music

Happy Birthday, Jay-Z!

Jay-Z turns 48 today and he's had quite the year, he's been nominated for eight Grammys and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Emily Treadgold


Jay-Z goes by many names, but he was born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969. He grew up in Brooklyn's Marcy Projects, now a tourist attraction from Jay-Z fans. He derived his stage name from his childhood nickname Jazzy and J/Z subway station. He founded Roc-a-Fella Records in 1996 then went on to release Reasonable Doubt which would propel his music career. In 1998 he released the album Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock Life which cemented his status.

The goal is not to be successful and famous. That's not the goal. The goal is, if you have a specific God-given ability, is to live your life out through that. One. And two, we have a responsibility to push the conversation forward until we're all equal. Till we're all equal in this place. Because until everyone's free, no one's free, and that's just a fact.

This year Jay-z released his album 4:44, a deeply personal reflection of his life, fame, and his marriage with Beyonce. He made headlines when he admitted to infidelity and said that therapy and music helped the couple stay together. He was the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and he's nominated for eight Grammys including Album of the Year.

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