest-selling album in a one-week period. MTV named him number one on their list of the greatest MCs of all time. The New York Times announced in April of 2008 that Jay-Z is on the verge of a partnership with Live Nation for $150 million — among the most expensive contracts ever awarded to a musician.

Carter married Beyoncé Knowles on April 4, 2008.

Originally from Marcy Houses housing project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, Jay-Z was abandoned by his father Adnes Reeves and shot his brother in the shoulder for stealing his jewelry when he was twelve years old. Jay-Z attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, along with rapper AZ, until it was closed down. After that he attended George Westinghouse Information Technology High School in Downtown Brooklyn, with fellow rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes, and Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, but did not graduate. He claims to have been caught up in selling drugs, to which he refers in his music.

According to his mother Gloria Carter, a young Jay-Z used to wake his siblings up at night banging out drum patterns on the kitchen table. Eventually, she bought him a boom box for his birthday and thus sparked his interest in music. He began freestyling, writing rhymes, and followed the music of many artists popular at the time. It is stated that he beat Busta Rhymes in a rap battle, but also has lost to DMX. On top of that, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony member Bizzy Bone was snatched by his employer and taken to New York to battle Jay-Z; Bizzy reportedly was victorious in the battle.

In his neighborhood, Carter was known as "Jazzy", a nickname that eventually developed into his stage name, "Jay-Z". The moniker is also an homage to his musical mentor, Jaz-O (a.k.a. Jaz, Big Jaz), as well as to the J/Z subway lines that have a stop at Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn.

Jay-Z can be heard on several of Jaz-O's early recordings in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including "The Originators" and "Hawaiian Sophie". His career had a jump start when he battled a rapper by the name of Zai. The battle caught the eye of many record labels, as Jay-Z was able to hold his own against Zai. He first became known to a wide audience by being featured on the posse cut "Show and Prove" on the 1994 Big Daddy Kane album Daddy's Home He also made an appearance on a popular song by Big L, "Da Graveyard", and on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build", which also featured early appearances by DMX, Q-Man, Ja Rule and Shazim Hasan in 1995. His first official rap single was called "I Can't Get With That", for which he also released a music video.

From the beginning of his professional recording career, when no major label gave him a record deal, Dame Dash, Jay-Z, and Kareem Biggs created Roc-A-Fella Records as their own independent label. After striking a deal with Priority to distribute his material, Jay-Z released his 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt with beats from acclaimed producers such as DJ Premier and Clark Kent and a notable appearance by The Notorious B.I.G. Despite reaching only number 23 on the Billboard 200, the album was a critical success.

After reaching a new distribution deal with Def Jam in 1997, Jay-Z released his follow-up In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. Executively produced by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, it sold better than his previous effort. Jay-Z later explained that the album was made during one of the worst periods of his life. He was reeling from the death of his close friend The Notorious B.I.G. The album was a personal revelation for Jay-Z as he spun the tale of his hard knock upbringing. The album's glossy production stood as a contrast to his first release, and some dedicated fans felt he had "sold out". However, the album did feature some beats from producers who had worked with him on Reasonable Doubt, namely DJ Premier and Ski. Jay-Z mentioned on the YES Network's CenterStage show that if he could do one thing in his career over, it would be Vol. 1, claiming that "it was this close to being a classic, but I put like, a few songs on there that ruined it." Two examples of what he was referring to are "I Know What Girls Like" and "(Always Be My) Sunshine". They both were produced by Bad Boy beatmakers and criticized as a commercialization of his sound. Like its predecessor, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 also earned Platinum status in the United States.

1998's Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life spawned the biggest hit of his career at the time, "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)". He also relied more on flow and brilliant wordplay, and he continued his penchant for mining beats from the popular producers of the day such as Swizz Beatz, an upstart in-house producer for Ruff Ryders, and Timbaland. Other producers tapped for beats include: DJ Premier, Erick Sermon, The 45 King, and Kid Capri. Charting hits from this album included "Can I Get A...", featuring Ja Rule and Amil, and "Nigga What, Nigga Who", which featured Amil too. Vol. 2 would eventually become Jay-Z's most commercially successful album; it was certified 5x platinum in the United States and has to date sold over 8 million worldwide. The album went on to win a Grammy Award, although Jay-Z boycotted the ceremony protesting DMX's failure to garner a Grammy nomination.

