Shawn Carter, better known as Jay Z, is ranked as one of the most successful rappers in the world. He’s one of the best selling artists of all time with 100 million record sales to his name and a whopping 21 Grammy Awards under his belt. But that’s not all. He’s also an extremely successful investor and businessman who’s a co-owner of the New York 40/40 Club, the clothing line Rocawear and is the former president of Def Jam Recordings, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records and founder of Roc Nation. On top of all this, he’s also a certified NBA and MLB sports agent. The fiercely private and humble rapper is married to fellow superstar Beyonce, making them one of the biggest powerhouse couples. Despite his widespread fame — not much is known about the rapper. Here’s a look at 10 things you probably didn’t know about Jay Z!
Born Shawn Corey Carter, Jay Z had a troubled childhood and his family struggled a lot growing up. He was raised by his mother, Gloria Carter, with his three siblings in Marcy Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. “We were living in a tough situation, but my mother managed; she juggled. Sometimes we’d pay the light bill, sometimes we paid the phone, sometimes the gas went off. We weren’t starving — we were eating, we were O.K. But it was things like you didn’t want to be embarrassed when you went to school; you didn’t want to have dirty sneakers or wear the same clothes over again,” he said.