(Video) What’s REALLY Happening To Suge Knight in Prison..


I have decided to sell my XXL Magazine from June 1999 and 2 8x10 photographs featuring some of the greatest rappers of all time. All signed in person duringHard Knock Life Tourin 1999. Included are three 4x6 inch snapshots taken by me at the signing (I can supply a copyright letter so transfer copyrights if buyer wishes. I lost the negatives). Look at how young they look! Photos are protected by a watermark (actual photos do not have this watermark). S
(1) XXL Magazine from June 1999 in fantastic shape signed in blue sharpie by
Jay-ZDMXJA RULE who writes
ITS MURDAJARULE(2) 8x10 inchphoto signed in blue sharpie by Method Man dated 99
(3) 8x10 inch photo signed in blue sharpie by Red Man dated 99
(4) Three 4x6 inch photos of the signing
Murder Inc. was an American hip hop supergroup formed by Irv Gotti in 1995. The trio was composed of East Coast rappers Jay-Z, DMX, and Ja Rule. The trio first appeared on Mic Geronimo's song "Time to Build". However, the group could not materialize an album because of Jay-Z and DMX's close relationship.Murder Inc. was an American hip hop supergroup formed by Irv Gotti in 1995. The trio was composed of East Coast rappers Jay-Z, DMX, and Ja Rule. The trio first appeared on Mic Geronimo's song "Time to Build". However, the group could not materialize an album because of Jay-Z and DMX's close Flesh of My Flesh, blood of My blood, DMX featuring Jay-Z and The LOX"Murdergram", Streets Is Watching (soundtrack), Jay-Z, DMX, and Ja Rule as Murder Inc."Why We Die", Anarchy, Busta Rhymes featuring DMX and Jay-Z"Time to Build", The Natural, Mic Geronimo featuring DMX, Jay-Z and Ja Rule (before officially known as Murder Inc.)"Grand Finale", Belly (soundtrack), DMX, Method Man, Nas, and Ja Rule"Can I Get A...", Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life, Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule"Kill 'Em All", Venni Vetti Vecci, Ja Rule featuring Jay-Z"Holla Holla (Remix)", Venni Vetti Vecci, Ja Rule featuring Jay-Z, Vita, Caddillac Tah, Black Child, Memphis Bleek and Busta Rhymes"Usual Suspects", Vendetta, Mic Geronimo featuring DMX and Ja Rule"It's Murda", Venni Vetti Vecci, Ja Rule featuring Jay-Z and DMX"Money, Cash, Hoes", Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life, Jay-Z featuring DMX"Gangsta Shit", The Professional, DJ Clue? featuring Jay-Z and Ja Rule"Stay Flawless", N.O.R.E. featuring DMX, Ja Rule and Yummy Bingham
Hip-hop has produced some incredible groups. Run-DMC were rap's first true superstars, N.W.A. ushered gangsta rap to the forefront and the nine-member Wu-Tang Clan revolutionized the business when each member signed their own solo deals. Then OutKast came along and stretched creative boundaries like never before.
Geto Boys, EPMD, A Tribe Called Quest, 2 Live Crew, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and UGK have all made indelible marks, but there was one group that could have very well trumped them all: Murder Inc., featuring Jay Z, Ja Rule and DMX.
In the late-1990s, after the tragic deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., when many fans were unsure about the where rap music was headed, three rap juggernauts recording separately for the same label were united by one man.
Producer Irv Gotti first gathered Jay, Rule and DMX on Mic Geronimo's 1995 track "Time to Build." At the time Geronimo was the star, and neither Hov, X nor Rule had released their respective solo debuts. Gotti would eventually work to get all three artists solo deals with Def Jam (through Roc-A-Fella, Ruff Ryders and Gotti's own Murder Inc. label).It was an exciting time for rap music, and Gotti had three of the game's biggest names in close proximity.
Jay had proved his worth selling more than 5 million copies of his 1998 Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life LP. In the same year, DMX dropped two multiplatinum chart-topping albums: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, blood of My blood. Rule would officially arrive a year later with his multiplatinum debut, Venni Vetti Vecci.
The trio recorded together, appeared in one another's videos and even hit the road together on Jay's Hard Knock Life Tour. Then, in 1999, the trio appeared together on the cover of XXL Magazine, with a cover line that read: "Introducing Ja Rule, Jay-Z, DMX as Murder Inc."
The loose collaborations between the trio were enough to drive rap fans into a frenzy. Jay and X linked on "Blackout" and "Money, Cash, Hoes," while Hov and Rule appeared on "Can I Get a ..." and "Kill 'Em All." X and Ja linked on Mic Geronimo's "Usual Suspects" and "Grand Finale" from the "Belly" soundtrack.
As a group, though, Murder Inc. only released two songs. Granted, "Mudergram" and "It's Murda" weren't big hits -- they were barely even singles. But for hip-hop fans who revel in rap's grimy underground, the pair of tracks remain street classics and a reminder of what could have been. And now comes word from Ja Rule, who told MTV News that there may be at least one more unreleased track in the vault.
We can only imagine what Jay, Rule and X could have accomplished as a unit. Considering each rapper's penchant for crafting inescapable rap anthems as soloists, there's no question Murder Inc. could have captivated mainstream audiences too.
But eventually, the idea of "Murder Inc. the group" faded away; both Ja Rule and Irv Gotti point to Jay and DMX's rocky relationship as the reason.
In 1994, before either rapper was famous, Hov and X participated in a tense face-off in a Bronx, New York, pool hall. “X hated Jay because it was the one battle that he said it wasn’t absolutely sure in everyone’s mind that he won,” Irv told MTV News back in 2011.
Rule gives a similar account. “We couldn’t get X and Jay in the same room, from long ago, their storied battle on the pool table, guns out [and] all of that,” Ja told MTV News on Thursday night after he performed at the Def Jam 30th anniversary concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
“We tried to deliver that album. It was a situation where egos all just played a part in its demise,” he said.
The what-if game is always tricky. The truth is there's no way of knowing what type of legacy the Murder Inc. group would have had and I certainly don't mean to slight any of the other great hip-hop collectives. But if you take three of the the biggest rappers of their generation and put them together at the height of their careers -- the possibilities are limitless.
"What do you think is gonna happen with three of the illest n---as together?" Jay asks at the top of "Murdergram."
Sadly, hip-hop fans will never know.Earl Simmons (December 18, 1970 – April 9, 2021), known by his stage name DMX ("Dark Man X"), was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. He began rapping in the early 1990s and released his debut album It's Dark and Hell Is Hot in 1998, to both critical acclaim and commercial success, selling 251,000 copies within its first week of release.[3][4] DMX released his best-selling album, ... And Then There Was X, in 1999, which included the hit single "Party Up (Up in Here)". His 2003 singles "Where the Hood At?" and "X Gon' Give It to Ya" were also commercially successful. He was the first artist to debut an album at No. 1 five times in a row on the Billboard 200 charts.[5] Overall, DMX has sold over 74 million records worldwide.[6]
DMX was featured in films such as Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Last Hour. In 2006, he starred in the reality television series DMX: Soul of a Man, which was primarily aired on the BET cable television network. In 2003, he published a book of his memoirs entitled, E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX.[7]Contents1Early life2Musical career2.11991–1996: Career beginnings2.21996–2000: Signing with Def Jam and commercial success2.32001–2004: Return to music2.42005–2011: Year of the Dog...Again and The Definition of X2.52011–2013: Undisputed2.62013–2021: New albums and Def Jam Reunion3Personal life3.1Religion3.2Relationships and children3.3Finances and bankruptcies3.4Feud with Ja Rule3.5Feud with Jay-Z4Legal trouble4.11986–19884.21998–19994.32000–2005 Metro NY4.420074.52008–2011 Arizona and California4.62013 South Carolina4.72015 New York4.82017–2019: Tax fraud conviction5Health issues and death6Legacy7Discography8Awards and nominations9Filmography10Notes11References12External linksEarly lifeEarl Simmons was born on December 18, 1970, with various accounts giving his birthplace as either Baltimore, Maryland or Mount Vernon, New York.[8] He was the son of 19-year-old Arnett Simmons and 18-year-old Joe Barker.[9] Earl was Simmons' second child; she had given birth to a daughter, Bonita, two years prior, and later gave birth to one daughter, Shayla, and two stillborn sons.[1] His father, Barker, was an artist who painted watercolor paintings of street scenes to sell at local fairs. Barker moved to Philadelphia and was largely absent from his life.[10]
As a child, Simmons suffered greatly from bronchial asthma, being taken to the emergency room almost nightly due to him waking up unable to breathe.[1][10] He was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but became disillusioned with the faith after an incident where he was hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street. A month later, an insurance representative went to his house to try and reach an agreement to prevent his family from suing. Simmons claims he was told that his family could have been awarded a settlement of $10,000 and possibly even more for the injuries he sustained but that his mother rejected the settlement as she claimed that Jehovah's Witnesses are taught to be self-sufficient although the group's official doctrine at the time did not prohibit suing or receiving settlements.[1]
Simmons went through a disjointed childhood that included being beaten by his mother and her various boyfriends so badly that he lost teeth and sustained numerous bruises and cuts on his face. Due to poverty, he slept on the floor with roaches and mice crawling over him in the night.[10] When Simmons was five years old, his family settled into the School Street Projects in Yonkers, New York.[11] When he was six years old, his mother knocked out two of his teeth with a broom after he innocently erased something in her notebook.[1] At school, he threw chairs at teachers and stabbed another child in the face with a pencil.[10] When he was seven, an aunt got him drunk on vodka. The same year, he was jailed for stealing cakes from a market.[10] One summer, his mother locked him in his bedroom, allowing him to only exit for trips to the bathroom.[10] At the end of the fifth grade, at age 10, Simmons was expelled from school and sent to the Julia Dyckman Andrus Children's Home for 18 months. In what he described as a defining moment of betrayal, his mother tricked him by telling him they were just visiting the home, then she enrolled him there. A few months later, he was arrested for arson in an attempt to burn the school down. He nearly killed his co-conspirator.[10]
When he was 14, Simmons began living on the streets of Yonkers to escape his mother's abuse, sleeping in Salvation Army clothing bins and befriending stray dogs.[10][1][12]
Shortly after he began doing this, his mother once again sent him to a group home. During his stay, Simmons bonded with other students from New York over their shared love of hip hop music. After performing for his friends, they encouraged Simmons to continue writing music at the behest of his teacher. When he returned home, Simmons met Ready Ron, a local rapper, who was impressed with Simmons' beatboxing skills and asked him to become his partner. Simmons chose the name "DMX", which came from an instrument he had used at the boys' home, the Oberheim DMX drum machine. It later was also interpreted as "Dark Man X".[1][12]
As a freshman at Yonkers Middle High School, DMX was the second-fastest on the track and field varsity team. However, he had bad grades and a sparse attendance record.[10] He turned to robbery as a way to get out of poverty: his first was a purse snatch theft in Yonkers that netted him $1,000, which he used to buy a new leather dog collar and dog harness for his dog, and a pair of Timberlandboots for himself. By the end of the year, he attended school just to rob people and was robbing 3 people per day. He then turned to carjacking.[10]
Musical career1991–1996: Career beginningsDMX got his start in the music industry at age 14, in 1984, when he beatboxed for Ready Ron. After serving time in prison for stealing a dog, he began writing his own lyrics and performing at the local recreation center for younger children. In 1988, while in prison for carjacking, he began dedicating almost all of his free time to writing lyrics and also meeting and rapping with K-Solo.[1] When he was released that summer, he began producing and selling his own mixtapes where he rapped over instrumentals from other songs and sell them on street corners, which helped him build a local fan base all over New York.[1] In 1991, The Source magazine praised DMX in its Unsigned Hype column that highlighted unsigned hip-hop artists.[13] In 1992, Columbia Records signed DMX to its subsidiary label Ruffhouse Records, which released his debut single "Born Loser".[14] He released his second single, "Make a Move" in 1994. He made a guest appearance alongside Jay-Z, Ja Rule, and Mic Geronimo on the classic underground track "Time to Build" on Mic Geronimo's debut album in 1995.
1996–2000: Signing with Def Jam and commercial successDMX recorded tracks from September 1996 to January 1998 for his debut album. During this time, his guest appearances on Mase's singles "24 Hrs. to Live" and "Take What's Yours", The LOX's single "Money, Power & Respect", and LL Cool J's single "4, 3, 2, 1" created a strong buzz for the then-unsigned rapper.[2] In February 1998, he released his debut major-label single, "Get at Me Dog", on Def Jam Recordings. The single received an RIAA certification of gold.[15] His first major-label album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, which included the single "Ruff Ryders' Anthem", was then released in May 1998. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S. and sold over five million copies.[16] In December 1998, he released his second album, Flesh of My Flesh, blood of My blood. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and went multi-platinum.[14] He released his third and best-selling album ... And Then There Was X, on December 21, 1999.[17] It was his third album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Its most popular single, "Party Up (Up in Here)", became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 2001 Grammy Awards.[18] The album was certified six-times Platinum, and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2001 Grammy Awards.[2][18] In 2000, DMX also made a cameo appearance in the Sum 41 music video for "Makes No Difference".[19]
2001–2004: Return to music
DMX in 2001After improving his legal situation, DMX returned to the studio to complete his fourth album, The Great Depression. Within its release on October 23, 2001, it was his fourth album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, featuring the singles "Who We Be", "We Right Here", and "Shorty Was The Bomb". Despite the album's triple Platinum certification, its commercial and critical success was lower than his previous album.[2] His fifth album, Grand Champ, released in September 2003, once again debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, placing DMX as the only musical artist in history to release five consecutive albums (his entire album catalog at the time) that debuted at number one. Singles released off the album include "Where the Hood At?" and "Get It on the Floor". After its release, he informed the public that he planned to retire and that Grand Champ was his final album.[20]
2005–2011: Year of the Dog...Again and The Definition of XDMX signed to Columbia Records in January 2006. He recorded his next album, Year of the Dog... Again, while switching record labels, which caused numerous delays.[21] It was released on August 1, 2006, and missed the number one Billboard spot by only a few hundred copies.[22] He released two more singles, "Lord Give Me a Sign" and "We in Here". On June 12, 2008, Def Jam Recordings released a compilation of his greatest hits, The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter.[2] In 2011, Def Jam released another compilation album, The Best of DMX, which features hit singles including "Where the Hood At?" and "X Gon' Give It to Ya".[23][24] In 2009, DMX claimed he would pursue preaching in Jersey City, New Jersey as well as continue to produce music. He completed a Gospel music album prior to his incarceration. According to MTV, he had semi-retired to study the Bible more in an effort to give messages behind the pulpit.[25]
2011–2013: UndisputedOn October 11, 2011, DMX performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. He stated that he has been working "nonstop, every day" on his seventh album, which was later titled Undisputed.[26] A video for a new track entitled "Last Hope" was released via the Internet on September 24, 2011, and was later included on The Weigh In EP released digitally on May 5, 2012. In late February 2012, Seven Arts Pictures acquired the catalog of DMX's music and signed DMX to a two-album deal.[27] During a performance at New York's Santos Party House on December 25, 2011, DMX stated that the new album would be titled Undisputed and would be released on March 26, 2012. After numerous delays,[28][29] the album was eventually released on September 11, 2012, and featured production from Swizz Beatz and J.R. Rotem with a guest appearance by MGK.
