Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
In recent years, Jay-Z has been spending more time running his businesses than making music. Despite being considered one of the best rappers of all-time, Jay-Z said he was a businessman. Coming from the Brooklyn projects, Jay-Z had one of two ways to make a better life for himself.
Jay-Z spent most of his early adult years trying one way to build the life he always wanted. After spending eight years in the "crack game," he decided to enter the rap game. Lucky for Jay-Z, the fans fell in love with him. Many people looked towards Jay-Z for inspiration, as he pulled himself to the top.
From 1996 until 2003, Jay-Z released an album each year. Along the way, he made other stars through Roc-A-Fella Records. During this time, Jay-Z also branched out into clothing and film ventures. Even though he was the biggest face of the entire company, Jay-Z ran things behind the scenes the best that he knew how. But, following the release of his 2003 album, Jay-Z decided to hang the mic up for good.
In 2006, Jay-Z returned to the rap game and it was almost as if he had never left. His flow was a little different and he boasted more about his cash than usual. With the economy heading down in a fast motion, many fans were turned off by some of Jay-Z's lyrics. He would turn things around one year later with the release of American Gangster. After watching the Denzel Washington film, Jay-Z was inspired to record an album based upon his own life in the streets.
Following the release of his critically-acclaimed album, Jay-Z took some time off to reorganize his business ventures. In 2009, he returned with another critically-acclaimed album, The Blueprint 3. Last year, Jay-Z experienced all kinds of success. Jay-Z is mostly behind the scenes with most of his work. Roc Nation is his new company and the label manages and promotes some of the biggest names. Willow Smith, Rihanna, and J. Cole all released music for the label in 2010.
While Roc Nation has been doing well and Rocawear has been a steady brand for years, Jay-Z returns to check in on the rap game every now and again. This year, Jay-Z is already in the studio as he and Kanye West are recording Watch the Throne. Even after reaching the top of the mountain, Jay-Z still feels as if he has something to prove to the people who thinks he has nothing left in the tank.