Jay-Z has been an active rapper since the late 1980s and his pen still holds weight and high regard from well-heeled supporters and outside observers alike. Today, the Brooklyn business mogul turns 51, and Twitter is joined together in honoring the life and legacy of the man some call Hov.
Born Shawn Corey Carter, the future legend got his start as a mentee of Jaz-O, displaying his skill trade over tracks like “The Originators” before updating his style and proving he had more in the tank with a star-making turn on Big Daddy Kane’s epic posse cut from 1994, “Show and Prove.”
Jay would go on to form Roc-A-Fella Records with Damon “Dame” Dash, and Kareem “Biggs” Burke in 1995 and landed a distribution deal with priority, releasing Jay-Z’s classic debut Reasonable Doubt in 1996. The critical acclaim and commercial success of the album culminated in Roc-A-Fella partnering with Def Jam Records and Jay-Z has only expanded on his gains in that time.
Today, Jay-Z isn’t as active although he showed up on Jay Electronica’s debut album, A Written Testimony, showing once again that his skills never eroded but instead, they somehow improved. Scene-stealing features have been peppered across the audio sphere and his last studio album 4:44 displayed maturity and growth. Alongside his wife Beyoncé, Jay-Z’s also recorded work via their joint project Everything Is Love.
Jay-Z is still very much involved with music, although he seemingly spends more time managing his sprawling business empire which includes Roc Nation, Roc Nation Sports, D’usse cognac, and still involved with TIDAL as one of its most visible partners.
Earlier this week, Jay-Z shared a playlist on the streaming service which proves he’s still in tune with the culture. Roc Nation clients Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, and Westside Gunn appear on the playlist, along with rising artists outside of Hip-Hop such as SAULT and KeiyaA among others.
We’ve got some of the birthday wishes from Twitter fans in support of Jay-Z’s big day below.