2013–2021: New albums and Def Jam ReunionIn 2013, DMX announced he had begun working on his eighth studio album. He collaborated with producers Swizz Beatz[30] and Dame Grease. In December, after regaining his passport, he embarked on a world tour with performances in Bulgaria and Kosovo.[31][32] On January 7, 2015, Seven Arts Music announced that DMX would be releasing Redemption of the Beast the following week; however, close personal friend and recurring collaborator producer/rapper/entrepreneur Swizz Beatz and DMX's management confirmed that this was false.[33][34] On January 13, 2015, Seven Arts Music released Redemption of the Beast, without acquiring a legal artist contract. On January 15, 2015, it was announced by DMX's brother/manager Montana that DMX was no longer signed to Seven Arts Music and that they would be taking legal action against Seven Arts Music for the unauthorized release of Redemption of the Beast.[35][36]
Long-time collaborator Swizz Beatz stated that two of the collaborators on the album would be Kanye West and Dr. Dre.[37] His 2003 song "X Gon' Give It to Ya" was featured in the 2016 film Deadpool and in its trailers. On June 28, 2016, DMX released a new song titled "blood Red" and produced by Divine Bars.[38] On January 11, 2017, DMX released a new song produced by Swizz Beats titled "Bain Iz Back".[39] On September 20, 2019, DMX signed a new record deal with Def Jam Recordings, reuniting with the label for the first time since his 2003 album Grand Champ.[40]
Personal lifeReligionDMX was a Christian,[41] and stated that he read the Bible every day.[42][43] While in jail, DMX stated that he had a purpose for being there: "I came here to meet somebody...Don't know who it was, but I'll know when I see him. And I came here to give him a message. And that message is Jesus loves them."[43] DMX was a transitional deacon in the Christian Church and aspired to become ordained as a pastor, stating that he received this call in 2009.[44] In 2016, he gave a sermon at a church in Phoenix, Arizona.[45] In April 2020, he held an online Bible study and asked people to accept Jesus as their lord and savior.[46]
Relationships and childrenDMX was the father of 15 children from 9 different women.[47] He married his childhood friend Tashera Simmons in 1999 and they were married for 11 years.[48] They had four children together: Xavier (born 1992), Tacoma (born 1999), Sean (born 2002), and Praise Mary Ella (born 2005).[49][50] In July 2010, after his first of three incarcerations that year, Tashera announced their separation.[51] They remained friends,[48] although in 2016, Tashera accused DMX of missing his $10,000/month child support payment.[52]
DMX had extramarital affairs during his marriage to Tashera, some of which produced children.[49] He had a daughter, Sasha (born 2002), with Patricia Trejo.[53] In 2012, Trejo sued DMX for $1 million in unpaid child support. The case was settled in 2013.[54] DMX and Monique Wayne, a Maryland resident, fought over her claim that he was the father of her son born in 2004. She sued him for defamation and for child support.[55] After genetic testing proved that DMX was indeed the father, in January 2008, DMX was ordered to pay Wayne $1.5 million, but a judge vacated the judgment in May 2008.[55][56][57][58] DMX also fathered a child in 2008 and fathered two children with ex-girlfriend Yadira Borrego.[49] In 2009, his daughter Sonovah Junior was born.[59] In 2011, his daughter Aaliyah, named after his close friend, Aaliyah, was born.[59] His fifteenth child, Exodus Simmons, was born to his fiancée, Desiree Lindstrom, on August 16, 2016.[59][52][60]
Finances and bankruptciesDMX earned $2.3 million from his songs between 2010 and 2015.[61]
He also filed for bankruptcy three times.[62] His first filing was on July 30, 2013, citing his child support obligations as his priority claim.[63] The filing was challenged by the United States Trustee Program[64] and was dismissed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on November 11, 2013.[65]
Feud with Ja RuleDuring the 1990s, DMX formed a close bond with fellow up-and-coming rappers Jay-Z and Ja Rule. The three collaborated many times and formed a group known as Murder Inc. The group was short-lived due to internal issues between DMX and Jay-Z. After the breakup of Murder Inc., DMX disparaged Ja Rule in interviews, accusing him of being a copycat, drawing comparisons between himself and what he saw as Ja stealing his signature "gruff" style of delivery.[66]
DMX released a diss track, "They Want War", on a 2002 DJ Kay Slay mixtape; Ja Rule never directly responded.[66] As time passed and the feud faded into obscurity, DMX said that he wanted to officially bring it to an end when he was released from prison in 2005: "Gotti came to me in jail and said I want to make peace with you and him. I was like, 'Alright Gotti, let's do it."[67] Despite this, DMX and Ja Rule did not officially end their feud until 2009, at VH1's Hip Hop Honors.[68]
Feud with Jay-ZWhen DMX partnered with Jay-Z and Ja Rule in Murder Inc., there was a feud between the two, which also contributed to the failure of the group and working together. According to reports, the feud started in the early 1990s after a rap battle between the two, which led to DMX's disdain for Jay-Z.[69][70] Prior to DMX's death, the feud, although it fizzled out over the years, continued on when DMX said in an Instagram video that he wanted to rap battle Jay-Z on Verzuz.[71]
Legal trouble
DMX's June 2008 mugshotDMX was in jail 30 times[72] for various offenses, including robbery, assault, carjacking, animal cruelty, reckless driving, driving under the influence, unlicensed driving, drug possession, probation violation, failure to pay child support, pretending to be a federal agent, and tax evasion.
1986–1988DMX was first sent to prison in 1986 after stealing a dog from a junkyard. He was sentenced to two years in the juvenile unit of Woodfield Prison in Valhalla, New York. However, just weeks after starting his sentence, he and his cellmate successfully escaped the prison and DMX returned home until his mother forced him to turn himself in and finish his sentence, which he did at the McCormick Juvenile Detention Centre in Brooktondale, New York.[1] Simmons was sent to prison again in 1988 for carjacking, and was later moved to a higher security prison after attempting to extort a fellow inmate for drugs. He was released in the summer of 1988.[1]
1998–1999When officers of the Fort Lee Police Department executed a search of his home in 1999, DMX promptly surrendered himself on weapons possession charges.[73]DMX faced a 1999 animal cruelty charge in Teaneck, New Jersey after a dozen pit bulls were found at his home there;[74] the charge was dismissed after the performer agreed to accept responsibility and record public service announcements for an animal rights group.[75]2000–2005 Metro NYIn 2000, DMX served a 15-day jail sentence for possession of marijuana.[76]DMX served another jail sentence in 2001 for driving without a license and possession of marijuana. His appeal to reduce the sentence was denied; rather, he was charged with assault for throwing objects at prison guards.[77][78]In January 2002, DMX pleaded guilty in New Jersey to 13 counts of animal cruelty, two counts of maintaining a nuisance, and one count each of disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia. He eventually plea-bargained down to fines, probation, and community service and starred in public service announcements against the dangers of guns and animal abuse.[79]In June 2004, DMX was arrested at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, on charges of cocaine possession, criminal impersonation, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, menacing, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while claiming to be a federal agent and attempting to carjack a vehicle.[80][81] He was given a conditional discharge on December 8, 2004, but pleaded guilty on October 25, 2005, to violating parole.[82]On November 18, 2005, DMX was sentenced to 70 days in jail at Riker's Island for violating parole; the lateness charge added a 10-day extension to the original 60-day sentence.[83] DMX was released early (for "good behavior") on December 30, 2005.[84]2007In 2007, DMX's home was raided on reports of animal cruelty.[85]2008–2011 Arizona and CaliforniaOn May 9, 2008, DMX was arrested on drug and animal cruelty charges after attempting to barricade himself inside his Cave Creek, Arizona home.[75]DMX pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession, theft, and animal cruelty stemming from an August 2007 drug raid as well as the May 2008 arrest, at a hearing on December 30, 2008; he was sentenced to 90 days in jail on January 31, 2009.[86][87][88]On May 22, 2009, DMX entered a plea agreement/change of plea and pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault in jail.After serving four out of six months for violating drug probation, DMX was released from jail on July 6, 2010.[89] That day, a television pilot was filmed to portray his road to recovery; however, DMX was arrested three weeks later and the pilot did not evolve into a series.On July 27, 2010, DMX turned himself in to Los Angeles Metropolitan Court for a reckless driving charge he received in 2002. He was sentenced to serve ninety days in jail.[90][91]On November 19, 2010, DMX was arrested in Maricopa County, Arizona on charges of violating probation for a February 24, 2009 aggregated assault on an officer while he was incarcerated. On December 20, 2010, DMX was moved to the Mental Health Unit of the Arizona Alhambra State Prison,[92] and released on July 18, 2011.[93]On August 24, 2011, DMX was arrested for the tenth time in Maricopa County, this time for speeding, recorded at 102 miles per hour (164 km/h) in a 65-mile-per-hour (105 km/h) zone, reckless driving, and driving with a suspended license. While DMX admitted to speeding, he claimed he was driving 85 miles per hour (137 km/h).[94]2013 South CarolinaOn February 13, 2013, DMX was arrested in Spartanburg, South Carolina for driving without a driver's license.[95]On July 26, 2013, DMX was arrested again in Greenville County, South Carolina and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as driving without a license.[96]On August 20, 2013, DMX was arrested again in Greer, South Carolina during a traffic stop after a car he was a passenger in made an improper u-turn. He was arrested due to an outstanding warrant for driving under suspension. Four packages of marijuana were also found in the vehicle, and he along with the driver were cited for them.[97][98][99][100]On November 4, 2013, DMX was again arrested by the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport police near Greer, South Carolina after police, who were familiar with his prior arrests, noticed DMX behind the wheel of a vehicle at the terminal. DMX was booked on charges of driving with a suspended license, having an uninsured vehicle, and driving an unlicensed vehicle. He was subsequently released after spending three hours in jail.[101]2015 New YorkOn April 5, 2015, a man charged DMX of robbing him.[102]On June 26, 2015, DMX was arrested in New York, charged with robbery in Newark, New Jersey, and failure to pay child support.[103]On July 14, 2015, DMX was sentenced to 6 months in jail for failure to pay $400,000 in child support.[104]On December 14, 2015, an arrest warrant was issued for DMX after he missed a court hearing to address child support issues with his ex-wife Tashera Simmons and their four children.[105]2017–2019: Tax fraud convictionIn July 2017, DMX was charged with 14 federal counts of tax fraud.[106] Federal prosecutors charged him with failing to file income tax returns from 2010 to 2015 (a period when he earned at least $2.3 million). DMX pleaded guilty to a single count of tax fraud in November 2017.[107] DMX was originally free pending sentencing but was remanded to jail in January 2018 after leaving a drug treatment program ordered by the court and relapsing with cocaine and oxycodone.[108] In March 2018, Judge Jed S. Rakoff sentenced DMX to one year in prison followed by three years of supervised release. The court also ordered DMX to pay $2.29 million in restitution to the government.[107] He was released from prison on January 25, 2019.[109]
Health issues and deathSimmons said he became addicted to crack cocaine when he was 14 years old, after Ready Ron tricked him into smoking a marijuana cigarette laced with the drug.[110][47][111] He also said that he had bipolar disorder.[1]
Simmons entered drug rehabilitation several times including in 2002, 2017, and 2019, when he cancelled concerts.[112][113]
On February 10, 2016, Simmons was found unresponsive in a Ramada Inn parking lot in Yonkers, New York.[114] He was resuscitated by first responders and intravenously given Narcan, an opioid-reversal drug; he responded quickly to Narcan and became semi-conscious.[115] Simmons was subsequently rushed to the hospital. A witness said he ingested some type of substance before collapsing, but police found no illegal substances on the property.[114] Simmons stated that it was from an asthma attack.[114]DMX shrine outside White Plains Hospital, where he diedOn April 2, 2021, at approximately 11:00 pm,[116] Simmons was rushed to White Plains Hospital, where he was reported to be in critical condition following a heart attack at his home possibly resulting from a drug overdose.[117][118] The next day, his attorney Murray Richman confirmed Simmons was on life support.[119][120][121] That same night, Simmons suffered cerebral hypoxia (oxygen deprivation to his brain) as paramedics attempted to resuscitate him for 30 minutes.[122][123][124] Simmons' former manager, Nakia Walker, said he was in a "vegetative state" with "lung and brain failure and no current brain activity".[125][126] His manager, Steve Rifkind, stated Simmons was comatose and that he was set to undergo tests to determine his brain's functionality and his family will "determine what's best from there".[127][128]
On the morning of April 9, 2021, Simmons lost functionality in multiple essential organs, reportedly his liver, kidneys and lungs,[129] and was pronounced dead shortly after at age 50.[130]
On April 9, 2021, a close family member of Simmons revealed that he doubted if Simmons suffered a heart attack due to drug overdose and revealed that the singer received the vaccine about a week before he got the heart attack, explaining in the statement that “[DMX] got the vaccine when they opened it up to people over 50. He got it so that he could go travel and perform, stuff like that.” He stated that he suspected the vaccine might have caused a negative reaction on the rapper's body leading him to be hospitalized a week later. The statement also said the family member was "furious" when reports about his drug overdose was all over the news and said if that was indeed true, the doctors would have made it public.[131]
