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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jay-Z

Shawn Knowles-Carter, better known as Jay-Z, will release his twelfth studio album on July 4th. In honor of the release, here are 10 things you may not know about the superstar producer and rapper.

1. His mother always claimed he was special because she experienced no pain during childbirth.

2. As of 2012, his net worth was estimated to be $500 million by Forbes Magazine.

3. Before landing a record deal or even creating his own record company, Jay-Z sold his music out of his car.

4. He is a part owner of the Brooklyn Nets.

Along with the NBA team, he has several other business ventures, like acting as co-brand director for Budweiser Select, owner of the renowned 40/40 Club, and will soon launch his own sports agency titled Roc Nation Sports.

5. His stage name is a derivative of his childhood nickname fused with his musical mentor’s name.

His mentor’s name, Jay-O, was paired with his childhood nickname “Jazzy”.

6. He was one of the first members of the hip-hop nation to come out in support of marriage equality.

He announced his support in May 2012.

7. He was the first hip-hop artist to headline at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival in 2008.

There was a good bit of opposition to the festival’s selection, but tickets sold out before the opening of the festival.

8. He was in a long running feud with Nas.

The two jabbed at one another in their lyrics before the feud became physical. The two resolved their issues in 2006 and went on tour together.

9. He claims to have been shot at least three times while still in school.

10. Jay-Z was accused of stabbing Lance “Un” Rivera in the stomach in 1999.

While he initially plead not guilty, he would later plead to a misdemeanor charge that would earn him 3 years probation.

Mackenzie is an Alabama native attending NYU and studying Journalism and Dramatic Literature. She hopes to one day live in London and write for the BBC.