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Jay-Z is an American rapper and businessman. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having a net worth of over USD$150 million, selling over 30 million copies of his albums in the United States alone and receiving several Grammy Awards for his musical work. Jay-Z co-owns The 40/40 Club and the NBA's New Jersey Nets and is also the creator of the clothing line Rocawear. He is the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings, one of the three founders of Roc-A-Fella Records and recently, the founder of his new venture Roc Nation. As an artist he holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200. Jay-Z also has had 4 number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, one as lead artist. ("Heartbreaker" with Mariah Carey, "Crazy in Love" with Beyonce, "Umbrella" with Rihanna and "Empire State of Mind" featuring Alicia Keys.)

About Jay-Z

Royce da 5'9" and Fredro Starr of Onyx both describe Jay-Z’s emphasis on flow in the book How to Rap - Fredro says that Jay-Z is “a master of the flow—he can flow fast, he can flow slow”. The book describes how Jay-Z uses ‘rests’ to provide structure to a verse and how he uses ‘partial linking’ to add more rhymes to a verse. Jay-Z's early style is described by Vibe magazine as "a distinctly Das EFX-type, stiggety style" on his 12" single "Can't Get With That", referring to the fast rhythms and vocal delivery of the group Das EFX.

He is also known to write lyrics in his head, as described by Pusha T of Clipse in How to Rap, a style popular with many MCs such as Notorious B.I.G., Everlas, Bobby Creekwaterand Guerilla Black. Shock G of Digital Underground describes Jay-Z’s performance style, saying he “rarely breaks a sweat, and instead uses smoothness and clever wordplay to keep the audience interested and entertained”.

Recently, however, Jay-Z went on record to say that it is not guaranteed to be a full Timbaland production. During Kanye West's August 6, 2008 concert at Madison Square Garden, Jay-Z came out to perform a new song and he and Kanye proclaimed that it was to be on The Blueprint 3. On May 21, 2009, Jay-Z announced he would be parting ways with Def Jam, and had stuck a multi-million dollar deal to sign with Live Nation, with whom he would start his Roc Nation imprint which would serve as a record label, talent/management agency, and music publishing company and also partnered up with production team Stargate to start a record label called StarRoc. Jay-Z's 11th studio album The Blueprint 3 was originally to be released on September 11, 2009 but was instead released on September 8, 2009 due to increasing anticipation. It is his 11th album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 and has surpassed Elvis Presley's previous record, making him the current record holder.

On October 9, 2009, Jay-Z kicked off his tour for The Blueprint 3, during which he will support his new album in North America. In a Shave Magazine review of his performance at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Jake Tomlinson expressed that "It was the type of smooth performance you would expect from the hip-hop superstar." The review gave this performance 4 stars. His North American tour is scheduled to continue until November 22, 2009. At his concert on November 8, 2009 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, Rihanna joined him on stage and performed “Hard” for the very first time, then performed “Run This Town” with Jay. Enjoying their performances were Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Nicole Richie and Samantha Ronson, James Blunt, and Jamie Foxx.

Among his success, Jay-Z has ventured into producing Broadway shows. Along with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Jay-Z helped produced the play "Fela!," a musical celebrating the work of the late Nigerian star Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Jay-Z said he was inspired by the power of Kuti's work and his life story, which resulted in his interest to help produce the musical. "Fela!" is a story about a African pioneer and political activist who made his first moves on the scene during the 1970s.