LegacyUpon DMX's death, The Ringer wrote, "Throughout his nearly three-decade career, DMX came to embody passion, rawness, and pure emotional honesty like few hip-hop artists ever have, barking his way through hits like "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" and "Get at Me Dog" one moment, and repenting and philosophizing on tracks like "Slippin'" the next. His was a decidedly anti-commercial approach, but it worked, and it made him the genre's first new superstar in the wake of the killings of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. To this day, few have been able to reach the heights he did—he's the only rapper to have his first five studio albums debut at no. 1, and he was the first living hip-hop artist to have two projects go platinum in the same year."[132]
Various celebrities paid tribute through outlets like social media including former NFL star Torrey Smith, LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, Gabrielle Union (who co-starred with DMX in the 2003 film, Cradle 2 the Grave, along with Jet Li (who also paid tribute), Swizz Beatz (who DMX collaborated with including on the hit single, "Ruff Ryders' Anthem"),[133] Eve and Missy Elliott.[134][135][136]
A “Celebration of Life” at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center took place on April 24, 2021, led by Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir. They performed several songs in honor of DMX. The memorial took place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. with a limited capacity of 1,900. It was livestreamed on DMX’s YouTube and Instagram accounts. On the way to Barclays, DMX’s casket was carried by a black monster truck with “Long live DMX” painted on the side. A procession of hundreds of motorcyclists, in homage to the hip-hop collective Ruff Ryders, rode from DMX's birthplace of Yonkers to Barclays Center. In between performances, people gave speeches including Eve, Nas, Swizz Beatz and Ruff Ryders founders Joaquin “Waah” Dean & Darin “Dee” Dean. Kanye West was also confirmed to be in attendance of the celebration, according to Variety.[137][138][139]
DMX's funeral ("DMX’s Homegoing Celebration") took place in Brooklyn at the Christian Cultural Center on April 25, 2021. It was livestreamed on the BET Network and its YouTube channel. It lasted around five hours to a limited capacity of 2,000 people. DMX's casket was in the color red and featured the word, "FAITH", in large printing. It was featured in the front of the room. People who were attendance included Nas, Lil Kim, Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz, as well as the pastor of the church, Reverend A.R. Bernard. Louis Farrakhan, a leader of the Nation of Islam, joined the service via Zoom. With the exception of Alicia Keys, Nas and Lil Kim, they all gave speeches. DMX's former wife, Tashera Simmons and Ruff Ryders founders Waah & Dee also gave a speech. There was some controversial testimonies like former Def Jam chief Lyor Cohen, when his video featured an overheard view of a beach and explained how Earl Simmons was a wonderful man while DMX was a gremlin. As well as Def Jam cofounder Russell Simmons, when he compared his own issues with drug abuse to DMX via video. The homegoing ended with DMX's obituary read on stage and a virtual performance from Faith Evans.[140][141]
At the funeral, New York City community leader and peacemaker Erica Ford presented DMX's family several citations and proclamations from the New York governor's and Senate's office; including a proclamation from the New York state Senate declaring Dec. 18 — DMX's birthday — “Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons Day.” Additional citations came from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Mike Spano of Yonkers (the hometown of DMX). Cuomo had the Flag flying over the state capitol on the day of DMX’s death presented to his article: DMX discographyStudio albums
It's Dark and Hell Is Hot (1998)Flesh of My Flesh, blood of My blood (1998)... And Then There Was X (1999)The Great Depression (2001)Grand Champ (2003)Year of the Dog... Again (2006)Undisputed (2012)Exodus (2021)[144]Awards and nominationsGrammy Award
YearNominated workAwardResult2001... And Then There Was XBest Rap AlbumNominated[18]"Party Up (Up in Here)"Best Rap Solo PerformanceNominated[18]2002"Who We Be"Best Rap Solo PerformanceNominated[18]American Music Award
YearNominated workAwardResult2000DMXFavorite Rap/Hip-Hop ArtistWon[145]2001DMXFavorite Rap/Hip-Hop ArtistNominated[146]MTV Video Music Award
YearNominated workAwardResult1999"Ruff Ryders' Anthem"Best Rap VideoNominated[147]2000"Party Up (Up in Here)"Best Rap VideoNominated[148]2001"No Sunshine"Best Video from a FilmNominated[149]2002"Who We Be"Best Rap VideoNominated[150]Best Breakthrough VideoNominated[150]2006"Touch It (Remix)"Best Rap VideoNominated[151]Best Male VideoNominated[151]Billboard Music Award
YearNominated workAwardResult1999DMXTop R&B Album Artist of the YearWonFilmographyFilms
YearTitleRoleNotes1998BellyTommy "Buns" Bundy[152]2000Romeo Must DieSilk[152]BackstageHimself[153]2001Exit WoundsLatrell Walker[152]2003Cradle 2 the GraveAnthony Fait[152]2004Never Die AloneKing David[153]2006Father of LiesPaulDirect-to-DVD[153]2007Death TollThe DogDirect-to-DVD[153]2008Last HourBlack JackDirect-to-DVD[153]Lords of the StreetThornOriginally titled Jump Out Boys[153]2009Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev SerpentNickDirect-to-DVD[153]The BleedingTaggDirect-to-DVD[153]2013King DogTerrell (TJ) JohnsonDirect-to-DVD[154]Blame It on the Hustle—Direct-to-DVD[155]2014Top FiveHimselfCameo appearance[156]2018PimpMidnight John[153]2019Beyond the LawDetective Ray Munce[153]2020Fast and Fierce: Death RaceDavie[157]Chronicle of a Serial KillerDetective White[158]TBAFast VengeancePost-productionDoggmenCowboyFilmingVideo games
YearTitleRoleNotes2003Def Jam VendettaHimselfVoice role and likeness[159]Television
YearTitleRoleNotes1998The Chris Rock ShowHimself[153]South ParkHimself"Chef Aid" (season 2, episode 14)[160]2000MoeshaHimself"Gimme a Break" (season 5, episode 18)[153]2000–02MadTVHimself2 episodes[161]2002Half & HalfHimself"The Big Sistah Sans Soul" (season 1, episode 7)[153]2003Third WatchKandid Jones"In Lieu of Johnson" (season 5, episode 92)[153]EveXenon"She Snoops to Conquer" (season 1, episode 3)[153]2004Chappelle's ShowHimselfMusic guest (season 2, episode 16)[162]Jimmy Kimmel Live!HimselfSeason 3, episode 57[163]The Sharon Osbourne ShowHimself[164]2005Trippin'Himself2 episodes[165]2006DMX: Soul of a ManHimselfDocumentary[166]2008Big Pun: The LegacyHimselfDocumentary[167]2011LifechangersHimself2 episodes[168]2012Couples TherapyHimselfDocumentary[169]2013Iyanla, Fix My LifeHimself"Fix My Rap Star Life" (season 2, episode 1)[170]2015Fresh Off the BoatHimselfSeason 2, episode 9[171]2017Black Ink CrewHimselfSeason 5, episode 14[172]Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z),[a] is an American rapper, songwriter, record executive, businessman, and media proprietor. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history,[5] and often cited as one of the greatest rappers of all time.[6][7]
Born and raised in New York City, Jay-Z first began his musical career after founding the record label Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995, and subsequently released his debut studio album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. The album was released to widespread critical success, and solidified his standing in the music industry. He has gone on to release twelve additional albums, including the acclaimed albums The Blueprint (2001), The Black Album (2003), American Gangster (2007), and 4:44 (2017).[8][9] Jay-Z has also released the full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) with Kanye West and Everything Is Love (2018) with his wife Beyoncé, respectively.[10]
Outside of his musical career, Jay-Z has also attained significant success and media attention for his career as a businessman. In 1999, he founded the clothing retailer Rocawear,[11] and in 2003, he founded the luxury sports bar chain 40/40 Club. 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.[12][13]
Jay-Z is one of the world's best-selling music artists, with over 50 million albums and 75 million singles sold worldwide. He has won a total of 23 Grammy Awards, the most by a rapper, and holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200, with 14.[14][15] He has been ranked by Billboard and fellow music publication Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[16][17] In 2017, he became the first rapper to be honored into the Songwriters Hall of Fame,[18] and in 2018, received the commemorative "Salute to Industry Icons" award at the 60th Grammy Awards.[19] In June 2019, Jay-Z officially became the first hip hop billionaire,[20] making him among the wealthiest black Americans and the wealthiest American musician at the time.[21] In December 2020, Jay-Z launched a line of cannabis products called "Monogram".[22] In 2021, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first living solo rapper to be inducted.[23]Contents1Early life2Music career2.11995–1997: Reasonable Doubt and In My Lifetime, Vol. 12.21998–2000: Vol. 2..., Vol. 3... and The Dynasty2.32001–2002: Feud with Nas, The Blueprint and The Blueprint22.42003–2005: The Black Album and initial retirement2.52005–2007: Kingdom Come and American Gangster2.62008–2011: The Blueprint 3 and Watch the Throne2.72012–2016: Magna Carta Holy Grail and other ventures2.82017–2018: 4:44 and Everything Is Love3Musical style3.1Influences3.2Rapping technique4Business career5Personal life5.1Relationship with Beyoncé6Legal issues7Philanthropy8Politics9Life + Times10Discography11Filmography12Tours12.1Headlining12.2Co-headlining12.3Supporting13Books14Awards and nominations15See also16Notes17References18Further reading19External linksEarly life
Jay-Z (top) with a friend in Trenton, New Jersey, c. 1988Shawn Corey Carter was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on December 4, 1969.[24] He was raised in Marcy Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn's Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood.[25] After their father, Adnis Reeves,[26][27] abandoned the family, Jay-Z and his three siblings were raised by their mother, Gloria Carter. Reeves would later meet and reconcile with Jay-Z shortly before dying in 2003. Jay-Z claims in his lyrics that in 1982, at age 12, he shot his older brother in the shoulder for stealing his jewelry.[28][29] Along with rapper AZ, he attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn until it was closed. He then attended nearby George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School with rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes, followed by a stint at Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, though he did not graduate.[30] According to his interviews and lyrics, he sold crack cocaine[29] and was shot at three times during this period.[28]
According to his mother, Jay-Z used to wake up his siblings at night banging out drum patterns on the kitchen table. She bought him a boombox for his birthday, sparking his interest in music, and he began freestyling and writing lyrics.[31] Known as "Jazzy" around the neighborhood, he later adopted the stage name "Jay-Z" in homage to his mentor Jaz-O.[25][32] Jay-Z can be briefly heard on several of Jaz-O's early recordings in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including "HP Gets Busy", "The Originators" and "Hawaiian Sophie".[33][34] Jay-Z became embroiled in several battles with rapper LL Cool J in the early 1990s.[35] He first became known to a wide audience on the posse cut "Show and Prove" on the 1994 Big Daddy Kane album Daddy's Home. Jay-Z has been referred to as Big Daddy Kane's hype man during this period,[36] although Kane explains that he didn't fill the traditional hype man role, and was instead basically making cameo appearances on stage. "When I would leave the stage to go change outfits, I would bring out Jay-Z and Positive K and let them freestyle until I came back to the stage."[37][38] The young Jay-Z appeared on a popular song by Big L, "Da Graveyard", and on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build", which also featured early appearances by DMX and Ja Rule in 1995. His first official rap single was called "In My Lifetime", for which he released a music video in 1995. An unreleased music video was also produced for the B-side "I Can't Get with That."[39]
Music career1995–1997: Reasonable Doubt and In My Lifetime, Vol. 1With no major label to give him a record deal, Jay-Z sold CDs out of his car[28] and, with Damon "Dame" Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke, created Roc-A-Fella Records as an independent label in 1995. 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.I.G.. The album reached number 23 on the Billboard 200, and was generally favored by critics.[25] This album would later be included in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time as No. 248 and eventually reach platinum status.[40]
After reaching a new distribution deal with Def Jam in 1997, Jay-Z released his follow-up In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. Produced by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, it outsold his previous release.[citation needed] Jay-Z later explained that the album was made during one of the worst periods of his life when he was reeling from the death of his close friend, The Notorious B.I.G. The album was a personal revelation for Jay-Z as he told the stories of his difficult upbringing.[citation needed] The album's glossy production stood as a contrast to his first release, and some dedicated fans felt he had "sold out." However, the album did feature some beats from producers who had worked with him on Reasonable Doubt, namely DJ Premier and Ski. Like its predecessor, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 earned platinum status in the United States.[40]
1998–2000: Vol. 2..., Vol. 3... and The DynastyIn 1998, Jay-Z released Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life which spawned the biggest hit of his career at the time, "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)". 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.[41] Other producers included DJ Premier, Erick Sermon, The 45 King, and Kid Capri. Charting hits from this album included "Can I Get A...", featuring Ja Rule and Amil, and "Nigga What, Nigga Who", featuring Amil and Jaz-O. Vol. 2 would eventually become Jay-Z's most commercially successful album; it was certified 5× Platinum in the United States and has to date sold over five million copies.[40] The album went on to win a Grammy Award, although Jay-Z boycotted the ceremony protesting DMX's failure to garner a Grammy nomination.[42]
In 1999, Jay-Z collaborated with Mariah Carey on "Heartbreaker", a song from her seventh album, Rainbow. The song became Jay-Z's first chart-topper in the US, spending two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.[43] In that same year, Jay-Z released Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter. The album proved successful and sold over 3 million copies.[40] Vol. 3's most successful single was "Big Pimpin", featuring UGK.
