Jay-Z Carter and Dr. Patrick Treacy
June 19, 2009
-- Jay-Z is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having sold over 26 million units in the United States and receiving several Grammy Awards for his musical work. Along with his financial and musical success, he is known for being involved in many quarrels with other artist in the rap industry, the most well known being between him and fellow New York rapper Nas, which was eventually settled in 2005.
Jay-Z's debut album, Reasonable Doubt, is ranked by Rolling Stone as #248 on its "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". His critically acclaimed album, The Blueprint, was written in only two days. After announcing his retirement from recording music in 2003, he returned in late 2006 with the album Kingdom Come, which sold 680,000 copies in its first week, Jay-Z's highest-selling album in a one-week period. MTV named him number one on their list of the greatest MCs of all time. In April 2008, Jay-Z was reportedly on the verge of a partnership with Live Nation for $150 million—among the most expensive contracts ever awarded to a musician.
During his retirement, Jay-Z also became involved in philanthropic activity. On August 9, 2006, he met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the organization's headquarters in New York. The rapper pledged to use his upcoming world tour to raise awareness of – and combat – global water shortage. Already on the look-out for a way to, in his own words, "become helpful", he had been made aware of this issue during a visit to Africa. The effort took place in partnership with the UN, as well as MTV, which produced a documentary entitled Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life, first airing in November 2006.
Jay-Z also, along with Sean "Diddy" Combs, pledged USD 1 million to the American Red Cross' relief effort after Hurricane Katrina.
Jay-Z stated his support for Kanye West after the latter's outburst against President Bush during a live Katrina charity telethon. He also addressed the issue of the Katrina disaster, and the government's response, in his song "Minority Report".
Carter married Beyoncé Knowles on April 4, 2008.
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The author is a travel writer with Ireland's 'Social and Personal' Magazine and an invited video contributor to many travel websites including TripFilms, Backpacker magazine and National Geographic's 'Everyday Explorers'. See website www.patricktreacy.com