Rap legend Jay-Z appeared to reach the pinnacle of generosity when he splashed out more than 100 grand for a buddy’s birthday celebrations in early 2018. However, after news of his tip that night went viral, the Roc Nation mogul was in fact accused of being somewhat less than philanthropic. Here is a look at what happened when J-Hova “went uptown and shut it down.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 4, 1969, Shawn Corey Carter grew up in a rough neighborhood. As a teenager, he spent much of his time hustling on the streets. But it was also on the streets that he first began showcasing his talents as a rapper and adopted the name Jay-Z. After co-founding his own label, Roc-a-Fella Records, he released his first album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996. From then on Jay-Z never looked back.
Indeed, huge critical acclaim followed massive sales success. Whipping out In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 in 1997, his album from the next year, Vol 2… Hard Knock Life, won the Best Rap Album Grammy. The 1999 follow-up, Vol 3… Life and Times of S. Carter, peaked at number one on the Billboard album chart. And The Blueprint was hailed as an instant classic on its 2001 release, and The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse followed it a year later. Jay-Z also recorded collaborative albums with members of the Roc-a-Fella roster and then R. Kelly before announcing his retirement with 2003’s The Black Album.