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The Life and Times of Shawn Carter

By The Voice
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Long before the world knew him as Jay-Z, Shawn Carter had the ability to turn nothing into something. Growing up in the Marcy projects of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Shawn Carter was not born into wealth. Despite this, he envisioned a life of lavish and was determined to build this life. After his father left the home, when Carter was twelve-years-old, young Shawn turned to a life of crime.

Drug dealing was Shawn, now known as Jazzy’s, bread and butter, but he also discovered he was brilliant when it came to wordplay. Soon, Jazzy became Jay-Z and began rapping, but his career was not moving fast enough. To continue providing and living the lifestyle he was used to, Jay-Z continued to sell drugs. Soon, Jay-Z and Damon Dash teamed up and founded Roc-A-Fella Records. After the success of Jay-Z’s music, he found himself one of the rising names in the rap game.

While he was no longer living the life of a drug dealer, his stories about this period in his life helped to propel him to become one of the most-popular rappers in the game. In many ways, Jay-Z was influenced by his own drug dealer past and the mobsters, both in real life and presented on television and in movies. Jay-Z would take the mobster code and apply it to his own life and his legitimate businesses. By the late 1990s, Jay-Z was living the life every man wanted to live. His music videos were filled with some of the sexiest women, he dined at only the top restaurants, and he was rich.

Jay-Z continued to spark the envious streak of others, especially when he began his high-profile relationship with Beyonce. For years, Beyonce had been a sex symbol and the crush of teenage boys around the world. When she began dating Jay-Z, many were highly upset and did not believe in their relationship. Because both were in the spotlight, many felt their relationship would go the way of Sean Combs and Jennifer Lopez. Despite the negative assessment, Jay-Z and Beyonce proved their relationship was real when they wed in 2008. Since this time, there have been rumors of Beyonce being pregnant.

In 2010, there were rumors of the couple splitting up because Jay-Z wanted children and Beyonce did not. These rumors proved to be false and Beyonce revealed her pregnancy in 2011. Now, in the first two weeks of 2012, Jay-Z has accomplished what most men only dream of. Aside from being one of the biggest businessmen in America, Jay-Z is now a father. This adds to him being a successful rap artist, with a career which matches The Beatles in terms of popularity. Over a span of sixteen years, Jay-Z has taken the impossible and made it into his daily reality. Now, the next project from Jay-Z will be raising Blue Ivy Carter with Beyonce.

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