Young Boy Raised in Crack-Infested Brooklyn Projects Becomes One of the World’s Best-Selling Musical Artists
Shawn Corey Carter was raised by his single mother after his father left the family when he was 11.
The artist now known to the world as Jay-Z has become one of the wealthiest music artists in America, selling over 50 million albums and accepting 14 Grammy Awards.
Today, Jay-Z is considered by many to be the greatest rapper of all time.
The entrepreneur didn’t stop at rapping. He continued to build on his wealth and success, and now also owns a clothing line and music management/publishing company.
In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Jay-Z explained some of the challenges of his childhood.
“Crack was everywhere—it was inescapable. There wasn’t any place you could go for isolation or a break. You go in the hallway; [there are] crackheads in the hallway. You look out in the puddles on the curbs—crack vials are littered in the side of the curbs. You could smell it in the hallways, that putrid smell; I can’t explain it, but it’s still in my mind when I think about it.” – Jay-Z
According to Wikipedia, “Jay-Z is among the most acclaimed musicians of the 21st century, and is one of the most celebrated rappers of all-time.”
Jay-Z’s love for music existed from a very young age. His mother once said that he used to wake up his siblings at night as he was banging out drum patterns on the kitchen table.
Known as “Jazzy” around his neighborhood, and strongly influenced by his mentor Jaz-O, Carter took on the name “Jay-Z” as an homage to both.