In 2000, Jay-Z released The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, which was originally intended to become a compilation album for Roc-A-Fella artists but Def Jam turned into a Jay-Z album.[44] The album helped to introduce newcomer producers The Neptunes, Just Blaze, Kanye West, and Bink, which have all gone on to achieve notable success. This is also the first album where Jay-Z utilizes a more soulful sound than his previous albums. The Dynasty sold over two million units in the U.S. alone.[40]
2001–2002: Feud with Nas, The Blueprint and The Blueprint2In 2001, Jay-Z spoke out against Prodigy after he took an issue with a Jay-Z line from "Money, Cash, Hoes" that he felt alluded disparagingly to Mobb Deep and Prodigy's dispute with Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Death Row Records. He later performed the song "Takeover", at Summer Jam 2001, which initially attacked Prodigy and revealed photos of Prodigy dressed like Michael Jackson.[45] A line at the end of "Takeover" referred to Nas, who criticized him on "We Will Survive".[46] Nas responded with a diss track called "Ether" and Jay-Z straightaway added a verse to "Takeover" which dissed Nas and would start a feud between the two rappers. The feud had ended by 2005, Jay-Z stated Mark Pitts had helped them settle the feud.[47]
On September 11, 2001, hours before the September 11 attacks, Jay-Z released his sixth studio album, The Blueprint, which received a coveted five-mic review from hip-hop magazine The Source. Written in just two days,[48] the album sold more than 427,000 copies, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200[49] and reached 2× Platinum status in the U.S.[40] It was lauded for its production and its balance of "mainstream" and "hardcore" rap. Eminem was the only guest rapper on the album, producing and rapping on the song "Renegade". Four tracks were produced by Kanye West and the album represents one of West's first major breaks in the industry. The Blueprint includes the popular songs "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)", "Girls, Girls, Girls", "Jigga That Nigga", and "Song Cry". As of February 2012, the album had sold 2.7 million copies worldwide, even though its initial success had been overshadowed by the tragic events of 9/11.[50] In 2019, The Blueprint was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[51]
In October 2001, Jay-Z pleaded guilty to stabbing record producer Lance Rivera at the Kit Kat Klub in New York City in 1999.[52] For this second-degree felony, Jay-Z was sentenced to three years' probation.[53]
Jay-Z's next solo album was 2002's The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse, a double-album. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number one, selling over 3 million units in the U.S. alone[40] and surpassing The Blueprint.[54] It was later reissued in a single-disc version, The Blueprint 2.1, which retained half of the tracks from the original. The album spawned two massive hit singles, "Excuse Me Miss" and "'03 Bonnie & Clyde", which features Jay-Z's then-girlfriend Beyoncé Knowles. "Guns & Roses", featuring Lenny Kravitz, and "Hovi Baby" were two successful radio singles as well. The album also contained the tracks "A Dream", featuring Faith Evans and the late The Notorious B.I.G.; and "The Bounce", featuring Kanye West. The Blueprint 2.1 featured tracks that do not appear on The Blueprint2: The Gift & the Curse, such as "Stop", "La La La (Excuse Me Again)", "What They Gonna Do, Part II" and "Beware" produced by and featuring Panjabi MC.[55]
2003–2005: The Black Album and initial retirement
Jay-Z in 2003After visiting the south of France,[56] Jay-Z announced work on his eighth studio album The Black Album at the opening of the 40/40 Club.[57] He worked with several producers including Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Kanye West, Timbaland, Eminem, DJ Quik, 9th Wonder, The Buchanans, and Rick Rubin. Notable songs on the album included "What More Can I Say", "Dirt Off Your Shoulder", "Change Clothes", and "99 Problems". The Black Album has sold more than 3 million copies in the U.S.[40] Jay-Z collaborated with R. Kelly and released a collaborative studio album, The Best of Both Worlds.
On November 25, 2003, Jay-Z held a concert—billed as a "retirement party" at Madison Square Garden in New York City, which would later be the focus of his film Fade to Black. All proceeds went to charity. Other performers included collaborators like the Roots (in the form of his backing band), Missy Elliott, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Siegel, Freeway, Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Twista, Ghostface Killah, Foxy Brown, Pharrell Williams and R. Kelly with special appearances by Voletta Wallace and Afeni Shakur, the mothers of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, respectively.[58] While Jay-Z had attested to a retirement from making new studio albums, various side projects and appearances soon followed. Included in these were a greatest hits record, as well as the release and tour of Unfinished Business, the second collaborative album between Jay-Z and R. Kelly.
In 2004, Jay-Z collaborated with rock group Linkin Park, in which they released their collaborative remix EP Collision Course, which featured mashups of both artists' songs, as well as a concert DVD. The album's only single, "Numb/Encore", went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and was performed with Linkin Park live at the Grammys, with a special appearance by Paul McCartney, who added verses from the song "Yesterday". The EP sold over 1 million copies in the U.S.[40] Jay-Z was the executive producer of The Rising Tied, the debut album of Fort Minor, the hip hop side project of Linkin Park rapper Mike Shinoda. Jay-Z also planned to retire in 2004.[59]
Later in 2004, Jay-Z was named president of Def Jam Records, which led to Jay-Z, Dash and Biggs selling their remaining interests in Roc-A-Fella Records and Jay-Z taking control of both of the companies.[60] Reportedly this major industry move was prompted by disagreements between Jay-Z and Dash as to what direction Roc-A-Fella could undertake.[61] The publicized split between Jay-Z, Dash, and Biggs led to the former partners sending jabs at each other in interviews.[62]
2005–2007: Kingdom Come and American Gangster
Jay-Z at a concert in 2006On October 27, 2005, Jay-Z headlined New York's Power 105.1 annual concert, Powerhouse. The concert was entitled the "I Declare War" concert leading to intense speculation in the weeks preceding the event on whom exactly Jay-Z would declare war. As he had previously "declared war" on other artists taking lyrical shots at him at other events, many believed that the Powerhouse show would represent an all-out assault by Jay-Z upon his rivals.[63] 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. Many artists made appearances such as the old roster of Roc-A-Fella records artists, as well as Ne-Yo, Teairra Marí, T.I., Young Jeezy, Akon, Kanye West, Paul Wall, The LOX, and Diddy.[64]
At the conclusion of the concert, Jay-Z put many arguments to rest to the surprise of hip hop fans. The most significant development in this show was closure to the infamous hip hop rivalry between Jay-Z and Nas. The two former rivals shook hands and shared the stage together to perform Jay-Z's "Dead Presidents" blended with Nas's song "The World is Yours".[65]
Jay-Z returned with his comeback album on November 21, 2006, titled Kingdom Come.[66] Jay-Z's comeback single, "Show Me What You Got", was leaked on the Internet in early October 2006, scheduled to be released later on that month, received heavy air-play after its leak, causing the FBI to step in and investigate.[67] Jay-Z worked with video director Hype Williams, and the single's video was directed by F. Gary Gray. The album features production from Just Blaze, Pharrell, Kanye West, Dr. Dre and Coldplay's Chris Martin (single entitled "Beach Chair").[68][69] The first week saw 680,000 sales of the CD, which Entertainment Weekly said was "the highest single-week total in Jay's decade long career".[70] This album has sold 2 million copies in the U.S.[40]
Jay-Z released his tenth album entitled American Gangster on November 6, 2007. After viewing the Ridley Scott film of the same name, Jay-Z was heavily inspired to create a new "concept" album that depicts his experiences as a street-hustler.[71] The album is not the film's official soundtrack, although it was distributed by Def Jam.[72] Jay-Z's American Gangster depicts his life in correlation to the movie American Gangster. At the start of the album's first single, "Blue Magic", Jay-Z offers a dealer's manifesto while making references to political figures of the late 1980s with the lyric: "Blame Reagan for making me to into a monster, blame Oliver North and Iran-Contra, I ran contraband that they sponsored, before this rhymin' stuff we was in concert."[73] Also notable about the "Blue Magic" music video was Jay-Z flashing €500 notes; Harvard Business School professor Rawi Abdelal called this a "turning point in American pop culture's response to globalization." The album has sold 1 million copies in the U.S.[40] On January 1, 2008, Jay-Z resigned as president of Def Jam.[74]
2008–2011: The Blueprint 3 and Watch the Throne
Jay-Z performing in 2008In the winter of 2008, it was announced that Jay-Z become the first major hip hop artist to headline Britain's 2008 Glastonbury Festival.[75][76] Tickets sold out quickly. Former headliner Noel Gallagher of Oasis condemned the festival organizers for choosing Jay-Z to headline a traditionally guitar-driven festival. "I'm sorry, but Jay-Z?" Gallagher asked, swearing. "No chance. Glastonbury has a tradition of, kind of, guitar music, do you know what I mean? And even when they throw the odd curve balls in on a Sunday night—you go, 'Kylie Minogue? I don't know about that', do you know what I mean?—but I'm not having hip hop at Glastonbury, no way, no, no. It's wrong."[77] As controversy mounted, Jay-Z replied, "We don't play guitars, Noel, but hip hop has put in its work like any other form of music. This headline show is just a natural progression. Rap music is still evolving. We have to respect each other's genre of music and move forward."[78] Jay-Z opened his Glastonbury set with a tongue-in-cheek cover of Oasis's iconic song "Wonderwall",[79] and went on to deliver a performance heralded as a successful response to pre-festival criticism.[80]
He also headlined many other summer festivals in 2008, including Roskilde Festival in Denmark,[81] Hove Festival in Norway[82] and O2 Wireless Festival in London.[83] During Kanye West's concert of August 6, 2008 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.[84] On May 21, 2009, Jay-Z announced he would be parting ways with Def Jam, and had struck 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[85] and also partnered up with production team Stargate to start a record label called StarRoc.[86][87] Jay-Z's 11th studio album The Blueprint 3 was originally to be released on September 11, 2009,[88] but was instead released in North America on September 8, 2009, due to increasing anticipation.[89] Its international release followed on September 14.[90] It is his 11th album to reach No.1 on the Billboard 200[91] and has surpassed Elvis Presley's previous record, making him the current solo-artist record holder.[92] On October 9, 2009, Jay-Z kicked off his tour for The Blueprint 3, during which he supported 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 continued until November 22, 2009.[93] At his concert on November 8, 2009, at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, Rihanna joined him on stage and performed "Hard" for the first time, then performed "Run This Town" with Jay-Z.[94] 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 Kuti.[95] 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.[95] Fela! is a story about an African pioneer and political activist who made his first moves on the scene during the 1970s.[95]Jay-Z performing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2010On January 23, 2010, Jay-Z released a track, "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)", with Rihanna, and U2's Bono and The Edge, as well as performing it at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon.[96] In June 2010, Eminem and Jay-Z announced they would perform together in a pair of concerts in Detroit and New York. The event was dubbed The Home & Home Tour. The first two concerts rapidly sold out, prompting the scheduling of an additional show at each venue.[97] Jay-Z was the supporting act for U2 on the Australian and New Zealand leg of their U2 360° Tour, beginning in Auckland, New Zealand, in November 2010, followed by Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth in December.[98] Jay-Z also appeared on stage during U2 performances of "Sunday bloody Sunday", and in Auckland also on a five-track EP entitled Watch the Throne. Although, it was later revealed by West that the project had become a full-length LP. Recording sessions for the album took place at various recording locations and began in November 2010. The first single released for the project was "H•A•M". The track was co-produced by Lex Luger and West himself. The track ended up being on the deluxe edition of the album. The follow-up to that was the second single "Otis", which premiered on Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show, and was later released to the iTunes Store eleven days later. The song's existence, along with several other tracks from the album, was confirmed during a listening session hosted by Jay-Z.[99] The album was first released on the iTunes Store, five days prior to it being released in physical format, a strategy Jay-Z later said was used to block an internet leak. It debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Store in 23 countries. It also broke Coldplay's record for most albums sold in one week on the online retailer, selling 290,000 copies on iTunes alone. It held that record, until Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV was released twenty-one days later, selling only 10,000 copies more. It debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at No. 1, selling 436,000 copies in its first week. The album received generally positive reviews. Jay-Z and West later gave a surprise performance of "Otis" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.
2012–2016: Magna Carta Holy Grail and other ventures
Jay-Z embraces wife Beyoncé after his performance of "Tom Ford" on The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, 2013Jay-Z collaborated with M.I.A on her single "XXXO", which achieved a fair level of success and went on to become remixed by several producers worldwide. In May 2012, Jay-Z and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced Jay-Z as the curator and the headliner for the first annual "Budweiser Made in America" festival at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on September 1 and 2, 2012. The performance was produced by Live Nation and assembled an eclectic lineup of "rock, hip hop, R&B, Latin music and dance" musicians.[100] Jay-Z and Rihanna were the two main headlining acts for BBC Radio 1's 2012 Hackney Weekend music festival on June 23 to 24.[101] Jay-Z opened his set with an appearance from Rihanna, they performed "Run this Town". On September 6, "Clique" was released, a single from the album "Cruel Summer", by GOOD Music. Kanye West and Big Sean starred alongside Jay-Z on the track. Jay-Z took the subway to his sold-out show at The Barclays Center on October 6, 2012.[102] On November 12, 2012, Coldplay announced that they will be playing with Jay-Z at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on December 31.[103]
On September 23, 2010, Q-Tip confirmed working on Jay-Z's follow-up album to The Blueprint 3, saying the album was to hit stores by spring 2011.[104] In May 2012 it was reported that Jay-Z would work on new music with Roc Nation producer Jahlil Beats. Beats told XXL magazine: "Me and Jay-Z been going back and forth. He picked a couple of my joints that he's working on. I don't even wanna say too much about Jay, but we definitely working on some stuff. I haven't even sent him a bunch of beats. I sent him my favorite stuff. He hit me right back like, 'Yo, I'ma go in on this,' or, 'I like this.'"[105] The album has been named one of the most anticipated albums of 2013 by Complex Magazine, MTV, and XXL. Production will come from Jahlil Beats, Kanye West, Rick Rubin, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, and Pharrell Williams.[106][107] Jay-Z also made an appearance on Justin Timberlake's comeback single "Suit & Tie" from his third studio album The 20/20 Experience, the song itself was produced by both Jay-Z and Timberlake's mutual friend, Timbaland.[108] Timberlake and Jay-Z embarked on the co-headlining Legends of the Summer Stadium Tour.[109] During the fifth game of the 2013 NBA Finals, Carter announced his twelfth studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, and was released on July 4, 2013. Not long after, Jay-Z confirmed that the hyphen in his stage name would be left out and officially stylized in all capital letters.[110] Magna Carta Holy Grail debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 528,000 copies in its first week, which bypassed its predicted debut in the range of 350,000 to 400,000.[111] In December 2013, it was announced that Jay-Z had received nine nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards, more than any other artist.[112] Jay-Z appeared on his wife Beyoncé's self-titled fifth studio album, Beyoncé, with a feature on the song "Drunk in Love". They performed this song together at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards opening.[113] The song and its accompanying album would later win three Grammy Awards including Best R&B Performance at the 2015 ceremony.
In 2016, he won a lawsuit for the song "Made in America" with Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean against Joel McDonald.[114]
2017–2018: 4:44 and Everything Is Love
Announcement of the new collaborative album in LondonIn early June 2017, posters were displayed in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as banner ads on the Internet promoting a Tidal-related project titled 4:44.[115] A teaser ad was aired during the NBA Finals on June 7 featuring actors Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong'o and Danny Glover in a one-minute video, ending in "4:44 – 6.30.17, Exclusively on Tidal". On June 18, the project was confirmed to be a new Jay-Z album, and a clip featuring a song titled "Adnis" was posted on Sprint's YouTube page.[115]
4:44 was released through Roc Nation and Universal Music Group, as an exclusive to Sprint and Tidal customers. The album is the first in a planned series of music exclusives from the Sprint–Tidal partnership. For a short time, on July 2, the album was made available for free digital download in Tidal's site. A physical edition was released on July 7, including three additional tracks. On the same day, the album was made available to other streaming platforms, such as Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music.