In 1999, Jay-Z released Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter. Despite continued criticism for his increasingly pop-oriented sound, the album proved to be successful and went platinum three times and sold over 5.6 million records worldwide. Through his lyricism, he was able to retain respect from some of his die-hard fans. Vol. 3 is remembered for its smash hit, "Big Pimpin'" (feat. UGK). By this time, Jay-Z was seen as a hip-hop figurehead both by hardcore fans and by the hip-hop industry due to his lyrics and his high album sales.

The subject of much criticism, praise, popularity, condemnation, and discussion, Jay-Z decided to begin developing other artists. Around 2000, he and Damon Dash signed various artists (including "Dynasty" members Amil, Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek) and began introducing them to the public. He next appeared on The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, which was intended as a compilation album to introduce these new artists, though the album had Jay-Z's name on it to strengthen market recognition and by extension, sales. This strategy worked to an extent - The Dynasty: Roc La Familia sold over 2 million units in the U.S. alone.

In 2001, Jay-Z released The Blueprint which was later considered by many to be one of hip hop's "classic" albums, receiving the coveted 5 mic review from The Source magazine. Released during the wake of September 11 attacks, the album managed to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, selling more than 427,000 units; the album's success was overshadowed by the tragic event. The Blueprint has been certified two-time Platinum in the United States. This album was the first since his breakthrough album Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life not to feature Amil, who was dropped in late 2000 because of a feud between Jay-Z/Roc-A-Fella and herself, caused by her meager album sales and her weight gain.

The Blueprint was applauded for its production and the balance of "mainstream" and "hardcore" rap, receiving recognition from both audiences. Eminem was the only guest rapper on the album, producing and rapping on the single "Renegade" (Biz Markie, Slick Rick and Q-Tip were also guests, but only contributed hooks to the song "Girls, Girls, Girls"). Four of the thirteen tracks on the album were produced by Kanye West and represents one of West's first major breaks in the industry. The Blueprint also includes the popular "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" and "Takeover", a song that takes on rivals Prodigy of Mobb Deep and Nas.

Jay-Z's next solo album was 2002's 4 million (U.S. only) selling The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse, a double-album. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number one, selling over 545,000 units and surpassing The Blueprint. It was later reissued in a single-disc version, The Blueprint 2.1, which retained half of the tracks from the original and went on to sell a further 800,000 copies. The album spawned two massive hit singles, "Excuse Me Miss" and "Bonnie and Clyde" featuring Jay-Z's girlfriend of four years Beyoncé Knowles. "Guns & Roses", a track featuring Lenny Kravitz, and "Hovi Baby" were two successful radio singles as well. The album also features the tracks "A Dream", featuring Faith Evans and a recording of the late The Notorious B.I.G.; and "The Bounce", featuring Kanye West (who, at that time, was not yet an artist). The Blueprint 2.1 features tracks that do not appear on The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse, such as "Stop", "La La La (Excuse Me Again)", "What They Gonna Do, Part II" and "Beware" produced by and featuring Panjabi MC.

Tension between the two supposedly dates as far back as 1996, when Nas refused to make a guest appearance on Jay-Z's debut album Reasonable Doubt. However, the relationship between the two rappers remained peaceful (Jay-Z even giving a shoutout to Nas in his album liner notes), and the tension did not escalate to full-blown rivalry until after the death of the Notorious B.I.G. The position of favorite rapper in New York seemed vacant after the death of Biggie, and fans were eager to see who would take over.

The dispute involved many of the rappers, especially associates at Roc-a-Fella Records, who declared an all-out war against Nas. However, the feud died down somewhat toward the end of 2002. It is believed by most that Nas won this battle, though it is still a subject of intense debate. New York radio station Hot 97 tried to settle the matter by taking votes, matching "Ether"/"Stillmatic" against "Takeover"/"Supa Ugly". Nas won with 58% while Jay-Z got 42% of the votes. Nas and Jay-Z have paid tribute to each other in interviews, likening the battle to a world title boxing match that pitched the best against the best, and pleased with the entertainment it provided fans. After Jay-Z signed Nas to Def Jam (of which Jay-Z was president and CEO), he also featured on Nas's first Def Jam album, Hip Hop Is Dead, where he does a song with Nas called "Black Republican." The rivalry also impacted their careers critically and commercially. The battle was significant in that it revived the trend of using 'beefs' as a source for publicity and promotion for hip hop artists, for a time unpopular following the tragic deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., now prevalent within the hip hop community.

