Jay Z has had one of the most glittering careers in hip hop with a list of pop-upations that include rapper, songwriter, MC, record exec (as CEO of Def Jam recordings), business guru, club owner, fashion designer and media whor... sorry, we mean mogul. Crikey!
He’s been releasing records since 1996 and has teamed-up with most of the best-known names in hip hop; rappers Notorious B.I.G, P Diddy, Kanye West, Eminem and producers Neptunes, Timbaland and Rick Rubin to name but a few.
Memorable tracks that made his name include Hard Knock Life (sampling screeching orphans from the musical Annie), ’03 Bonnie & Clyde (featuring his missus, Beyoncé), Excuse Me Miss, the stripped-down beat of 99 Problems and Run This Town (featuring Kanye West and Rihanna). Is there anyone left who he hasn’t worked with him?
Famed for courting controversy, when he headlined 2009’s Glastonbury Festival, press and grumpy musos alike (yes, we mean you Noel Gallagher) harrumphed that a hip hop top billing led to poor ticket sales. The Z-ster was having none of it and proved critics wrong with a two-finger-waving explosive super set.
More recently, Jay Z has started a family with wife Beyonce. On January 7th 2012 the couple welcomed the arrival of daughter Blue Ivy Carter. Proving the proud parent, Jay-Z did the only thing a hip-hop daddy could: he featured her on a celebratory track Glory and landed the week old baby in the Billboard charts!