The album received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its emotional and personal content. On July 5, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in recognition of one million copies purchased by Sprint and offered to consumers as free downloads.[116] It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making it Jay-Z's 13th consecutive studio album to top the chart. The album spawned two singles, the title track "4:44" and "Bam", as well as several music videos, directed by a variety of high-profile collaborators. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year, while the title track was nominated for Song of the Year and "The Story of O.J." was nominated for Record of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.[117]
On June 6, 2018, Jay-Z and Beyoncé kicked-off the On the Run II Tour in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Ten days later, at their final London performance, the pair unveiled Everything Is Love, their much-awaited joint studio album, credited under the name The Carters. The pair also released the video for the album's lead single, "Apeshit", on Beyoncé's official YouTube channel.[118][119] The song won two awards from eight nominations at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.[120]
He is a 2021 nominee for the 36th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.[121]
Musical styleInfluencesJay-Z says his earliest exposure to music was through his parents' record collection, which was mostly of soul artists such as Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway. He says "I grew up around music, listening to all types of people... I'm into music that has soul in it, whether it be rap, R&B, pop music, whatever. As long as I can feel their soul through the wax, that's what I really listen to."[122] He often uses excerpts from these artists as samples in his work, particularly in the Kanye West productions included on The Blueprint.[122]
Rapping techniqueRoyce da 5'9" and Fredro Starr of Onyx both describe Jay-Z's emphasis on flow in the book How to Rap—Starr says that Jay-Z is "a master of the flow—he can flow fast, he can flow slow".[123] The book describes how Jay-Z uses 'rests' to provide structure to a verse[124] and how he uses 'partial linking' to add more rhymes to a verse.[125] Jay-Z's early style is described by Vibe as "a distinctly Das EFX-type, stiggety style" on his 12" single "Can't Get With That",[126] 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,[127] a style popular with many MCs such as The Notorious B.I.G.,[127] Everlast,[128] Bobby Creekwater[129] and Guerilla Black.[129] 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".[130] Jay-Z's fast rapping technique, also known as the "triplet rhyme", was developed during his early years of creating music with former mentor Jaz-O.[131][132]
Business career
This section may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. Please consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding subheadings. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. (January 2021)Jay-Z appeared in a 2003 Reebok collection advertising his S. Carter Collection.[133]
Jay-Z has also established himself as a successful entrepreneur with a business empire spanning a variety of industries from clothing lines, beverages, real estate, sport teams, and record labels.[134] In an interview, he stated that "my brands are an extension of me. They're close to me. It's not like running GM, where there's no emotional attachment."[135] Jay-Z and Damon Dash are the founders of the urban clothing brand Rocawear.[136] Rocawear has clothing lines and accessories for men, women and children. The line was taken over by Jay-Z in early 2006 following a falling out with Dash. In March 2007, Jay-Z sold the rights to the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group, for $204 million. He retains his stake in the company and continues to oversee the marketing, licensing and product development.[136][137] He also co-owns the 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar that started in New York City and has since expanded to Atlantic City and Chicago. In 2008, the 40/40 Club in Las Vegas was closed down and bought back by the hotel after attendance steadily declined.[138] In 2005, Jay-Z became an investor in Carol's Daughter, a line of beauty products, including products for hair, skin, and hands.[139] In September 2013, his stake in Barclays Center was sold for $1.5 million.[140]
Jay-Z serves as co-brand director for Budweiser Select and collaborates with the company on strategic marketing programs and creative ad development. He provides direction on brand programs and ads that appear on TV, radio, print, and high-profile events.[141] In 2010, he announced plans to expand his 40/40 Club sports bar chain into as many as 20 airports, joining his business partners, Juan and Desiree Perez, in a deal with Delaware North.[142]
For ten years (2003-2013) Jay-Z enjoyed his role as a part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, having paid a reported $1 million for his share, which declined in value to $350,000 in April 2013, based on Forbes magazine's valuation of the team.[143] He encouraged the team's relocation to Brooklyn's Barclays Center (from New Jersey) in the 2012–2013 season, at which point the team took on the Brooklyn Nets moniker.[144][145] In October 2005, he was reported in English media as considering buying a stake of Arsenal F.C., an English soccer team.[146] Through his conglomerate company Gain Global Investments Network LLC, he had an interest estimated between 2 and 7% in the Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) consortium, which in January 2010 was awarded a contract to operate a 4,500-slot-machine racino at the Aqueduct Race Track. Jay-Z became interested in the project after New York Governor David Paterson who awarded the contract said there had to be an affirmative action component to the ownership. Jay-Z initially approached by casino mogul Steve Wynn who was also offerding on the contract. On March 9, 2010, Jay-Z and Flake withdrew from the project and Paterson recused himself from further involvement.[147][148]
On November 16, 2010, Jay-Z published a memoir entitled Decoded.[149][150]
In April 2011, it was reported that Jay-Z had outoffer executives at Universal Records and Jive Records to acquire independent record label Block Starz Music.[151][152]
Jay-Z is also credited as the executive producer of the basketball video game NBA 2K13, where he worked on the look and feel of the game along with its soundtrack.[153]
On April 2, 2013, ESPN reported Jay-Z's plans to launch his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, with a focus on the representation of various professional athletes. The sport management group is a partnership with Creative Artists Agency.[154] In conjunction with the agency's launch, New York Yankees's second baseman Robinson Canó left agent Scott Boras to sign with the company. ESPN also mentioned that Jay-Z himself was planning to be a certified sports agent, first in baseball and eventually in basketball and football. In order to represent clients in basketball, he would have to give up his small share of the Brooklyn Nets.[154][155] On April 18, 2013, Jay-Z officially announced through his Life + Times website in a press release that he would be relinquishing his ownership in the Brooklyn Nets.[156] The shares were eventually sold to singer, rapper, actor and entrepreneur Will Pan, making Pan the first American of Taiwanese descent to own a U.S. professional sports franchise.[157][158] Jay-Z's cited Pan's athletic background (he was a team captain of his high school basketball team and played in college), his multitude of musical styles, his influence in the Taiwanese American community, and his business acumen and portfolio (including being the founder and chief executive of software company Camigo Media and a co-founder of streetwear boutique N.P.C [New Project Center]), as reasons why his offer was successful.[157][158]
In 2014, Jay-Z invested $200 million in Armand de Brignac champagne owned Sovereign Brands, a New York-based wine and spirits company for a 100 percent stake, making it the second alcoholic product acquisition in his financial investment portfolio.[159][160][161] The brand is known for its popularity with high-profile artists as being the gold bottles often referred to in media.[162][163][164][165][166] His ties to the company date back to 2006, and he received millions of dollars per year for his association with Armand de Brignac before he bought the entire company.[167]
In March 2015, Jay-Z completed the $56 million acquisition of Aspiro, a Norwegian media technology company that operates the subscription-based music streaming service Tidal, which has been in operation since October 2014.[168] The music service was acquired through his company Project Panther offerco Ltd. (an entity indirectly owned by Jay-Z's S. Carter Enterprises a company holding interests in leading international music, media and entertainment companies).[169][170] The music service combines audio and music videos with curated editorial. The main idea of the service is to bring major revenue streams back to the music artists themselves as the idea of an artist-owned streaming platform was stated as to "restore the value to music by launching a service owned by artists." Jay-Z currently[when?] is a major shareholder in the company.[171][172]
Parlux fragrances sued Jay-Z for $18 million for the failure of his cologne, Gold. They claim the cologne's failure is due to Jay-Z not doing social media posts and interviews about the cologne. Parlux claims they projected selling $15 million the first year, and $35 million the second, and subsequent years after the launch. The fragrance sold $14 million the first year and $6.1 million the second.[173] Parlux supposedly lost money on the venture and have had constant returns of unsold inventory.[174]
In July 2015, Carter made a significant investment to JetSmarter, an app helping people book private executive plane flights. The app was built by Sergey Petrossov.[175] Jay-Z collaborated with Cohiba to launch his own cigars.[176]
In 2016, he signed a two-year exclusive film and TV Deal with Weinstein Company and with the deal gives them first-look options to create scripted and unscripted TV projects and film projects, and those projects were in works.[177] As part of his deal with Weinstein company, he produced a documentary series on the life of Kalief Browder who was imprisoned for three years and committed suicide upon his release. He also addressed racial profiling and police brutality in a conscious manner.[178]
In August 2020, it was announced that Jay-Z's Roc Nation would partner with Brooklyn's Long Island University to establish the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment.[179]
In November 2020 it was announced that Jay-Z would be join TPCO Holding Corp. – newly formed cannabis products company in the role of "Chief Visionary Officer".[180]
Personal lifeRelationship with Beyoncé
Jay-Z and Beyoncé performing in November 2009In 2002, Jay-Z and singer Beyoncé collaborated on the song "'03 Bonnie & Clyde". He also appeared on Beyoncé's hit single "Crazy in Love" as well as "That's How You Like It" from her debut album Dangerously in Love. On her second album, B'Day, he made appearances on the hits "Déjà Vu" and "Upgrade U". In the video for the latter song, she comically imitates his appearance.[181] They kept a low profile while dating and were married on April 4, 2008.[182] Their relationship became a matter of public record on April 22, 2008,[183] but Beyoncé did not publicly debut her $5 million Lorraine Schwartz-designed wedding ring until the Fashion Rocks concert on September 5, 2008.[184] They reside in an $88 million home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.[185] They generally avoid discussing their relationship,[186] and Beyoncé has stated her belief that this has helped them, while Jay-Z agreed in a People article that they do not "play with [their] relationship".[187]
Beyoncé and Jay-Z were listed as the most powerful couple for Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2006.[188] In January 2009, Forbes ranked them as Hollywood's top-earning couple, with a combined total of $162 million.[189] They made it to the top of the list the following year, with a combined total of $122 million between June 2008 and June 2009.[189]
At the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé revealed that she was pregnant with their first child.[190][191] Their daughter, Blue Ivy, was born at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital on January 7, 2012.[192] Jay-Z released "Glory", a song dedicated to their child, through his website on January 9, 2012.[193] The song detailed the couple's pregnancy struggles, including a miscarriage Beyoncé had suffered.[193] Because Blue's cries were included at the end of the song and she was officially credited on the song as "B.I.C", she became the youngest person ever (at two days old) to appear on a Billboard chart when "Glory" debuted at No. 74 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[194] On June 18, 2017, Beyoncé's father Mathew Knowles confirmed that she and Jay-Z had welcomed twins: a daughter named Rumi and a son named Sir.[195]
Legal issuesOn December 1, 1999, Jay-Z, who had come to believe that record executive Lance "Un" Rivera was behind the bootlegging of Vol. 3..., stabbed Rivera at the release party for Q-Tip's album Amplified at the Kit Kat Klub, a now-defunct night club in Times Square, New York City. Jay-Z's associates at the party were accused of causing a commotion within the club, which Jay-Z allegedly used as cover while he stabbed Rivera in the stomach with a five-inch (127 mm) blade.[196] He surrendered to police the following evening and was placed under arrest, although he was soon released on $50,000 bail.[197][198] When he was indicted in Manhattan Criminal Court in late January 2000, he pleaded not guilty; he and his lawyers contended that they had witnesses and videotapes proving he had been nowhere near Rivera during the incident. Nevertheless, he later pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and accepted a three-year probation sentence.[199]
Jay-Z later addressed the case in his 2010 book Decoded:
One night I went to Q-Tip's solo album release party and at some point in the night, I ran into the guy everyone's been telling me is behind the bootleg. So I approached him. When I told him what I suspected, to my surprise, he got real loud with me right there in the middle of the club. It was strange. We separated and I went over to the bar. I was sitting there like, "No the fck this nigga did not..." I was talking to people, but I was really talking to myself out loud, just in a state of shock. Before I even realized what I was doing, I headed back over to him, but this time I was blacking out with anger. The next thing I knew, all hell had broken loose in the club. That night the guy went straight to the police and I was indicted. [...] There was no reason to put my life on the line, and the lives of everyone who depends on me, because of a momentary loss of control. [...] I vowed to never allow myself to be in a situation like that again.[200]
Jay-Z with his mother GloriaDuring his retirement,[failed verification] Jay-Z also became involved in philanthropic activity. In 2003, Jay-Z, together with his mother, founded The Shawn Carter Foundation, which has assisted eligible students facing socio-economic hardships through college.[201] On August 9, 2006, he met with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan at the organization's headquarters in New York City. The rapper pledged to use his upcoming world tour to raise awareness of and combat global water shortage. Already on the look-out for a way to, in his own words, "become helpful", he had been made aware of this issue during a visit to Africa by Bono from the rock group U2.[202] The effort took place in partnership with the UN,[203] as well as MTV, which produced a documentary entitled Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life, first airing in November 2006.[204] Along with Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross's relief effort after Hurricane Katrina.[205] Jay-Z stated his support for Kanye West after the latter's outburst against President George W. Bush during a live Katrina charity telethon.[206] He also addressed the issue of the Katrina disaster, and the government's response, in his one verse song "Minority Report".[207]
Jay-Z has previously stated in a song that "the greatest form of giving is anonymous to anonymous" and, in 2013, it was revealed by author dream hampton, who co-wrote Jay-Z's book Decoded, that he quietly established a trust fund for Sean Bell's children.[208]
Jay-Z has donated money to bailing out protestors arrested during activism against police with Barack Obama at a rally in 2012In 2006, Jay-Z appeared with Russell Simmons in a PSA combating racism and anti-Semitism organized by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.[213] By 2008, Jay-Z was actively involved in the 2008 presidential campaign, where he supported increased voter participation and helped send voters to polling stations.[214] He was an early supporter for the candidacy of Illinois senator and subsequent U.S. president Barack Obama, performing for free in voter-drive concerts financed by the Democrats' campaign.[215] He also became acquainted with Obama himself, who stated "Every time I talk to Jay-Z, who is a brilliant talent and a good guy, I enjoy how he thinks. That's somebody who is going to start branching out and can help shape attitudes in a real positive way."[216] During the 2010 mid-term elections' campaign, Jay-Z appeared, along with other artists, in an ad prepared by the HeadCount organization, urging voters, and especially younger ones, to register and vote.[217] In May 2012, Jay-Z announced his endorsement of President Obama's support of same-sex marriage[218] and participated in his re-election campaign.[219]
Musician and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte has been openly critical of Jay-Z and Beyoncé in their relatively safe political stances, saying that they "have turned their back on social responsibility" in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.[220] A Syracuse University finance professor[221] also gave similar opinions, pointing to Jay-Z's only giving $6,000 to charity after making $63 million in 2012. He also voiced that the hip-hop mogul likely would never have come out in support of gay marriage had President Obama not first taken the initiative.[222]
In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Jay-Z and Beyoncé supported presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at her rally in Cleveland.[223] Clinton praised Jay-Z for addressing racism, oppression, and the criminal justice system.[224]
Life + TimesOn April 5, 2011, Jay Z launched the popular culture and lifestyle webzine Life + Times. It features content that showcases his high-end tastes in clothing, appliances, and cars. The site design is aesthetically aimed at the upwardly mobile young male demographic, with sports and music-related posts accompanying those about fashion and design.[225] Among the music content is the Decoded series, originating from Jay Z's memoir of the same name and featuring a select rapper deciphering their own lyrics.[226]
In January 2015, after being contacted by the webzine, the DJ and radio host Funkmaster Flex revealed that he had been contacted in 2013 for a story about a digital app he made at the time, but alleged that the information was instead used to help launch the Magna Carta Samsung app for the release of Jay Z's album of the same name. "But I was good with that. I ate that. Everybody's out here hustling", Flex reasoned to Vibe.[227]
DiscographyMain articles: Jay-Z albums discography, singles, and videographyStudio albumsReasonable Doubt (1996)In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997)Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life (1998)Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter (1999)The Dynasty: Roc La Familia (2000)The Blueprint (2001)The Blueprint2: The Gift & the Curse (2002)The Black Album (2003)Kingdom Come (2006)American Gangster (2007)The Blueprint 3 (2009)Magna Carta Holy Grail (2013)4:44 (2017)Collaborative albumsThe Best of Both Worlds with R. Kelly (2002)Unfinished Business with R. Kelly (2004)Watch The Throne with Kanye West (2011)Everything Is Love with Beyoncé (as the Carters) (2018)FilmographyStreets Is Watching (1998)Backstage (2000)State Property (2002)Paper Soldiers (2002)Fade to Black (2004)The Great Gatsby (2013, executive producer)Made in America (2013, documentary)Annie (2014, producer)Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story (2018, executive producer)ToursHeadliningReasonable Doubt Tour (1996)Hard Knock Life Tour (1999)[228]Blueprint Lounge Tour (2001)[229]Hangar Tour (2006)American Gangster Live (2007)Jay-Z Fall Tour/Blueprint 3 Tour (2009–2010)Magna Carter World Tour (2013–14)4:44 Tour (2017)Co-headliningRock the Mic (with 50 Cent) (2003)[230]Best of Both Worlds Tour (with R. Kelly) (2004)Heart of the City Tour (with Mary J. Blige) (2008)Jay-Z & Ciara Live (with Ciara) (2009)The Home & Home Tour (with Eminem) (2010)Watch the Throne Tour (with Kanye West) (2011–12)Legends of the Summer Stadium Tour (with Justin Timberlake) (2013)On the Run Tour (with Beyoncé) (2014)On the Run II Tour (with Beyoncé) (2018)SupportingNo Way Out Tour (with Puff Daddy & Bad Boy Records) (1997)[231]Projekt Revolution 2008 Europe (with Linkin Park) (2008)Viva la Vida Tour (with Coldplay) (2008)[232]U2 360° Tour (with U2) (2009–11)BooksDecoded by Jay-Z (2010: Spiegel & Grau, 336 pages) ISBN 978-1-4000-6892-0. Part memoir and part a collection of Jay-Z lyrics with the stories behind them.[233]Awards and nominationsMain article: List of awards and nominations received by Jay-Z
Jeffrey Bruce Atkins[7] (born February 29, 1976),[2] better known by his stage name Ja Rule (/dʒɑː/), is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor.