Jay-Z toured with 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Sean Paul while finishing work on what was announced as his final album, The Black Album. He worked with several producers including Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Kanye West, Timbaland, Eminem, DJ Quik, 9th Wonder and Rick Rubin. Notable songs on the album included "What More Can I Say", "Dirt Off Your Shoulder", "Change Clothes", and "99 Problems". The latter was a cross-over hit comparable to the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", which some believe pays homage to the now-rare old-school rap style. A few of the songs done on this album portray a more personal side of Jay-Z; for example, "Moment of Clarity" sheds light on his feelings towards his estranged father and coping with his death. It also deals with accusations that he sold out to reach a wider audience. "What More Can I Say" addresses the "biting" accusations leveled against him by Nas in "Ether" and other detractors, as Jay-Z raps, "I'm not a biter I'm a writer for myself and others/I say a Big verse I'm only biggin' up my brother." During that same year, Jay-Z supplied new rhymes on a remix of Panjabi MC's "Mundian To Bach Ke", a desi rap jam with a Bhangra flavor of which Jay-Z became enamored after hearing it at a nightclub in Hong Kong. Re-released as "Beware of the Boys", the East-West hip-hop fusion track charted in North America. The Black Album has sold 3 million copies in the US.

In 2004, there was a runaway hit remix project by Danger Mouse called The Grey Album in which Jay-Z's Black Album vocals were blended with instrumentals sampled exclusively from The Beatles' White Album (which subsequently embroiled the DJ in a lawsuit that was later dropped with EMI, the owners of the Beatles' work). This was made possible by an a cappella version of the "Black Album" that Jay-Z released with the specific intent for others to mix. The success of The Grey Album led to a rainbow of Black Album remix projects including The Red Album, The Blue Album and so forth.

Also in 2004, Jay-Z collaborated with rock group Linkin Park. The project was named Collision Course, and contained a six track EP, as well as a making of DVD. Some of the mash ups tracks were entitled "Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You", "Jigga What/Faint", and "Numb/Encore". "Numb/Encore" went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and was also performed with Linkin Park live at the Grammys, with a special appearance by Paul McCartney, who added verses from his song Yesterday. The EP sold over two million copies in the US alone.

On November 25, 2003, Jay-Z held a concert at Madison Square Garden, which would later be the focus of his film Fade to Black. This concert was his "retirement party". All proceeds went to charity. Other performers included collaborators like The Roots (in the form of his backing band), Missy Elliott, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Siegel, Freeway, Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Twista, Ghostface Killah, Foxy Brown, Pharrell and R. Kelly with special appearances by Voletta Wallace and Afeni Shakur, the mothers of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur respectively.

While Jay-Z had attested to a retirement from making new studio albums, various side projects and appearances soon followed. Included in these were a greatest hits record, mash-up projects and concert appearances with R. Kelly and Linkin Park.

Jay-Z was the executive producer of Fort Minor's debut album The Rising Tied. Mike Shinoda got together with Jay-Z and Linkin Park bandmate Brad Delson to discuss what tracks should make the album.

Having been such a visible artist in the late 1990s through the early 2000s, Jay-Z has been the subject of more rap-related controversy than most artists in mainstream hip-hop. Some of these have been resolved, some are ongoing, and some have simply dissipated.

On October 27, 2005, Jay-Z headlined New York's Power 105.1 annual concert, Powerhouse. The concert was entitled the "I Declare War" Concert leading to intense speculation in the weeks preceding the event on whom exactly Jay-Z would declare war. As he had previously "declared war" on other artists taking lyrical shots at him at other events, many believed that the Powerhouse show would represent an all-out assault by Jay-Z upon his rivals. However, an anticipated response to subliminal shots taken by The Game and Cam'ron never materialized.

The theme of the concert was Jay-Z's position as President and CEO of Def Jam, complete with an on-stage mock-up of the Oval Office. Many artists made appearances such as the old roster of Roc-A-Fella records artists, as well as Ne-Yo, Teairra Mari, T.I., Young Jeezy, Akon, Kanye West, Paul Wall, The LOX, and Diddy.

At the conclusion of the concert, Jay-Z put many arguments to rest to the surprise of hip-hop fans. Instead of declaring war, he declared that he was the "United Nations of this rap shit". The most significant development in this show was closure to the infamous hip hop rivalry between Jay-Z and Nas. The two former rivals shook hands and shared the stage together to perform Jay-Z's "Dead Presidents" blended with Nas's song "The World is Yours" from which "Dead Presidents" had sampled the vocals on the chorus. Nas's verses were rapped over the "Dead Presidents" beat in the vein of a mix song done by DJ Statik Selektah. Nas also performed songs of his own later in the show.

