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Jay Z

Jay Z

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Booking Jay Z

To book Jay Z or another Hip Hop artist for your private party, corporate event, fundraiser or other function, please fill out our Artist Request Form to quickly connect with one of our Booking Agents.

The staff of Headline Booking Group will work with you to produce a memorable event. Get started now by filling out our no-obligation Artist Request Form and we will work with you to book Jay Z or another Hip Hop for your event.


Biography

One of the greatest successful hip-hop artists of all time, Jay-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. The young rapper was raised by his mother, Gloria Carter, in Brooklyn’s drug-infested Marcy Projects. During a rough adolescence, detailed in many of his autobiographical songs, Shawn Carter dealt drugs and flirted with gun violence. He attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, where he was a classmate of the soon-to-be-martyred rap legend Notorious B.I.G.

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Carter turned to rap at a very young age as an escape from the drugs, violence and poverty that surrounded him in the Marcy Projects. In 1989, he joined the rapper Jaz-O an older performer who served as a kind of mentor to record a song called ‘The Originators,’ which won the pair an appearance on an episode of Yo! MTV Raps. It was at this point that Shawn Carter embraced the nickname Jay-Z, which was simultaneously an homage to Jaz-O, a play on Carter’s childhood nickname of ‘Jazzy,’ and a reference to the J/Z subway station near his Brooklyn home. But even though he now had a stage name, Jay-Z remained relatively anonymous until he and two friends, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke, founded their own record label, Roc-A-Fella Records, in 1996. In June of that year, Jay-Z released his debut album, Reasonable Doubt. Although the record only reached No. 23 on the Billboard charts, it is now considered a classic hip-hop album, featuring songs such as ‘Can’t Knock the Hustle,’ featuring Mary J. Blige, and ‘Brooklyn’s Finest,’ a collaboration with Notorious B.I.G. Reasonable Doubt established Jay-Z as an emerging star in hip-hop.

Two years later, Jay-Z achieved even broader success with the 1998 album Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life. The title track, which famously sampled its chorus from the Broadway musical Annie, became Jay-Z’s most popular single to date and won him his first Grammy nomination. ‘Hard Knock Life’ marked the beginning of a fruitful period in which Jay-Z would become the biggest name in hip-hop. Over the span of those years, the rapper released a slew of No. 1 albums and hit singles. His most popular songs from this period include ‘Can I Get A …’, ‘Big Pimpin”, ‘I Just Wanna Love U’, ‘Izzo (H.O.V.A.)’ and ’03 Bonnie & Clyde’, a duet with future bride Beyonce Knowles. Jay-Z’s most acclaimed album of this period was The Blueprint (2001), which would later be named on many music critics’ lists of the best albums of the decade.

In 2003, Jay-Z shocked the hip-hop world by releasing The Black Album and announcing that it would be his last solo record before retirement.
During his hiatus from rapping, Jay-Z turned his attention to the business side of music, becoming president of Def Jam Recordings. As president of Def Jam, Jay-Z signed such popular acts as Rihanna, Ne-Yo and Young Jeezy and helped effect Kanye West’s transition from producer to bestselling recording artist,.

Jay-Z’s other, ongoing business ventures include the popular urban clothing line Rocawear and Roc-A-Fella films. He also owns the 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar with locations in New York and Atlantic City, and is a part owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball franchise. As Jay-Z once rapped about his business empire, ‘I’m not a businessman/ I’m a business, man.’

In 2006, Jay-Z ended his retirement from making music, releasing the new album Kingdom Come. He has since released two more albums: American Gangster and Blueprint 3. This trio of later albums marked a significant departure from Jay-Z’s earlier sound, incorporating stronger rock and soul influences in their production.

Jay-Z married his longtime girlfriend, the popular singer Beyonce Knowles, on April 4, 2008. In a 2010 cover story, Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed Jay-Z ‘The King of America.’ While that may sound like hyperbole, Jay-Z’s ever-growing list of accomplishments places him in largely uncharted territory. Jay-Z has won 10 Grammy Awards and has released 11 No. 1 albums, more than any other solo recording artist, in history.

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