15 Interesting Facts About Jay Z: His Drug Dealing, the Time He Shot His Brother and More

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Since his first album, Reasonable Doubt, dropped in 1996, Jay Z has become one of the most well-known American rappers. Between his music and his various business ventures, Jay-Z has become one of the most influential rappers of all time.

Do you want to know some of the more interesting facts about Jay Z? Keep reading to find out.

How Tall is Jay Z?

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One of the first things people notice about this American rapper is that he is much taller than others. He stands at about 6 feet 2 inches tall which is tall when compared to the average male height. 

What is Jay Z’s Real Name?

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Jay Z was born under the name Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. This name is a far cry from the stage name he would later adopt. 

Jay Z Grew Up in a Dangerous Area

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Image of the Brooklyn skyline by Joshua Armstrong on Unsplash.

It is a well-known fact that Jay Z grew up in the Marcy Projects of Brooklyn, which is located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. This area is known as one of the most dangerous projects in the borough of Brooklyn.

Jay Z Has an Amazing Memory

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Even from a young age, Jay Z was known to have a great memory and reading ability. This has translated into his rap songs, since he is known to never write down the lyrics he comes up with, but can remember them when it comes time to record.

He has Been Married to Beyonce Since 2008

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Although the power couple met in 2000, they dated for several years before finally tying the knot in a private ceremony in 2008. There have been a few bumps in the road for Beyonce and Jay Z, but they remain one of the most powerful couples of all time.

Related: Is Beyonce a Billionaire? Beyonce’s Net Worth and More

Jay Z Attended High School with Some Big Rap Names

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Even though it was reported that Jay Z went to a few different high schools, he ended up at one point at George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School alongside famous rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes.

Jay Z was a Drug Dealer

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It has been reported that during his high school years, Jay Z ran with a pretty rough crowd that was known for getting into trouble. During this time he was also dealing drugs and was even reportedly shot a few times.

The Famous Rapper Once Shot His Own Brother

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When he was only 12 years old, the now famous rapper shot his brother over stolen jewelry. Although his brother was in the hospital for his injuries, he later recovered and did not press charges against Jay Z.

His Name Came from a Mix of Names

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When Shawn Corey Carter was deciding on his stage name, he chose to give tribute to his own nickname and his mentors. Jaz-O was one of his mentors when he first started, and his nickname on the streets of Brooklyn was Jazzy. 

Jay Z Once Sold His CDs Out of the Trunk of His Car

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Before gaining traction in the rap music industry, the now-famous rapper was known to feature some big names on his albums. When this did not give him the notoriety he wanted, he began selling his CDs out of the trunk of his car.

Jay Z is Known as the First Hip-Hop Billionaire

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It should come as no surprise that this legendary rapper and businessman became the first in the hip-hop world to become a billionaire. Between his music and his many business ventures, he has risen to the top of his career many times over.

Related: Minnesota Governor Declares August 8th “Beyonce and Jay-Z Day”

He Spoke on the Phone to Notorious B.I.G. the Night He Died

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Most people know that Jay Z had known Notorious B.I.G. since they went to high school together. But did you also know that Jay-Z spoke with the famous rapper just hours before he was shot and killed?

Michael Jackson Sang Backup on One of Jay Z’s Songs

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In the song, “Girls, Girls, Girls,” It has been reported that none other than Michael Jackson can be heard singing backup on Jay Z’s song “Girls, Girls, Girls.” This collaboration was somewhat secretive considering that MJ was not credited on the song.

Related: How Did Michael Jackson Die? The Details Might Surprise You

Jay Z Owns Several Different Businesses

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Although he is a well-known American rapper, Jay Z has always also had a great mind for business ventures. Here are some of the businesses he either owns outright or in part: Roc-A-Fella Records, Rocawear, D-Usse Cognac, 40/40 Club, Roc Nation, Tidal, and Armand de Brignac.

Jay Z is Known to Give Back to Communities

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Throughout his career, he has been known to use his billions of dollars for not only himself and his family but for others as well. The famous rapper supported Hurricane Katrina victims and has a foundation, the Shawn Carter Foundation, that gives back to disadvantaged youth in communities.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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