Born in Hollis, Queens, he debuted in 1999 with Venni Vetti Vecci and its single "Holla Holla". From 1999 to 2005, Ja Rule had multiple hits that made the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, including "Between Me and You" with Christina Milian, "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" and "Ain't It Funny" with Jennifer Lopez—which both topped the US Billboard Hot 100—the number 1 hit "Always on Time" with Ashanti, "Mesmerize" with Ashanti, and "Wonderful" with R. Kelly and Ashanti. During the 2000s, Ja Rule was signed to Murder Inc. Records, formerly known as The Inc. Records and led by Irv Gotti.
Rule has been nominated for two American Music Awards and four Grammy Awards with his collaborators Lil' Mo, Vita, Ashanti and Case. Following the release of his platinum-selling debut Venni Vetti Vecci (1999), he released his second and third albums Rule 3:36 (2000) and Pain Is Love (2001). Both albums topped the US Billboard 200 album chart, launching him into the mainstream, selling over a combined 15 million records to a wide audience, and attaining triple platinum status from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), becoming his best-selling albums to date. Rule followed up with his fourth, fifth and sixth albums The Last Temptation (2002), blood in My Eye (2003), and R.U.L.E. (2004), with Temptation attaining Platinum status and R.U.L.E. reaching gold status. As of 2018, Rule has sold 14.4 million units in the USA and has sold over 30 million records worldwide. In 2019, he joined the main cast of WeTV's Growing Up Hip Hop: New York.Contents1Early life2Career2.1Cash Money Click (1994–95)2.2Solo career and Venni Vetti Vecci (1995–1999)2.3Rule 3:36, Pain Is Love and The Last Temptation (2000–2002)2.450 Cent feud, blood in My Eye and R.U.L.E. (2003–2004)2.5Hiatus, departure from Def Jam, decline of The Inc. Records (2005–09)2.6Pain Is Love 2, prison, and release (2011–present)2.7Acting2.8Other ventures3Personal life3.1Family3.2Religion4Legal issues5Controversies5.1Feuds5.1.150 Cent5.1.1.1Shady/Aftermath5.1.2Foxy Brown5.1.3Lil' Mo5.1.4DMX5.1.4.1Kurupt6Discography7Awards and nominations8Filmography9References10External linksEarly lifeJa Rule was born Jeffrey Bruce Atkins on February 29, 1976, to Debra and Williin Hollis, a section of the Queens borough of New York City. Jeffrey's father left the family when he was very young.[2] Atkins was raised as an only child, as his younger sister, Kristen, died in the womb when Atkins was 5.[8] His mother, Debra, was a healthcare worker, and due to the amount of time she spent working, Atkins was largely raised by his grandparents as a Jehovah's Witness.[9] Atkins' mother left the Jehovah's Witness religion when he was 12.[10] Soon after, Atkins began selling drugs in Hollis.[11]
CareerCash Money Click (1994–95)Atkins began his rap career in 1994 with the hip hop group Cash Money Click alongside members Chris Black and O-1. He took the stage name "Ja Rule", telling MTV News that the name came from a friend who addressed him by that name; other friends simply called him "Ja".[6] Together they worked with producer DJ Irv to produce a number of songs, releasing their debut single "Get Tha Fortune" independently in 1994. After the group signed with TVT Records, the song was re-released through the label later that year as the B-side to their second single, "4 My Click". "4 My Click" featured Mic Geronimo and became popular on pirate radio, eventually receiving airplay on Yo! MTV Raps. Plans for the release of the group's eponymous debut studio album were brought to a halt in 1995 after Chris Black was sentenced to five years in prison and the group was dropped from TVT, which led to their third single "She Swallowed It" never officially being released, however it was later bootlegged. With no label, the group disbanded shortly after being dropped.[12]
Solo career and Venni Vetti Vecci (1995–1999)After being dropped from TVT, Ja Rule maintained a close relationship with DJ Irv, who was working as an executive producer for Def Jam at the time. DJ Irv, now known as Irv Gotti, was hired as an A&R for the label and was able to get Ja Rule a contract with Def Jam.[13] In 1995, he made his first solo appearance on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build" alongside Jay-Z and DMX, who were also in their early stages of their careers. He later appeared on the song "Usual Suspects" from Mic Geronimo's second album Vendetta in 1997, alongside The Lox, DMX and Tragedy Khadafi. He also had a brief cameo in the video for "Walk In New York" by Queens hardcore rap group Onyx. Later in 1997, Irv Gotti was granted his own imprint from Def Jam, known as Murder Inc. Records. Ja Rule was promoted as the label's Flagship artist, and he continued to make guest appearances on songs by other artists, including Method Man, Redman, Nas, DMX, LL Cool J and Dru Hill. He later appeared on Jay-Z's 1998 hit single "Can I Get A...", for which he wrote the hook. It was originally planned to be Ja Rule's debut single until Jay-Z heard the track and requested it for himself. During this time, he rapped under the slightly modified stage name Jah.[14]
Returning to the Ja Rule name, his debut single Holla Holla was released in March 1999 and became a hit, peaking at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100.[15] Fueled by the success of Holla Holla, Ja Rule's debut album, Venni Vetti Vecci, was released in 1999, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 with 184,000 copies sold in its first week. It eventually reached platinum status in the US due to the popularity of "Holla Holla".[16] A remix of "Holla Holla" was later released, featuring Jay-Z, Vita, Cadillac Tah, Black Child, Memphis Bleek and Busta Rhymes.
Rule 3:36, Pain Is Love and The Last Temptation (2000–2002)
Ja Rule and Vita in 2001Ja Rule's second single, "Between Me and You", featuring Christina Milian, was released in June 2000 as the first single from his second studio album and became his first major crossover hit, earning Top 40 airplay and reaching #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album's next single, "Put It on Me", featuring Vita and Lil' Mo, was released in December 2000 and became one of the biggest hits of 2001, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the first top 10 hit for both Ja Rule and Vita.[15][17] The video for "Put It on Me" also topped the MTV Video Countdown for a week, and became the first music video to be retired on BET's 106 & Park after spending more than 60 days on the countdown. The video also ranked #1 on BET's Notarized: Top 100 Videos of 2001.[18]
Ja Rule's second album, Rule 3:36, was released on October 10, 2000, and took a much different artistic direction to Ja Rule's previous work, including Venni Vetti Vecci, eschewing the hardcore hip-hop style he had become known for in favour of a mainstream-oriented pop-rap sound to greater success, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 276,000 copies sold in its first week, making it Ja Rule's first number one album. The album later went on to be certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[16]
The success of Rule 3:36 promoted Ja Rule to international status, and made Murder Inc. one of the biggest labels in the United States. The same success followed with his third album, which spawned three top 10 singles, two of them reaching #1. The first, "Livin' It Up", featuring Case, was released in July 2001 and reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.[19] It also achieved success in the United Kingdom, reaching #5 on the UK Singles Chart.[20] The second single, "Always on Time", was released in October 2001 and marked the first major guest appearance for Murder Inc's youngest artist Ashanti, and became both Ja Rule and Ashanti's first song to top the Billboard Hot 100.[15][21] The remix of Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Real" featuring Ja Rule was included on the album and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five non-consecutive weeks, beginning September 8, 2001, and also topped the Hot 100 Airplay chart. The song was a staple of R&B/hip hop and pop radio during the summer and fall of 2001, spending fifteen weeks total in the top five of the Hot 100. In 2009 the single was named the 30th most successful song of the 2000s, on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.[22] The album's fourth single, "Down Ass Bitch" featuring Charli Baltimore was also successful, reaching #21 on the Hot 100.[23]
Ja Rule released his third studio album, Pain Is Love, on October 2, 2001. Like its predecessor, Pain Is Love topped the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 361,000 copies and is certified triple platinum by the RIAA.[16] The album also received a Grammy nomination in 2002 for Best Rap Album. By 2007, 3.6 million copies of Pain Is Love had been sold.[24]
The Last Temptation, Ja Rule's fourth album, was released on November 19, 2002. It spawned two hit singles, "Thug Lovin'", featuring Bobby Brown, which peaked at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Mesmerize", a duet with Ashanti that peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.[15] The Last Temptation debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 237,000 copies and was certified platinum by the RIAA in December 2002.[16][25]
50 Cent feud, blood in My Eye and R.U.L.E. (2003–2004)Shortly after the release of his fourth studio album, Ja Rule's ongoing beef with fellow Queens rapper 50 Cent reached its peak, with both artists taking to radio stations almost daily to trade insults and diss tracks.[26][27][28][29][30] On January 3, 2003, the Murder Inc. offices were raided by FBI agents and NYPD officers due to accusations of money laundering and drug trades by Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, who was associated with Irv Gotti.[31] Due to the federal investigation, Ja Rule had a late response in his beef with 50 Cent.[32] By association, 50 Cent's labelmates Eminem, Obie Trice, D12, and Ja Rule's former friends and associates DMX and Busta Rhymes were brought into the feud too. Ja Rule released the diss track "Loose Change" in April 2003, where he attacks 50 Cent, as well as Eminem, Busta Rhymes and Dr. Dre.[33] 50 Cent eventually responded with "Hail Mary", which used the beat from 2Pac's song of the same name and featured Eminem and Busta Rhymes.[34] The beef continued to be highly publicised throughout 2003, and eventually led to Ja Rule meeting with Minister Louis Farrakhan in October, who wanted to intervene and prevent escalating violence in the feud.[35]
Ja Rule's fifth studio album, blood in My Eye, was released on November 4, 2003, under the Murder Inc. label, which renamed itself "The Inc." several days after the album release. The material was intended simply as a mixtape, but was released as an album to fulfill Ja Rule's contractual commitment to Murder Inc. to release one annually. The album was described as a "hate" album directed at various rappers, including 50 Cent, G-Unit, Eminem, Dr. Dre, DMX, Busta Rhymes and others, and marked a return to the hardcore style Ja Rule had used in his earlier career. It spawned one hit single, "Clap Back", which reached #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Source Award for "Fat Tape" song of the year. It peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, selling 139,000 copies in its first week of release, and had sold over 468,000 copies in the U.S. by 2008.[25]
Ja Rule's sixth studio album, R.U.L.E., was released in November 2004, debuting at #7 and selling 166,000 copies in its first week of release. Its lead single, "Wonderful", featuring R. Kelly and Ashanti, peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was followed by the street anthem "New York", featuring Fat Joe and Jadakiss, which charted at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The third single was the love song "Caught Up", featuring Lloyd, which had failed to make an impact on the Billboard Hot 100. The RIAA certified R.U.L.E. Gold on January 14, 2005,[16] and by October 2007 the album had sold 658,000 copies.[24]
Hiatus, departure from Def Jam, decline of The Inc. Records (2005–09)
Ja Rule performing in Fort Hood, Texas, May 13, 2005On December 6, 2005, The Inc. released Exodus, a greatest hits album whose only new tracks were the song "Me" and intro and outro tracks. Exodus was the last album on Ja Rule's contract with The Inc. After its release, Ja Rule took a hiatus from recording music.[2] Meanwhile, The Inc. Records was still under investigation because of alleged drug trades with Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.[31][36] This led to Def Jam Recordings refusing to renew The Inc.'s contract. From 2005 to 2006, Gotti searched for other labels, finally reaching a deal with Universal Records (part of the same company as Def Jam). A few years later The Inc. left Universal Records due to business issues and failure to secure funds for projects.[37]
Pain Is Love 2, prison, and release (2011–present)In February 2011, it was announced that Ja Rule had started working on a new album, Pain Is Love 2, to be produced by the producers of the original Pain Is Love album to "recreate magic". Most of the production was to be done by 7 Aurelius (who co-produced "Down Ass Bitch"), while Irv Gotti was to be executive producer. Ja Rule had planned on releasing it on June 7, 2011 but decided to delay the release in order to allow more time to perfect the "level and quality of the records" and to avoid "doing an injustice to [his] fans".[38][39][40] A revised release date of October 11, 2011, was also pushed back.[41] During the delay, Ja Rule released a new track, "Falling to Pieces", produced by 7 Aurelius, which samples The Script's "Breakeven".[42][43] On October 2, 2011, another track, "Spun a Web", was released, also produced by 7 Aurelius and sampling Coldplay's "Trouble". The following day a teaser video premiered on YouTube, and the official video was released on October 11.[44] Pain Is Love 2 was finally released on February 28, 2012, by which time Ja Rule was serving a two-year sentence in prison for gun possession and tax evasion.
