Sean Corey Carter, professionally famous as Jay-Z, was born and brought up in Brooklyn, New York. His father left the family when Sean was just a kid, and they were constantly short of money. So the boy soon became independent and learned how to take care of himself. He started rapping being a teenager, and in the neighborhood, people called him Jazzy, or Jay-Z. Once, when Jay-Z was wondering around the streets, he accidentally ran across a rapper with small fame called Big Jaz, or Jay-O. The colleague told to the fresher some of his experience about show business and advised what to do in order to become prominent in rap circles. Jay-Z was the member of the hip-hop command Original Flavor for a short time, but then instead of signing to a major recording company, he decided to start his own label Roc-a-Fella Records. Having found a reputable distributor Priority Records (which later would become Def Jam, headed by Jay-Z himself), the artist recorded his debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. Such guest celebrities as Mary J. Blige and Notorious B.I.G. along with the theme of gangster life made the whole New York talk about Jay-Z.
In 1997, the autobiographic disc In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, fortified the success of the Reasonable Doubt. Besides the hardcore tracks, the work featured pop rap - such things, as Sunshine and The City Is Mine showed that Jay-Z is not serious and brutal all the time and exposed him to a wider auditory. Next year the album Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life saw light and brought the first Grammy award to the rapper. Being faithful to the one-year-one-record tradition, Jay-Z issued Vol. 3: Life And Times Of S. Carter in 1999. Dr. Dre and Timbaland produced this epic thing, full of sincere stories from Jay-Z's hard times, while singles Big Pimpin and Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up) became big hits. In 2000, the rapper had one more ace in the pocket - the full-length Dynasty Roc La Familia, which was much contributed by his protégés. The highly lyrical and passionate composition I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me) became the loudest success from the work. The sixth masterpiece titled The Blueprint affirmed Jay-Z's top position in rap in 2001. Around the same time, the scandalous rivalry between the rapper and his colleague Nas began - for the whole year both of them devoted angry and witty rap odes to each other, which greatly contributed to the popularity of both Jay-Z and Nas.
It could be that rivalry that greatly inspired Jay-Z - he secluded himself in the studio, where he wrote about 40 songs, 25 of which featured the double disc The Blueprint: The Gift & The Curse, which saw light in 2002. The cover for 2Pac's song 03 Bonnie & Clyde, featuring Beyonce, became the lead hit from the album. By that moment, it was clear that the two artists had a romance. In 2003, after the release of The Black Album, the performer announced his departure from rapping. The same year he had a farewell tour with rapper R. Kelly, which finished in pretty sum lawsuits to each other from both. In 2004, the retired artist became the Def Jam Records president. The company endured a crisis by that moment, but Jay-Z managed the situation. In 2005, he made a concert titled I Declare A War, during which made public his come back in rap. In 2006, the rapper made a forceful re-ignition with the long anticipated by fans album Kingdom Come. Next year he made the listeners amused with the album American Gangster, which was written under the impression from the eponymous film and contained Jay-Z's speculations on the theme of streets life.
In 2009, Jay-Z was ready with his brand new record The Blueprint, Vol. 3. Despite extended speculations on the artist’s creative recession, he proved that he was still able to make fascinating music.