Disagreements between other artists were also brought to a close (or put on hold) at the Powerhouse show. The event brought together for the first time in years, Diddy and The LOX, both having had a long-standing animosity due to a contract agreement and the latter's departure from Bad Boy Entertainment. Shortly after the concert, the altercation was fully rectified.

The event also saw the return of Beanie Sigel from incarceration. There had been some speculation that Beanie Sigel was going to depart from Roc-A-Fella Records, but this concert proved otherwise. Beanie and The LOX's Jadakiss also officially ended their own argument when they, Jay-Z, the rest of the LOX and Sauce Money (who had been thought to have some animosity towards Jay-Z, but this was also untrue) all performed the song "Reservoir Dogs".

Jay-Z returned with his comeback album on November 21, 2006 titled Kingdom Come. Jay-Z's comeback single, "Show Me What You Got", was leaked on the Internet in early October 2006, scheduled to be released later on that month, received heavy air-play after its leak, causing the FBI to step in and investigate. Jay-Z worked with video director Hype Williams, and the single's video was directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job). The album features producers such as Just Blaze, Pharrell, Kanye West, Dr. Dre and Coldplay's Chris Martin (single entitled "Beach Chair"). This album has sold 2 million copies in the U.S. alone. In June 2007, Jay-Z reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with Rihanna's "Umbrella", becoming his first number one song since "Crazy in Love" with Beyoncé Knowles.

Jay-Z released his tenth album entitled American Gangster on November 6, 2007. After viewing the film, he was heavily inspired to create a new "concept" album that depicts his experiences as a street-hustler. The album is not the film's official soundtrack, although it will be distributed by Def Jam. Jay-Z's American Gangster depicts his life in correlation to the movie American Gangster.

It was controversially announced on February 2, 2008 that Jay-Z would headline Glastonbury Festival in 2008, becoming the first major hip-hop artist to headline the British festival. He was blamed by some for relatively slow ticket sales for the festival, although a more likely cause is the preceding run of terrible weather and flooding that in 2007 made life at the festival very difficult. One of the more outspoken critics of his selection was Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame. In response to Gallagher's criticism, Jay-Z opened his Glastonbury set with a tongue-in-cheek cover of Oasis's iconic song "Wonderwall". His Glastonbury performance was heralded as a successful response to pre-festival criticism. He also headlined many other summer festivals in 2008, including Roskilde Festival in Denmark, Hove Festival in Norway and O2 Wireless Festival in London.

Jay-Z also stated that after he finishing touring he's going to start another album. Timbaland has previously stated that he will be producing the entire album. Recently, however, Jay-Z went on record to say that it is not guaranteed to be a full Timbaland production.

During Kanye West's August 6 concert at Madison Square Garden, Jay-Z came out to perform a new song and he and Kanye proclaimed that it was to be on The Blueprint 3.

Apart from having been President and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, Jay-Z is also one of the owners and founders of the Roc-A-Fella empire, which includes Roc-A-Fella Records, Roc-La-Familia, Roc-A-Fella Films and Rocawear.

Jay-Z has also established himself as an entrepreneur like his fellow hip-hop-moguls, and friends, Russell Simmons, Dr. Dre and Sean "Diddy" Combs, who also have business holdings such as record companies and clothing lines. In interview, he stated that "my brands are an extension of me. They're close to me. It's not like running GM, where there's no emotional attachment." He received GQ's International Man of the Year award.

Jay-Z announced on December 24, 2007 that he will not remain at Def Jam as the company's President, and vacated the position effective of January 1, 2008. Jay-Z teamed up with Norwegian production duo Stargate to establish a record label called StarRoc.

Jay-Z co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with partners Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke. Def Jam purchased a 50% stake in the company in 1997 for a reported $1.5 million.

In late 2004, Jay-Z, Dash and Biggs sold their remaining interests in Roc-A-Fella Records and the Def Jam Recordings by Island Def Jam chairman L. A. Reid. Reportedly this major industry move was prompted by disagreement between Jay-Z and Dash as to what new ventures Roc-A-Fella could undertake.

The publicized split between Jay-Z, Dash and Biggs led to the former partners sending jabs at each other in interviews. Dame Dash has made comments that after the break up he was portrayed as "Osama bin Laden" to ensure that rappers would stay with Jay-Z and not sign with him. Dash currently operates the recently-founded Dame Dash Music Group as a joint venture with Island Def Jam producing some former Roc-A-Fella artists.

