True hip-hop fans have been listening to, watching, and reading about Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter for what seems like forever. Even though he many not know a majority of his fans and followers, it feels as though Hov is a guy we all know well.
Jay-Z has revealed so much about himself through his music, that it is almost impossible not to feel some sort of connection with him. He may not be as explicit about his personal life as an artist like Eminem, but he does reveal interesting facts himself from time to time.
Regardless of how many Hov tracks you have memorized, there are tons of facts about your favorite rapper you may not be aware of! We’ve done a little research and compiled a series of things you would have never known about Jay-Z! Enjoy!
20. Reasonable Doubt was originally titled Heir to the Throne
19. Sir Paul McCartney knighted him “Sir Hova of Brooklyn” (with a sword) in an unofficial ceremony.
18. It was Jason Kidd who first suggested Jay-Z’s ownership position with the New Jersey Nets.
17. At one point, Memphis Bleek owed him $3 million in losses stemming from a card game.
16. His father died the same night Jay celebrated the opening of the 40/40 Club.
15. According to Combat Jack, Jay signed with Payday Records for about $25,000 to $30,000.
14. He claims to be cool with Bill Clinton, who frequents his restaurant, The Spotted Pig.
13. He used to carry a gun in an empty VHS box in his hustling days.
12. When he was 15, he lost a rap contest judged by LL Cool J.
11. Years later, he beat LL Cool J in a rap battle.
10. Kanye West advised Jay on how to rap over the track that became The Blueprint 3 song, “Thank You.”
9. He has two sisters, one of whom is reportedly a correctional officer at Rikers Island.
8. He jokingly went by the pimp name “Cashmere Jones” during the Reasonable Doubt era.
7. Smoking weed helped him finish making “Izzo.”
6. In the 6th grade, he tested at a 12th grade level.
5. Dick Gregory’s Nigger: An Autobiography is one his favorite books.
4. He once beat Busta Rhymes in a freestyle battle in high school.
3. He got control of most of his masters when he became president of Def Jam.
2. He can freestyle and beatbox at the same time.
1. According to Young Guru, he has about “four or five” albums’ worth of unreleased songs.
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