April 18, 2013
Shawn Corey Carter aka “JAY-Z”
Shawn Corey Carter was born April 12, 1969 in Brooklyn New York, to Gloria Carter and Adnes Reeves. Shawn was the last of four children born, “Jay-Z's mother once said he was, "the only one who didn't give me any pain when I gave birth to him, and that's how I knew he was a special child"(1). At the age of 11 years old Jay’s father Adnes left the family leaving Gloria to raise the four children alone. This was a devastating blow for him because he looked up to his father religiously. That’s when Shawn began to make a change for the worst. Shawn was given the name “Jazzy” from neighborhood friends due to his swagger. However, he later changed his name too Jay Z after the J and Z trains which ran through his neighborhood. As a child Jay Z went to school at Eli Whitney High School and Westinghouse Career and Technical High School in Brooklyn, Jay eventually dropped out of school and dove head first into the streets. From this point on he sold drugs and carried a pistol. Jay Z shot his brother at the age of 13 years old, because he stole his gold ring in order to support his drug addiction. Shawn began to idolize Brooklyn’s drug dealers and the glamorous lifestyles; prior to taking his rap career seriously he sold drugs from New York City to Virginia. Shawn decided he needed to change his life after being shot multiple times and risking possible jail time if caught. Jay Z traded in the crack game for the rap game. Jay Z has always had a love and passion for music, in fact according to Jay-Z’s mother he use to keep everyone up in the house beating on the table. She eventually brought him a boom box further influencing his interest music. Music was Shawn’s way of coping with the reality of growing up in the ghetto. He got his first real taste of stardom with a fellow rapper named Jaz O. Unfortunately, due to lack of success Jaz-O Stopped rapping, and Jay Z continued...
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