In 1999, Jay-Z co-founded the urban clothing brand Rocawear with Roc-A-Fella Records partners Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke. Rocawear has clothing lines and accessories for men, women and children. The line was taken over by Jay-Z in early 2006 following a falling out with co-founder Damon Dash.

In March 2007, Jay-Z sold the rights to the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group, for $204 million. Jay-Z will retain his stake in the company and will continue to oversee the marketing, licensing and product development.

Jay-Z co-owns The 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar that started in New York City and has since expanded to Atlantic City, NJ. Future plans will see 40/40 Clubs in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Singapore. Roc-A-Fella also distributes Armadale, a Scottish vodka, in the U.S.

On October 16, 2006, Jay-Z's new commercial spot with Anheuser-Busch aired, featuring his latest single "Show Me What You Got". Jay-Z will serve as co-brand director for Budweiser Select while collaborating with the company on strategic marketing programs and creative ad development. He will be providing direction on brand programs and ads that appear on TV, radio, print, and high-profile events.

Jay-Z is a part-owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA team paying a reported $4.5 million for his share. He is also interested in relocating the team to Brooklyn. In October 2005, he was reported in English media as considering buying a stake of Arsenal FC, an English football (soccer) team. However, at this point, this is still speculation.

Jay-Z has invested in a real estate development venture called J Hotels which recently acquired a $66 million mid-block parcel in Chelsea, New York. Jay-Z and his partners are contemplating constructing a high-end hotel or an art gallery building on the newly acquired site which has the potential to go up about twelve stories.

According to The New York Times, Jay-Z is finalizing a deal with concert promoter Live Nation for $150 million, one of the richest contracts ever awarded to a musician. This partnership, which will be named Roc Nation, will include financing for Jay-Z's own entertainment ventures (which are expected to become a record label, talent/management agency, and music publishing company). Live Nation is expected to contribute $5 million a year in overhead for five years, with another $25 million available to finance Jay-Z's acquisitions or investments. Roc Nation would then split profits with Live Nation. To finalize the deal, Jay-Z will depart from Def Jam Records after he turns in his last required album under his talent contract. Jay-Z will be the first hip-hop artist to sign with Live Nation.

Jay-Z and Stargate have created a new label, StarRoc. The recording studio will be based in Jay-Z's Manhattan Roc the Mic studio. Although there are no new artists signed yet, all artists will be signed to 360 contracts, which includes endorsements, record sales, and concert revenue.

In 1999, Jay-Z was accused of stabbing record executive Lance "Un" Rivera for what Jay-Z perceived was Rivera's bootlegging of Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter. The stabbing allegedly occurred at the record release party for Q-Tip's debut solo album Amplified at the Kit Kat Klub, a now defunct night club in Times Square, New York City, on December 9. Jay-Z's associates at the party were accused of causing a commotion within the club, which Jay-Z allegedly used as cover when he supposedly stabbed Rivera in the stomach with a five-inch (127 mm) blade.

Jay-Z initially denied the incident and pleaded not guilty when a grand jury returned the indictment. Jay-Z and his lawyers contended he was nowhere around Rivera during the incident and they had witnesses and videotape evidence from the club that showed Jay-Z's whereabouts during the disturbance. Nevertheless, he later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that resulted in a sentence of three years probation. Jay-Z makes reference to the trial and incident on his songs "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)", on The Blueprint, "Threat", on The Black Album, "I Did It My Way" on The Blueprint 2: The Curse, and "Dear Summer", which was included in Memphis Bleek's 2005 release 534. Nas references this on "Ether" with the lyrics: "your man stabbed 'Un' and made you take the blame". Rival rapper Cam'ron claimed on a diss song ("Gotta Love It") that the stabbing had actually been over female rapper Charli Baltimore.

Jay-Z's most public relationship to date has been with American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles, a former member of Destiny's Child. In 1998, Jay-Z was featured on a song by producer Timbaland, titled "Lobster & Scrimp", which references Destiny's Child's first single "No, No, No". His lyrics include "She said, 'You're stressin me now,'/Said, 'No No No,' then, 'Yea yea yea' like she Destiny's Child." In 1999, Jay-Z directed rapper Amil's video for "I Got That", in which Beyoncé was featured. In 2001, Jay-Z was featured on a song by Missy Elliott, titled "One Minute Man (Remix)", in which he raps "Get your 'Independent' ass out of here - QUESTION?", a reference to the Destiny's Child 2000 single "Independent Women Part I". Destiny's Child was also seen in his 2001 video "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," lip-syncing some of his raps. However, some fans mark their relationship as going public in their collaboration on "Bonnie & Clyde", the first single off his 2002 album The Blueprint 2 - The Gift and the Curse. His lyrics include "Let's lock this down like it's supposed to be/ The Bonnie and Clyde, Hov and B." Jay-Z returned the favor the next year on Knowles' hit single "Crazy In Love" and as well as "That's How You Like It" from her debut Dangerously in Love. On her second album, B’Day, he made appearances on the 2006 hits, "Déjà vu" and "Upgrade U". In the video for the latter song, she comically imitates his appearance.

