Who is JAY-Z? JAY-Z is an American rapper, songwriter, record executive and entrepreneur from Brooklyn, New York. He is considered one of the most successful and influential hip hop artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He has had 13 number one albums on the Billboard 200 chart, including Reasonable Doubt (1996), The Blueprint (2001) and 4:44 (2017).Early life JAY-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York. He was raised in a middle-class household in Marcy Houses, a housing project located in Bedford-Stuyvesant. As a youth, he developed an interest in music and began freestyling and writing lyrics. At age seventeen, he dropped out of high school and embarked on his career as a rapper.Career In 1995 JAY-Z released his debut album Reasonable Doubt which was critically acclaimed by music critics and helped establish him as an influential figure in the hip hop industry. His followup albums The Blueprint (2001) and The Black Album (2003) solidified his status as one of rap’s greats. In the late 2000s, JAY-Z shifted his focus to business ventures such as clothing line Rocawear, management firm Roc Nation and music streaming service Tidal. In 2017 he released his thirteenth studio album 4:44 which received widespread critical acclaim.Featuring Throughout his career JAY-Z has collaborated with some of the biggest names in hip hop including Eminem, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Justin Timberlake. He has also featured on tracks with Beyonce whom he married in 2008.Legacy JAY-Z has been praised for his lyrical ability and business acumen. He has been listed by Forbes as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in America. He is also seen as a role model for aspiring hip hop artists due to his success both as a rapper and businessman. JAY-Z's influence has extended beyond hip hop culture; he has been credited with introducing elements of fashion, entrepreneurship and wealth into mainstream culture.