Tag: JAY Z

Born Shawn Corey Carter in New York City on December 4, 1969, Jay Z grew up in Brooklyn’s drug-infested Marcy Projects. He used rap as an escape, appearing for the first time on Yo! MTV Raps in 1989.

Carter turned to rap at a 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.

After selling millions of records with his Roc-a-Fella label, Jay-Z created his own clothing line and founded an entertainment company. He wed popular singer and actress Beyoncé in 2008.