Ja Rule was released from prison on May 7, 2013.[45] Alongside Lil Wayne and Birdman, he appeared on the remix of the track "She Tried", which appeared on the N.O.R.E album Student of the Game. On September 18, 2013, Ja Rule released a track titled "Fresh Out Da Pen". The track had first premiered on Hot 97.[46][47] A few days later he released "Everything". Both tracks were produced by Visionary producers Reefa and Myles William. On September 27, 2013, both tracks were released on iTunes for digital download.[48][49] In September 2013, it was confirmed that Ja Rule and Gotti had relaunched Murder Inc Records.[50]
In 2014, Ja Rule released a memoir, Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man, in which he reflected on his past struggles with a difficult adolescence in New York City and everything that followed, from breakout success and destructive rivalries to fatherhood and a two-year prison sentence.[51] In July 2014, Ja Rule announced his eighth studio album, which was eventually pushed back to a 2016 release.[52][53][54] Also in 2014, MTV announced that Ja Rule and his family would star in the upcoming reality show Follow the Rules which was co-produced by Queen Latifah. A sneak peek trailer of the show surfaced on the internet in September 2014 and the show premiered on October 26, 2015.[55][56] In October 2015, Rule announced that he and Gotti had partnered with Paramount Pictures on a TV drama series based on the history of Murder Inc., set to premiere in 2016.[57][58][59] In February 2016, Ja Rule announced that his upcoming eighth studio album would be titled Coup De Grâce[60][61] and would be his last album.[62] In December 2016, he appeared on The Hamilton Mixtape, rapping Hamilton's verse in Ashanti's performance of "Helpless", referencing Lin-Manuel Miranda's impression of him in the last line of that verse. On June 26, 2018, Ashanti confirmed that she and Ja Rule are working on a collaborative album.[63][64]
ActingAside from rapping, Ja Rule has established a career as an actor. His first film was a buddy movie with Pras, Turn It Up; he appeared in a minor role in The Fast and the Furious. He appeared in several movies including Back in the Day with Ving Rhames and Pam Grier and Half Past Dead as Steven Seagal's co-star. He also starred in the movies The Cookout with Queen Latifah and Assault on Precinct 13. In 2013, he starred in I'm in Love with a Church Girl.
Other venturesIn 2004, Ja Rule and Gotti launched an urban clothing line called ErvinGeoffrey.[65] In 2006, Ja Rule launched a liquor company, The Mojito.[66][67]
In May 2015, Ja Rule partnered with Billy McFarland, the CEO of the credit card service company Magnises, to become its creative head and spokesman.[68] In August 2015, Ja Rule collaborated with footwear businessman Steve Madden on a new line of men's sneakers called Maven x Madden,[69] which were released for sale by fall 2015.[70]
In 2016, Ja Rule co-founded Fyre Media, Inc.,[71][72] a talent booking agency, with Billy McFarland. In April 2017, the venture touted its Fyre Festival in Hamilton, Bahamas, as a luxury event, but it was a logistical failure, disappointing hundreds of ticket-buyers.[73] Rule and McFarland faced a $100 million class action suit.[74]
In 2021, Ja Rule partnered with a team of software engineers to launch Flipkick, a platform focusing on selling physical works of art as Non-Fungible Tokens. Flipkick claims to be "the first company to offer cryptographic authentication of physical works of art sold as and linked to NFTs." To inaugurate the platform, Ja Rule listed for sale a painting he commissioned in 2012 by artist Tripp Derrick Barnes depicting the Fyre Media Inc logo. The painting was listed with an estimate of $600,000.[75][76]
Personal lifeAtkins earned his GED while in prison in February 2012.[77] On February 2021, Atkins completed an online course at Harvard Business School and shared a photo of his certificate of completion on Twitter. [78]
FamilyIn April 2001, Ja Rule married Aisha Murray.[79][80][81] The couple has three children: Brittney Asja Atkins (born 1995), Jeffrey Jr. (born 2000), and Jordan (born 2005).[82][83]
ReligionAlthough raised as a Jehovah's Witness for most of his childhood, Ja Rule identifies as a Christian. He became a Christian in 2013 while promoting the movie I'm in Love with a Church Girl. He was baptized, along with his wife, in 2013.[84]
Legal issuesIn 2003, he allegedly punched a man in Toronto, who later sued. He received a $1,200 fine after pleading guilty to assault.[85]
In 2004, police investigated whether a feud involving Murder Inc. led to a fatal shooting outside a nightclub party hosted by Ja Rule and Leon Richardson.[86][87]
On July 1, 2004, Ja Rule was arrested with Don Rhys for driving with a suspended license and possessing marijuana.[88]
In July 2007, Ja Rule was arrested for gun and drug possession charges along with Lil Wayne, and Don Rhys who served eight months in prison during 2010 for attempted possession of a weapon stemming from the arrest.[89][90][91] The court rejected Ja Rule's argument that the gun was illegally obtained evidence.[92][93]
On December 13, 2010, Ja Rule received a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to attempted possession of a weapon after the aforementioned 2007 arrest. On March 8, 2011, Ja Rule's surrender date for his two-year prison sentence was set for June 8.[94] He was first sent to Rikers Island, then later to a state facility in Upstate New York.[95]
In July 2011, Ja Rule received an additional 28-month prison sentence for tax evasion, to run concurrently with his state term, failing to pay taxes on more than $3 million in earnings between 2004 and 2006.[96] He was released from state prison on February 21, 2013, but was immediately taken into federal custody for the tax case, for which he had less than six months remaining on his sentence.[97] Ja Rule was held in Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center and was set to be released on July 28, 2013. Ja Rule was released from prison early on May 7, 2013.[45][98]
By July 1, 2017, Ja Rule faced more than a dozen lawsuits filed by ticket buyers and investors in the failed Fyre Festival and his partner in the venture, Billy McFarland, had been indicted for fraud.[99]
ControversiesFeuds50 CentBefore signing with Interscope Records, rapper 50 Cent engaged in a well-publicized feud with Ja Rule and his label Murder Inc. Records. 50 Cent claimed that the feud began in 1999 after Ja Rule spotted him with a man who robbed him of his jewelry and also because of Ja Rule "trying to be Tupac".[26] However, Ja Rule claimed the conflict stemmed from a video shoot in Queens because 50 Cent did not like Ja Rule "getting so much love" from the neighborhood,[27] 50 Cent indirectly confirmed this in an interview with XXL Magazine, where 50 Cent states he was upset with Ja Rule for being under the aegis of Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.[28] A confrontation occurred in Atlanta in which Ja Rule claims he struck 50 Cent with a baseball bat, later his crew stepping in to beat up 50 Cent.[29] Another confrontation occurred while in a New York studio where rapper Black Child, a Murder Inc. artist, stabbed 50 Cent, causing a wound requiring four stitches.[30]
In his book, 50 Cent details how Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff tried to resolve the conflict between him and Ja Rule. Allegedly, McGriff asked 50 Cent to leave them alone because of the money involved. 50 Cent insinuated the conflict had something to do with the shooting where he was ambushed and shot.
Since then, Black Child and other Murder Inc. rappers such as Cadillac Tah publicly insulted 50 Cent with "There's a Snitch in the Club" by Cadillac Tah, and "The Real Wanksta" by Black Child. In both songs, Black Child details violent actions directed toward 50 Cent.[30] The exchange of insult tracks released from both parties culminated in Ja Rule's blood in My Eye, which was an album that returned additional insults to 50 Cent. Because of the ongoing feud between the two, 50 Cent's labelmates Eminem, Dr. Dre, Obie Trice, D12, DMX, Busta Rhymes, and the rest of the members of G-Unit, also became involved and released tracks which insulted Ja Rule.[30]
Ja Rule later released R.U.L.E. which included the successful single "New York", featuring Jadakiss and Fat Joe, in which Ja Rule obliquely attacked 50 Cent. This single prompted 50 Cent to enter a feud with the two featured artists, reflected in his response, "Piggy Bank".
Although it seemed that the feud was over, Ja Rule returned with a track titled "21 Gunz".[100] In response, Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent released the track "Return of Ja Fool" on Lloyd Banks' mixtape Mo Money in the Bank Pt. 4, Gang Green Season Starts Now.[100]
In an interview with MTV, Ja Rule stated, in reference to his album, The Mirror:
There was a lot of things I wanted to say, and I didn't want there to be any bitter records on the album. Because I'm not bitter about anything that happened [in the past few years].[101]
In May 2011, it was confirmed that both Ja Rule and 50 Cent ended the feud. Ja Rule said, "I'm cool. We ain't beefing no more. We'll never collaborate. That's just what it is. You don't have to be at war with somebody, but it's also kind of like U.S. and another country that they may not get along with. We don't gotta go to war, but we're not friends either. But we can coincide inside of a world. He's doing him, and he's not thinking about me, and I'm doing me and I'm not thinking about him."
