Jay- Z Biography, Songs, & Albums – Full Career [2023 Updated]

Today’s focus is on Jay- Z Biography, Songs, & Albums along with other information that will interest you about this highly profiled music artist. He is an American singer and songwriter who rose from nothing to something and from grass to grace.

His background saw him grow up in the drug-infested Marcy Projects in Brooklyn. He began rapping as a young kid and soon grew up to be one of the greatest rappers ever. We compiled lots of interesting information about him in this article which definitely will interest you. 

Jay- Z Biography, Songs, & Albums - Full Career

Before we delve deeper into our discussion on Jay- Z Biography, Songs, & Albums, below is a quick highlight of his biography.

Full name: Shawn Corey Carter
Date of Birth: December 4, 1969
Age: 53 years
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A
Country of Origin: United States of America
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married since 2008
Spouse: Beyonce 
Children: Yes (3)
Occupation: Songwriter-Singer, Rapper, Entrepreneur
Occupation Period: 1988 till date

Beginning our discourse proper on Jay- Z Biography, Songs, & Albums is a brief discussion of his biography. Jay-Z was born with the full name Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York.

He is the last of four children born to Adnis Reeves (father) and Gloria Carter (mother). Carter’s father left him, his mother and his siblings when he was age 11 as such he was raised singly by his mother in Marcy Projects, a public housing complex built and operated by the New York City Housing Authority.

Growing up for Carter was very rough and challenging including dealing with drugs and engaging in drug violence.

He attended several high schools, including Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn until it was closed. He later went to George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School located in downtown Brooklyn.

That was where he became a classmate with Busta Rhymes and the soon-to-be-martyred rap legend Notorious B.I.G. More so, from information gathered through his interviews and lyrics, Carter mentioned that he sold crack cocaine and was shot at three times during this period.

Carter’s interest in music began at a young age as stated according to his mother who made it known that he used to wake up his siblings at night banging out drum patterns on the kitchen table.

For his birthday gift, she bought him a boombox which further heightened his interest in music, and he began freestyling and writing lyrics.

In order to escape from drugs, violence and poverty, Carter turned to rap at a young age. Carter’s nickname, Jay-Z later became his stage and professional name; he was called Jazzy in the neighborhood, he later changed to “Jay-Z” as a sign of respect to his mentor Jaz-O, an older performer who served who was his mentor.  

Read Also: Kanye West Net Worth And Biography

Jay-Z Songs and Album

As we continue in our discussion on Jay- Z Biography, Songs, & Albums, we will also discuss briefly some of his albums which brough him fame and fortune including the numerous awards he won.

Jay-Z has 14 studio albums, 5 collaborative albums, 2 Live albums and 5 compilation albums, and 1 mixtape. We will just take a preview of his 14 albums

#1. Reasonable Doubt (1996)

Jay-Z’s debut studio album “Reasonable Doubt” was released on the 25th of June, 1996 introducing Jay-Z to the music world and marks his exit and escape from the life of drugs and violence.

He tells the tale of his life in this album including the highs and lows of the street life with a smooth blend of humor and regret.

The album made was ranked at number 23 on the US Billboard 200, on which it charted for 18 weeks. This album is believed to be Jay-Z’s best work selling over 1.5 million copies in the United States.

#2. In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997)

In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 is the second studio album released by this rap icon in 1997. The album debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 chart selling over 138,000 copies in its first week. 

#3. Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life (1998)

Jay-Z was relentless and never lost hope but continued to drop impressive and interesting rap lines which made his third debut album “Hard Knock Life” a superb masterpiece which paved way for a Grammy win for Vol. 2 and another nomination for “Hard Knock Life,” marking the beginning of a successful music career for Jay-Z.

The album sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. which eventually became his most commercially successful album.

#4. Vol. 3…Life and Times of S. Carter (1999)

With an attempt to balance radio and street, Jazy-Z released his fourth studio album in 1999. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and also sold over 462,000 copies in its first week. It later went on to sell over three million copies

#5. The Dynasty: Roc La Familia (2000)

Jay-Z continued to release his studio album one year after the other with his fifth album “The Dynasty: Roc La Familia” released in 2000. “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”, was one of the album’s most successful singles peaking at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 while the album itself debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 with over 500,000 copies sold in its first week.

#6. The Blueprint (2001)

Jay-Z’s sixth album “The Blueprint” was released in September, 2001 coinciding with the September 11 attacks.  The album was not without heavy criticism. However, the album enjoyed a lot of praise for its lyrics and production value.

In fact, the album is rated to be one of Jay-Z’s best albums and also labeled among the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. It sold over 400,000 copies in the first week and also made its way to the number one in the U.S.

#7. The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse (2002)

Jay-Z’s seventh album is a sequel of The Blueprint released in 2001, The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse released on November 12, 2002. The album debuted at number one, with first week sales of 545,000 copies. 

#8. The Black Album (2003)

Forging ahead with his music career as he continues to set giant strides in the rap world, Jay-Z released his eight-studio album titled “The Black Album” released on November 28, 2003. The album happens to be his final album before retiring from music.

To make the album unique, Jay-Z worked with different producers including Just Blaze, Kanye West, The Neptunes, Eminem, DJ Quik, Timbaland, among others.

The album sold in its first week over 463,000 copies in the United States becoming Jay-Z’s top selling record of the 2000s decade. Also, it debuted in its first week, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. To mark the end of his music career, The Black Album was promoted with a retirement tour by Jay-Z.

Jay-Z eventually came out of retirement and released 6 high profiled studio albums including Magna Carta…Holy Grail (ninth album released in 2013), Kingdom Come (tenth album released in 2006), American Gangster (eleventh album released in 2007), The Blueprint 3 (twelfth album released in 2009), Magna Carta… Holy Grail (thirteenth album released in 2013), and 4:44 (fourteenth album released in 2017).

Jay-Z Net Worth

Jay-Z is one of the highly profiled rap artists in his contemporary as well as a multiple award winner with 21 Grammys awards in his archive. As of the time this article is compiled, Jay-Z has a net worth of $1 billion, according to Forbes Magazine. Thus, making him the first hip-hop artist to become a billionaire. 

His huge net worth is gotten from his music album sales, music tours, entrepreneurship, as well as endorsement deals. Jay-Z’s success is attributed to the fact that he built brands instead of promoting other businesses. 

Jay-Z Awards and Accomplishments

Talking of accomplishments throughout his career, Jay-Z has 14 No. 1 albums, according to the Billboard 200, and 21 Grammy Awards


That is the much we can take on this discussion centered on Jay- Z Biography, Songs, & Albums. Jay-Z is no doubt a successful rapper who rose from shame to fame becoming one of the best rap artists of all time with numerous music works that has earned him a high reputation in the music world.

Read Also: Jay Z Wife, Children, Age, Height: All You Need To Know

I believe you have from his biography learned something new about him. Let us know how helpful you find this article by giving us feedback.

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