The couple generally avoid discussing their relationship. Beyoncé has stated that she believes that not publicly discussing their relationship has helped them. Jay-Z said in a People article, "We don't play with our relationship." They keep a low public profile despite being photographed at New Jersey Nets home games and while on vacation in Cannes in 2007. The pair were listed as a Power Couple on Time Magazine's 100's Most Influential People of 2006.

On April 4, 2008, it was reported by People that Knowles and Jay-Z had been married at a private ceremony in New York City. It became a matter of public record on April 22, 2008, but Knowles did not publicly debut her $5 million Lorraine Schwartz-designed wedding ring until the Fashion Rocks concert on September 5, 2008 in New York City.

During his retirement, Jay-Z also became involved in philanthropic activity. On August 9, 2006, he met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the organization's headquarters in New York. The rapper pledged to use his upcoming world tour to raise awareness of – and combat – global water shortage. Already on the look-out for a way to, in his own words, "become helpful", he had been made aware of this issue during a visit to Africa. The effort took place in partnership with the UN, as well as MTV, which produced a documentary entitled Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life, first airing in November 2006.

Jay-Z also, along with Sean "Diddy" Combs, pledged USD 1 million to the American Red Cross' relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. Jay-Z stated his support for Kanye West after the latter's outburst against President Bush during a live Katrina charity telethon. He also addressed the issue of the Katrina disaster, and the government's response, in his song "Minority Report".

Shortly after the release of Murda Muzik, Jay-Z spoke out against the duo Mobb Deep, leading to an increase in publicity. Rumor has it that Prodigy took issue with two Jay-Z lines that he felt were subliminal shots at Mobb Deep. One line from Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter states, "How dare you look at Jigga like I'm shook like boo," which he interpreted as a reference to "Shook Ones Pt. II." These remarks were compounded with a line from another one of Jay-Z's albums, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life: "What the deal is? (huh?)/Its like New York's been soft Ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings," which Prodigy felt referenced Mobb Deep's beef with Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Death Row Records. Later, at the Hot 97 Summer Jam show of 2001, Jay-Z performed "Takeover," which attacked Prodigy and was later re-recorded for his album The Blueprint. He also revealed photographs of a young Prodigy dressed up like Michael Jackson in 1983, although Jay-Z claimed it was 1988.

The Grey Album is an album by Danger Mouse, released in 2004, using an a cappella version of Jay-Z's The Black Album coupled with instrumentals created from a multitude of unauthorized samples from The Beatles's The White Album. The Grey Album gained notoriety due to the response by EMI in attempting to halt its distribution and the "Grey Tuesday", a day of coordinated electronic civil disobedience. Jay-Z has not publicly commented on The Grey Album. The album is still available as download on the Internet and often billed as "Jay-Z and Danger Mouse", "Jay-Z vs Danger Mouse" or "Jay-Z "The Black Album" vs. The Beatles "White Album"".

Joe Budden raised eyebrows on a remix of "Pump it Up" featuring Jay-Z where the rappers appeared to be battling each other. This has led to speculations of bad blood between the two being a factor in the constant delays The Growth has suffered, since Jay-Z was the President of Joe's then parent label, namely, Def Jam. However, both men have denied this. But more conversation was brought up, e.g., how Dame Dash signed Budden to Roc-A-Fella without telling Jay-Z, whom Dame was partners with at the time. Later, Joe would be let go from Def Jam while under Jay-Z's presidency, and his second album would never be released.

Since this time, Jay-Z hasn't directly responded.

The feud between The Game and Roc-A-Fella Records grew out of an earlier rivalry with Memphis Bleek over the name of his label (Get Low Records), which was similar to the one The Game was previously signed to (Get Low Recordz). On the single "Westside Story", The Game raps that "I don't do button-up shirts or drive maybachs", which was perceived as being directed towards Jay-Z. Later Jay-Z performed a freestyle on Funkmaster Flex's radio show on Hot 97 and in it, he repeatedly used the word "game", which some hip-hop fans believed was directed towards The Game. The Game responded with the track "My Bitch" and made several remarks directed at Roc-A-Fella Records on several other tracks.

