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JAY-Z, also known as Shawn Corey Carter and formerly spelled Jay-Z or Jay Z, is an American rapper and entrepreneur who was one of the most significant personalities in hip-hop during the 1990s and the early part of the twenty-first century. Carter was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 4, 1969.
Shawn Carter was primarily reared by his mother as he was growing up in Brooklyn’s frequently hazardous Marcy Projects.
When he started rapping under the stage name Jazzy, it would influence his lyrics because he had firsthand experience with selling illegal drugs (a name that may also have been derived from the proximity of the J and Z subway lines to the Marcy Projects).
To release his debut album, Reasonable Doubt (1996), which eventually sold more than a million copies in the United States, Jay-Z and two friends established their own business, Roc-A-Fella Records.