Jay Z 's Top 5 Now Moments
Throughout history, questions of the existence and location of the Holy Grail has been one of the most notorious mysteries known to man. Many have searched for it to no avail. It wasn’t until a three-minute commercial during game five of the NBA Finals when Jay Z announced that he'd had the grail whole time. Now following the release of his twelfth studio album, Jay Z has reached heights in his career as a musician, entrepreneur and all-around boss that make him one of the greatest of all time. Take a look back at big brother HOV’s successful career featuring classic albums, relationships, and unforgettable business ventures in Jay Z’s Top 5 Now Moments.
1. Roc-A-Fella Records
In 1994, Jay Z partnered up with friend Dame Dash to create one of the biggest hip-hop record labels of all time, Roc-A-Fella Records. Starting out, the label only had one artist Jay Z, but years down the road they were able to sign some of the biggest artists at the time including Kanye West, Beanie Sigel, The Diplomats, State Property, DJ Clue?, Freeway, and many others.
Not only did they conquer the music business but made money fashion and film as well. In 2002, the label released the unforgettable State Property movie through Lions Gate Entertainment starring Beanie Sigel, Damon Dash, and Jay Z. The success of the film led to many other hit movies such as Paid in Full, State Property 2, Death of a Dynasty, and Fade to Black.
Rocafella Records is arguably the greatest label of its time. Many hip-hop heavyweights have been inspired by big brother Jay to create their own labels including Young Money by Lil Wayne and Birdman, Maybach Music Group by Rick Ross, and G.O.O.D. Music by Kanye West, but neither could live up to the greatness of the Roc.
2. The Blueprint
Jay-Z’s sixth studio album The Blueprint is arguably his best. Including a superstar production team of Kanye West, Just Blaze, Timbaland, and Eminem the album topped the Billboard Charts making it the fourth consecutive HOV album to do so. Blueprint was met with great reviews, including being ranked number five in Rolling Stone's “Top 10 of 2001”, named number one in Complex Magazine’s “The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s”, and given the number two slot in Entertainment Weekly’s “Best Albums of the Decade.” The album boasts hit classics including “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and “Song Cry,” which have helped it become double platinum-certified with 2.7 million album sales.
3. The Black Album
We all celebrated when Jay Z decided not to retire, but if he did go through with it The Black Album was the best way to go out. Agree? Arguably one of his best projects to date, Jay’s eighth studio album featured some of the best production in hip-hop history from the likes of Kanye West, The Neptunes, Just Blaze, Timbaland, Rick Rubin and more. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard charts selling 463,000 copies in its first week. Three singles off the album “Change Clothes,” “Dirt Off Your Shoulders”, and “99 Problems” all made the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Though we were all sad about our favorite rapper retiring, we were also more-than satisfied with his final project. Thankfully, HOV decided to come back and throw up the Roc’s diamond sign for a few more years.
4. Brooklyn Nets
Outside of music, Jay Z is known commonly known for his great business ventures. From his hip-hop clothing brand Rocawear to co-owning one of the biggest nightclubs the 40/40 club. The biggest venture Jay has indulged in was when he bought a $4.5 million share of the Brooklyn Nets. At the time the team was located in New Jersey but Jay encouraged the team to relocate to his hometown Brooklyn for the 2012-'13 NBA season. To celebrate the opening of new Barclays Center Jay Z performed eight concerts in a row and opened a 40/40 Club inside the new arena. Not only was this a major achievement for Jay but for the entire city of Brooklyn.
5. Magna Carta Holy Grail
Jay Z’s twelfth studio album is finally out and rap's "Holy Grail" hit platinum status before it's official release date. HOV changed the game, just like he said he would. Released on The Fourth of July, Jay took the marketing plan less-travelled by releasing the album exclusively for 1 million android users for free on July 4. Prior to the release, Jay put out a three minute commercial featuring legendary producers Timbaland, Rick Rubin, Pharrell, and Swizz Beatz previewing tracks off the album. He also created a mobile app for android users to preview additional video footage and read lyrics for most of the tracks on Magna Carta. As another unique marketing stunt, Jay held a viral scavenger hunt in Brooklyn revealing the tracklist.
When Magna Carta finally dropped, it didn’t disappoint. Featuring superstar artists including Rick Ross, Frank Ocean, Beyoncé, Nas, and Justin Timberlake, the album is one of Jay’s best. Even at an older age and after life-altering events such as becoming a father, Jay Z shows us that he still at the top of his game and one of the best rappers of all time.
July 22, 2013 via Pepsi