Shawn Corey Carter -- better known as rapper Jay Z -- has built a hip hop empire through hit albums, elaborate tour dates, and producing. The winner of 13 Grammy Awards has been a mentor to rappers like Kanye West, as well as a husband and collaborator to superstar Beyoncé. With all the music he's making lately, Jay Z fans can be sure it will be an experience to remember.
Jay Z's years as a teenager were spent going rap battling with LL Cool J, selling crack, and performing as a hype man for Big Daddy Kane. In 1995, he co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records and achieved mainstream success with his 1998 album, Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life. The album went five times platinum, won a Grammy for Best Rap Album, and led to tour dates in front of screaming fans. Jay Z scored another hit with his 2003 The Black Album, which was followed by a Madison Square Garden tour date with a dozen or so guest stars. He made headlines in 2008 when he became the controversial headliner for the rock oriented Glastonbury Festival, but put all criticisms to rest with a hugely applauded performance.
Jay Z connected with a whole new generation of hip hop fans when he collaborated with Kanye West on the hugely successful album, Watch the Throne. His career was soaring when he created another very successful first: his and Beyonce's first child together, Blue Ivy Carter. His more mature, paternal style was mixed into the album Magna Carta...Holy Grail, which retained his signature technique while ensuring his status as a modern success.