While The Game was feuding with Roc-A-Fella artists, his first album featured production from Kanye West and Just Blaze, two Roc-A-Fella producers. In an interview with Ed Lover and Monie Love, The Game said the Maybach line on "Westside Story" was referring to Ja Rule. He also said he has a lot of respect for Jay-Z and would never take shots at a legend. Jay-Z later insisted that the "game" references were just about the rap game itself, not the rapper. The Game still addressed Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel and Young Gunz on some songs, but the feud between them cooled off. There were rumors that Jay-Z was planning on "declaring war" on The Game and others at a concert. He instead used the opportunity to make peace with many of his rivals.

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Jay-Z vs. Nas feud

The feud between hip hop artists Nas and Jay-Z received public attention beginning in 2001 and ended in 2005. Due to the influence and success of the artists involved, it is one of the more popular recent feuds in hip hop, especially after what happened after the battle between the East Coast hip-hop and West Coast hip-hop scene.

The feud between these two rappers is one of the more publicized feuds in recent years. Initially, the relationship between the two rappers was respectful (Jay-Z even giving a shoutout to Nas in his album liner notes). The tension did not escalate to a rivalry until after the death of The Notorious B.I.G., when the position of most popular New York rapper (also known as the King of New York) seemed to become vacant. Fans were eager to see who would fill that role.

Jay-Z continued to show his respect to Nas in 1997 by referencing him on his song "Where I'm From" ("Who's the best MCs? Biggie, Jay-Z, and Nas") and by sampling Nas's voice from his song "Represent" on his own track, "Rap Game/Crack Game". That same year, Nas responded to Jay-Z on his track "We Will Survive" (released in 1999, on his album I Am…) in reference to Biggie, with "But, now competition is none, now that you're gone//And these niggas is wrong — usin' your name in vain//And they claim to be New York's king? It ain't about that", dismissing Jay-Z as a serious rival as well as attacking both his claims of superiority and his continual evoking of B.I.G.'s legacy.

The tension between the pair surfaced on their next releases, as each included aggressive songs entitled "Come Get Me", and various verbal jabs were thrown during subsequent mixtape appearances. The beef bubbled over into the public eye when Jay-Z mocked Nas's Queensbridge, Queens allies Mobb Deep on stage at the Hot 97 Summer Jam hip hop festival, reciting the opening verse to "Takeover", which ended with the line, Ask Nas, he don't want it with Hov.

This is the first direct diss track toward Nas and it contains the lyric: "you-know-who/did you-know-what/with you-know-who/But lets keep that between me and you (for now)." Later on, both Jay-Z and Nas stated that this line is in reference to Jay-Z sleeping with Carmen Bryan. The Blueprint also contains an opening track titled "The Ruler's Back".

Nas responded with a greatly acclaimed track entitled "Ether" from his album Stillmatic, in which he mocked Jay-Z's early years as an aspiring young rapper ("In 88 you was gettin chased through your building calling my crib and i didn't even give you my number") in which he supposedly idolized Nas) and accused him of being a misogynist. He also explained how Jay-Z exploited The Notorious B.I.G.'s legacy by stealing his lyrics and claiming that he is a better artist. "Ether" contains a Screwed vocal sample by Tupac Shakur from "Fuck Friendz" where he says "fuck Jay-Z" and Nas himself mocks Jay-Z's line "I will not lose" from "U Don't Know". He derisively points out that Eminem showed him up on his own album, alluding to the song "Renegade". Nas claims that "The King is back (ill) / where the crown at? (ill will)", claiming that he is the true recipient of the throne after Notorious B.I.G.

The positive response to "Ether" created enormous interest in the rivalry throughout the hip hop community, the music media and even mainstream news outlets. Jay-Z responded to "Ether" in a radio freestyle that became known as "Supa Ugly". The first verse of the song is delivered over a sample of Nas' "Got Ur Self A...," when Jay-Z claims " I got myself a gun". In the song, Jay-Z dismisses the "Ether" track as being filled with falsehoods and questions Nas' street credibility. The beat of the song then switches up to Dr. Dre's "Bad Intentions", which Jay-Z alluded to an ongoing sexual relationship with Carmen Bryant, the mother of Nas' child. The song also alleges that Bryant also had a relationship with Allen Iverson.

