Rapper. Record producer. Entrepreneur. And now sports management. Jay Z has his fingers in many a pie. Whatever he takes on he is successful at. But it is his first “job” that I think he is best as. As a rapper the guy rarely has taken a misstep over his impressive 16 year career. He has won a whopping 17 Grammy Awards and sold over 75 million albums. Several of his albums and songs have been deemed as landmarks in the hip hop world. He definitely has to be thought of as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time.
Shawn Carter (Jay Z’s real name) was brought up in a Brooklyn housing project by a single mother. He showed an interest in music early on in his teens, so his mother encouraged him. Never having graduated from high school he claims to have made money selling crack cocaine. Soon he became known as Jazzy in his neighbourhood and that evolved into Jay Z. As a rapper he first became known for his work on a Big Daddy Kane album in the mid-90s. Still he attracted no attention from record labels so he sold his CDs out of his car. Along with Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs they formed Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995 and Jay Z struck a deal with Priority to distribute his albums. Jay Z released his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996. As they say that was just the beginning.
Flow, beats and clever wordplay is what Jay Z has built his career upon. He not only gets praise from critics, but is also respected by his peers. Due to this he has collaborated with the likes of Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Linkin Park, M.I.A., Beyoncé, and U2. Besides his own success he has shown a knack for discovering talent. Acts like Kanye West, The Neptunes, Rihanna, and J. Cole have all been introduced to us through Jay Z.
-Date: January 24, 2014
-Venue: Bell Centre
-Ticket Purchase: www.evenko.ca
-Ticket Prices: $52.00, $80.50, $100.50, $122.00, $142.50, $174.50 (plus handling charges)
-Show Time: 8:00 p.m.