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abandoned the family, Shawn and his three siblings were raised by their mother, Gloria Carter.
His first official rap single was called "In My Lifetime", for which he released a music video in 1995. Hard Knock Life which spawned the biggest hit of his career at the time, "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)".An unreleased music video was also produced for the B-side "I Can't Get with That." and, with Damon "Dame" Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke, created Roc-A-Fella Records as an independent label in 1995. The album reached number 23 on the Billboard 200, and was generally favored by critics. He relied more on flow and wordplay, and he continued with his penchant for mining beats from the popular producers of the day such as Swizz Beatz, an upstart in-house producer for Ruff Ryders, and Timbaland.After striking a distribution deal with Priority, Jay-Z released his 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt with beats from acclaimed producers such as DJ Premier and Super DJ Clark Kent and an appearance by The Notorious B. After reaching a new distribution deal with Def Jam in 1997, Jay-Z released his follow-up In My Lifetime, Vol. Produced by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, it sold better than his previous effort. The album was a personal revelation for Jay-Z as he told the stories of his difficult upbringing. Other producers included DJ Premier, Erick Sermon, The 45 King, and Kid Capri.Both businesses have grown to become multi-million dollar corporations, and allowed Jay-Z to fund the start-up for the entertainment company Roc Nation, which was founded in 2008.
In 2015, he acquired the tech company Aspiro, and took charge of their media streaming service Tidal, which has since become the world's third-largest online streaming company.The theme of the concert was Jay-Z's position as President and CEO of Def Jam, complete with an on-stage mock-up of the Oval Office.