Jay-Z's mother heard the song on the radio and demanded Jay-Z publicly apologize to Nas and his family, to which Jay-Z obliged. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Jay-Z claimed that mentioning his relationship with Bryant was fair game when Nas implied Jay-Z was gay in "Ether". The feud continued to simmer, and rumors of a live pay-per-view freestyle battle began to circulate but never came to fruition.

After the promoters of Hot 97's Summer Jam festival refused to allow headlining Nas to hang an effigy of Jay-Z during his performance at 2002's show, he appeared on Hot 97's rival Power 105 and attacked both the music industry's control over hip hop and the rappers who he saw as submitting to it, including Jay-Z, Nelly, N.O.R.E. and Jay-Z's label mate Cam'ron: "Y'all brothers gotta start rapping about something that's real.... Rappers are slaves." This brought Cam'ron into the Jay-Z/Nas feud; Cam'ron controversially made disparaging remarks about Nas' mother. Ironically, after Cam'ron established his group Dipset in 2005, he attacked Jay-Z for stealing Notorious B.I.G.'s lyrics just as Nas did.

Meanwhile, Nas compared himself and Jay-Z to the characters Tony Montana and Manolo respectively from the film Scarface, on his track "Last Real Nigga Alive" from his God's Son album. That track detailed how Jay-Z forced Nas into battling him by attacking him while he was caring for his dying mother. However, the feud died down somewhat toward the end of 2002.

Jay-Z also made reference to his relationship with Carmen on the songs 'Is That Ur Chick' and "D'evils". This could also be counted as a diss record towards Nas.

Debate continues in the hip hop community about who came out on top in the feud. On December 14, 2001, "Ether" and "Supa Ugly" were pitted against each on a Hot 97 radio phone-in poll, with fans calling in to vote for the winner. Nas's "Ether" defeated Jay-Z's "Supa Ugly" 58% to 42%. After the release of The Black Album, both Nas and Jay-Z paid tribute to each other in interviews. The rivalry also aided their careers critically and commercially. The battle was significant in that it revived the trend of using ‘beefs’ as a source for publicity and promotion for hip hop artists, which became unpopular following the tragic deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, but once again prevalent within the hip hop community.

In what can be considered a pivotal moment in hip hop history, the feud was formally ended in October 2005 at Jay-Z's I Declare War concert, where Nas made a special guest appearance and performed the hook to "Dead Presidents" and a few of his own tracks such as "NY State of Mind" and "Hate Me Now". In 2005 at another 105.1 concert Jay and Nas reunited on stage and performed a song together.

In January 2006, Nas signed with at the time Jay-Z's Def Jam Recordings, further emphasizing the truce and raising expectations for a possible collaboration.

Nas and Jay-Z are now business partners and they have toured, recorded and appeared on television and radio together throughout 2006. Jay-Z appeared on Nas' album Hip Hop Is Dead which was released under Nas' new partnership with Def Jam. The track is titled "Black Republican". Nas also appeared on Jay-Z's 2007 album American Gangster on a track titled "Success". Nas is also noticeable in the music video for the song "Roc Boys" from Jay-Z's latest album, American Gangster. The two rappers also appeared together on a track titled "I Do It For Hip Hop" with Ludacris for his release Theater Of The Mind. Nas then joined Jay-Z as a guest on his The Blueprint 3 album on the sequel to first single "Swagger Like Us". The song also features verses from Young Jeezy and Andre 3000.

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Unfinished Business (R. Kelly & Jay-Z album)

Unfinished Business cover

Unfinished Business is the second collaboration LP between R. Kelly and Jay-Z (following The Best of Both Worlds, their first collaboration in 2002), released in 2004. The album was, allegedly, composed of previously unreleased tracks from the Best of Both Worlds sessions. It was seen by critics and the general public as just a money making opportunity for both artists and a play to push a summer tour.

The first single was "Big Chips".

The album debuted and peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart for one week, with sales of 215,000. Unfortunately that was 41% of the album's overall sales. To date it has sold 524,000 copies in the U.S.

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The Best of Both Worlds (R. Kelly & Jay-Z album)

Best Of Both Worlds cover

The Best of Both Worlds is a 2002 collaborative album by R. Kelly & Jay-Z. The album sold 215,000 in its opening week and debuted at #2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Despite being such a high profile collaboration, no music videos were produced to help promote the album. It is believed that Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella wanted to distance themselves from the controversy surrounding R. Kelly at the time.

No singles were released from this album due to R.Kelly's Sex Tape Scandal.

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Source : Wikipedia