Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z, is an American rapper, record executive, and media proprietor. He is one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history. He was the CEO of Def Jam Recordings and he has been central to the creative and commercial success of artists including Kanye West, Rihanna, and J. Cole.
Born and raised in New York City, Jay-Z first began his musical career in the late 1980s; he co-founded the record label Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995 and released his debut studio album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. The album was released to widespread critical success, and solidified his standing in the music industry. He went on to release twelve additional albums, including the acclaimed albums The Blueprint (2001), The Black Album (2003), American Gangster (2007), and 4:44 (2017). He also released the full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) with Kanye West and Everything Is Love (2018) with his wife Beyoncé.