In September 2013, in an interview with Angie Martinez on The Angie Martinez show on HOT 97, both Rule and Irv Gotti acknowledged 50 Cent not only took a toll on Ja Rule's prominence, but along with the federal indictment, damaged Murder, Inc., as a music label. They told Martinez their immediate reaction on hearing 50 Cent's single, "In Da Club", on the radio was that it was "so dope" and that they had a problem with it. They also disclosed that they had been blackballed from various award shows where 50 Cent was to perform due to their feud. Notwithstanding seeing 50 Cent as a hustler, they liked his entrepreneurial mentality, 10 years on, no longer had a problem with him. Ja Rule indicated he had plans to write a book surrounding the whole experience. [102]
In early 2018, the beef reignited after 50 Cent publicly dissed Ja Rule on Big Boy's Neighborhood leading to Ja Rule retaliating on Twitter the next day.[103]
Shady/AftermathThe conflict started after 50 Cent signed to Shady Records and Aftermath in 2002. Ja Rule and Irv Gotti expressed dissatisfaction with Eminem and Dr. Dre for signing an artist with whom they were in conflict and threatened to take action against them if they released any 50 Cent tracks deprecatory of Murder Inc.[104]
The conflict escalated when Ja Rule released "Loose Change" attacking 50 Cent, Eminem and Dr. Dre. The song also includes lyrics that insulted Eminem's family (most notably his then 7-year-old daughter Hailie Jade) and acquaintances.[104] In response, Eminem, D12 and Obie Trice released the deprecatory track "Hailie's Revenge (Doe Rae Mi)" featuring vocals from Eminem's daughter.[105]
Busta Rhymes joined the conflict when he was featured on the track "Hail Mary 2003" with Eminem and 50 Cent.[106] The song, which is a remake of Tupac Shakur's song "Hail Mary", was done partially as a response to Ja Rule's remake of Tupac's song, "Pain" (re-titled "So Much Pain"). The rappers felt Ja Rule could not compare to Tupac, and so they made the track, mocking him for trying to "imitate" the deceased rap icon.[107] Eminem prevented Ja Rule from appearing on any of the "new" Tupac songs he produced, including those on Loyal to the Game.[108]
Foxy BrownIn October 2002, rapper Foxy Brown dismissed reports of recording a track with rivals Nas and Ja Rule that was "potentially" deprecatory of Jay-Z.[109] During a Thanksgiving week in 2002, while on Doug Banks In the Morning, Ja Rule stated that he "[couldn't] stand Foxy Brown."[110][111] Brown reportedly heard Ja Rule's comments via a radio while she was helping her mother clean her house.[111] Going against her manager's wishes, during her own interview with Doug Banks, Brown informed Banks that she was "flabbergasted" by Rule's comments.[111] Brown explained she was particularly angry at Rule's response, having never met him.[111]
The incident provoked Brown to record the unreleased, "Get Off Me".[110][112] In the record, Brown targeted Ja Rule and Eve with homophobic remarks.[110][112] In 2005, Ja Rule and his two bodyguards were initial suspects in the killing of Willie "Willie Bang Bang" Clark, whom authorities linked as a "revenge" that stemmed back to a robbery case involving Foxy Brown's brother.[113]
Lil' MoIn January 2003, while co-hosting 106 & Park: Prime, singer Lil' Mo sent a shout-out to 50 Cent, just seconds after she premiered a Ja Rule video.[114] Ja Rule and the Murda, Inc., clique were outraged.[114] In response, Ja Rule released "Loose Change", a track deprecatory of Eminem, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Chris Lighty and Lil' Mo.[110][114] Rule rechristened Mo a "bitch", and credited himself with causing her popularity.[115] In May 2003, Mo released a freestyle track attacking Ja Rule, where she interpolated the "Used to be my homie, used to be my ace, now I can't stand you, yeah I wanna slap the taste out your mouth." lyrics Dr. Dre used in his 1993 Eazy-E diss track "Fck wit Dre Day".[116]
In April 2003, Lil' Mo sparked additional controversy, complaining of receiving neither recognition nor payment for her contributions to Rule's records "I Cry" and "Put It on Me".[117] Mo told MTV News, "Those two records ["I Cry", "Put It on Me"] ruled 2001. The whole world knows that ... If I speak the truth, I can't apologize. I helped that brother sell 3 million records, and I don't have a plaque [for Rule 3:36]."[117] By way of contrast, she highlighted Jay-Z's having given her recognition, a plaque, a thank you card and a bottle of Cristal for her work on his "Parking Lot Pimpin'".[117] In 2005, Lil' Mo filed a lawsuit against Ja Rule, Murda Inc. and Def Jam Records for over $15 million.[118] In 2010, the two reconciled.[119] Lil' Mo stated that she ended the dispute as Ja Rule's career was in decline and noted that "life is too short ... You just never know what people are going through."[119] In 2011, the two reunited and recorded a track together titled, "U & Me".[120][121]
DMXAfter Murder Inc. broke up in 1999 due to animosity between DMX and Jay Z, DMX accused Ja Rule of copying DMX's signature "gruff style", and the two subsequently fell out. DMX said that he wanted the dispute to end when he was released from jail in 2005: "[Irv] Gotti came to me in jail and said I want to make peace with you and him. I was like, 'All right, Gotti, let's do it man."[122] DMX and Ja Rule finally ended their feud at VH1's 2009 Hip Hop Honors.[123]
KuruptBy his association with DMX, Ja Rule was brought into the beef between DMX and Kurupt, being dissed on Kurupt's 1999 song "Callin' Out Names". Ja Rule responded with "Still INC" featuring Black Child and Cadillac Tah, a freestyle over Dr. Dre's "Still D.R.E." beat. The two eventually squashed their beef on the set of the movie Half Past Dead in 2002.[124]
DiscographyMain article: Ja Rule discographyStudio albumsVenni Vetti Vecci (1999)Rule 3:36 (2000)Pain Is Love (2001)The Last Temptation (2002)blood in My Eye (2003)R.U.L.E. (2004)Pain Is Love 2 (2012)Awards and nominationsAmerican Music AwardsYearNominee / workAwardResult2002HimselfFavorite Hip-Hop/R&B Male ArtistNominated2003HimselfFavorite Hip-Hop/R&B Male ArtistNominatedBET AwardsYearNominee / workAwardResult2002HimselfBest Male Hip-Hop ArtistWonGQ Men of the Year AwardsYearNominee / workAwardResult2002HimselfMusician of the YearWonGrammy AwardsYearNominee / workAwardResult2002"Livin' It Up" (with Case)Best Rap/Sung CollaborationNominated"Put It on Me" (with Lil' Mo and Vita)Best Rap Performance by a Duo or GroupNominatedPain Is LoveBest Rap AlbumNominated2003"Always on Time" (with Ashanti)Best Rap/Sung CollaborationNominatedMTV Video Music AwardsYearNominee / workAwardResult2001"Put It on Me" (with Lil' Mo and Vita)Best Hip-Hop VideoNominated2002"I'm Real (Murder Remix)" (with Jennifer Lopez)Best Hip-Hop VideoWon"Always on Time" (with Ashanti)Best Hip-Hop VideoNominatedNAACP Image AwardsYearNominee / workAwardResult2002HimselfBest Rap/Hip-Hop ArtistWonSoul Train Music AwardsYearNominee / workAwardResult2002HimselfBest Rap/Soul or Rap Album of the YearNominatedTeen Choice AwardsYearNominee / workAwardResult2002HimselfMale Artist of the YEARWonFilmographyFilm and televisionYearTitleRoleNotes2000Turn It UpDavid 'Gage' WilliamsAlongside Jason Statham and Pras.2001MTV CribsHimself2001The Fast and the FuriousEdwinPlays a supporting role as a street racer.2002–04MadTVHimself, Run Ph.D2 Episodes2000Da Hip Hop WitchHimself2000BackstageHimself2002Half Past DeadNicolas 'Nick' FrazierThough a sequel was made, Ja Rule did not star in it.2003Crime PartnersHitman2003BeefHimself2003Pauly Shore Is DeadHimself2003Scary Movie 3Agent ThompsonMinor role2004The CookoutBling Bling/Percival Assmackey2004Shall We DanceHip Hop bar performer2005Back in the DayReggieAlongside Ving Rhames2005Assault on Precinct 13SmileySupporting role2006South BeachDonnie FoxT.V. Series "The S.B."(episode 7)2006FurnaceTerrence Dufresne2009Don't Fade AwayFoster2009Kiss and Tail: The Hollywood JumpoffHimself[125]2010Wrong Side of TownRazorAlongside wrestlers Batista & Rob Van Dam2011The Cookout 2Bling BlingSequel to The Cookout2011LA InkHimself2013Once Upon a Time in BrooklynWillie DavisPost-production2013I'm in Love with a Church GirlMiles MontegoHis real son plays the younger version of himself, Miles.2014Single LadiesHimself2015First TakeHimself2015Follow the RulesHimselfA reality show starring alongside his family.2015Broke Ass Game ShowHimself2016TrollandFennVoice2016RidiculousnessHimselfSeries 7 Episode 22 [126]2016The Hamilton MixtapeHimself2018FlyJesse Da Jeweler2019Growing Up Hip Hop: New YorkHimself
Method Man & Redman (also referred to as Meth & Red, Red & Mef, John Blaze and Funk Doc or Funk Doctor Spock and Johnny Blaze) are an American hip hop duo, composed of East Coast rappers Method Man (of Wu-Tang Clan) and Redman (of Def Squad). They are signed to Def Jam Recordings both as solo artists and as a duo. While they had been collaborating since 1994, it was not until 1999 that they released a full-length collaborative effort, Blackout!. The follow-up album, Blackout! 2, was released in 2009.
Method Man often gives a shout out to Redman on tracks that do not feature Redman; this usually comes in the form of "What up, Doc!" referring to Redman's alias "Funk Doctor Spock". In 2001, they starred alongside each other in the stoner film How High. In 2004, the duo also starred in a short-lived Fox sitcom, titled Method & Red, however they later disowned the series due to lack of creative control.Contents1History2Discography2.1Studio albums2.2Mixtapes2.3Singles2.3.1As featured artist2.4Appearances together3See also4References5External linksHistoryThe duo have known each other for a long time before signing with Def Jam. While at Def Jam, they reunited in 1994 on tour and met again in 1995 in the recording studio of West Coast hip hop legend Tupac "2Pac" Shakur. They recorded "Got My Mind Made Up" for Shakur's multi-platinum album All Eyez on Me (1996). After this they had friendly battles freestyling with each other on Yo! MTV Raps, which ultimately led to their collaborative debut single "How High". In 1999, the two rappers appeared together on "Rap Phenomenon" from The Notorious B.I.G. posthumous album Born Again.
On May 7, 2009, in promotion for their third studio album, Method Man & Redman released a mixtape titled Lights Out, which was hosted by DJ Green Lantern.[1] In 2013, Method Man and Redman previewed a new track called "Lookin’ Fly Too" featuring Ehikmostz.[2]
DiscographyStudio albumsList of studio albums, with selected chart positions, sales figures and certificationsTitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsSalesCertificationsUS[3]USR&B[4]US Rap[5]CAN[6]FRA[7]GER[8]NLD[9]SWI[10]UK[11]Blackout!Released: September 28, 1999 (US)[12]Label: Def JamFormats: CD, LP, cassette31123333636—45US: 1,575,000[13]RIAA: Platinum[14]BPI: Gold[15]MC: Platinum[16]How High: The SoundtrackReleased: December 11, 2001 (US)Label: Def JamFormats: CD, LP, cassette722106766—635US: 147,000MC: PlatinumBlackout! 2Released: May 19, 2009 (US)[17]Label: Def JamFormats: CD, LP, digital download722106766—6—US: 147,000[13]"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.MixtapesList of mixtapesTitleAlbum detailsLights Out[1]Released: May 7, 2009 (US)[18]Label: Self-releasedFormats: Digital downloadSinglesList of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album nameTitleYearPeak chart positionsCertificationsAlbumUS[19]USR&B[20]USRap[21]FRA[7]GER[22]SWI[10]UK[23]"How High"199513102————RIAA: Gold[14]The Show soundtrack"Da Rockwilder"1999—5114181——161Blackout!"Tear It Off"—5216————"Y.O.U."2000—6918————"Part II"(featuring Toni Braxton)200172285—235498How High soundtrack"A-Yo"(featuring Saukrates)2009—113—————Blackout! 2"City Lights"(featuring Bun B)———————"Mrs. International"———————"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.As featured artistList of singles as featured artist, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album nameTitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbumUS[24]USR&B[25]USRap[26]BEL(WA)[27]FRA[7]SWI[10]"4, 3, 2, 1"(LL Cool J featuring Method Man & Redman, Canibus and DMX)1997752410———Phenomenon"Left & Right"(D'Angelo featuring Method Man & Redman)20007018————Voodoo"Noble Art"(IAM featuring Method Man & Redman)2003———663481Revoir un Printemps"Ol' Thang Back"(Juelz Santana featuring Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes, Method Man & Redman)2016——————TBA"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.Appearances togetherList of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album nameTitleYearOther artist(s)Album"Freestyle"1995Funkmaster FlexThe Mix Tape Volume 1: 60 Minutes Of Funk"Got My Mind Made Up"19962Pac, Tha Dogg PoundAll Eyez on Me"Do What Ya Feel"RedmanMuddy Waters"Big Dogs"1998Method ManTical 2000: Judgement Day"Well All Rite Cha"RedmanDoc's Da Name 2000"Symphony 2000"1999EPMD, Lady LuckOut of Business"Simon Says" (Remix)Pharoahe Monch, Lady Luck, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Busta RhymesInternal Affairs"Rap Phenomenon"The Notorious B.I.G.Born Again"Buck 50"2000Ghostface Killah, CappadonnaSupreme Clientele"Fuhgidabowdit"LL Cool J, DMXG.O.A.T."2 Tears In A Bucket"Ruff Ryders, Sheek LouchRyde or Die Vol. 2"Rollin' (Urban Assault Vehicle)"Limp Bizkit, DMXChocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"Redbull"Wu-Tang ClanThe W"Get It Up (Remix)"Sticky Fingaz, XzibitN/A"Enjoy Da Ride"2001Redman, Saukrates, StreetlifeMalpractice"Dog In Heat"Missy ElliottMiss E... So Addictive"Who You Be"OutsidazThe Bricks"Red, Meth & Bee"Cypress HillStoned Raiders"I Get It Started"MystikalTarantula"Good Times (I Get High Remix)"2002Styles P, JinN/A"Lyrical 44"2003Damian MarleyDef Jamaica"Rock & Roll"Naughty By NatureIIcons"I Will Not Lose"Wu-Tang ClanWu-Tang Corp"Pack Em Up""We Some Dogs"2004Method Man, Mr. Porter, Snoop DoggTical 0: The Prequel"Redman & Method Man, Pt. 1"[28]Sway & King TechWake Up Show: Freestyles, Vol. 8"Redman & Method Man, Pt. 2"[28]"Walk On"2006Method Man4:21... The Day After"Blow Treez"2007Redman, Ready RocRed Gone Wild: Thee Album"Funk Doc & Mef Tical"[29]N/AHiero Meets Wu: From Oakland to Shaolin"Wait A Minute"The SoundscannerzThe Resume"Self Construction"[30]"2008KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, David Banner, Nelly, Styles P, The Game, Ne-YoN/A"Troublemakers"2010Ghostface Killah, RaekwonApollo Kids"Lite 1 Witcha Boi"Redman, Bun BReggie"Look"[31]2011Erick SermonBreath of Fresh Air"Welcome to the Academy"[32]The AcademyTerminal 3 Presents: The Academy"Cypher"[33]2013Hit-Boy, Kent M$NEY, Audio Push, B Mac The Queen, Raekwon, Casey Veggies, Xzibit, Rick Ross, Schoolboy QAll I’ve Ever Dreamed Of"Let's Go"[34]Tony Touch, Erick SermonThe Piece Maker 3: Return of the 50 MCs"Rite"Loaded LuxYou Gon Get This Work"Mount Kushmore"2017Snoop Dogg, B-RealNeva Left"Therapy"Masta KillaLoyalty is Royalty"Keep on Gassin'"2019E-40, BoskoPractice Makes Paper"Bad Name (Remix)"2020Gang StarrN/A1994: Buddha Brotherz Freestyle1994: Freestyle1995: Double Deuces (St. Ide's Malt Liquor Commercial)1995: "Tonight's Da Night Freestyle"1995: Yo! MTV Raps (Last Episode Freestyle) (with Craig Mack, Large Pro, & Special Ed)1996: Funk Flex Freestyle1999: "Redman Freestyle" from Drunken Master's Drunken Style2000: "Rap City Freestyle" (Feat. Big Tigger)2003: Brownsugar Freestyle2004: "Method & Red TV Show Theme Song"2004: "Pixie Rap" from the TV show The Fairly OddParents, special School's Out! The Musical as the rapping voices of Head Pixie and Sanderson respectively.2008: "Broken Language 2008"
Clifford Smith Jr. (born March 2, 1971),[2] better known by his stage name Method Man, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is known as a member of the East Coast hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan. He is also one half of the hip hop duo Method Man & Redman. He took his stage name from the 1979 film Method Man.[3] In 1996, Smith won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By", featuring American R&B singer Mary J. Blige, whom he currently stars with in Power Book II: Ghost, a spin-off of its original show Power.
Smith has appeared in films such as 187 (1997), Belly (1998), How High (2001), Garden State (2004), The Wackness (2008), Venom (2005), Red Tails (2012), Keanu (2016), and The Cobbler (2014). On television, he and frequent collaborator, fellow East Coast rapper Redman, co-starred on the short-lived Fox sitcom Method & Red. He has also had recurring roles in three HBO series, as Tug Daniels in Oz, Melvin "Cheese" Wagstaff in The Wire, and Rodney in The Deuce.[4] Method Man also appears in the TBS comedy The Last O.G..Contents1Early life2Music career2.11992–1996: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and Tical2.21997–1998: Wu-Tang Forever and Tical 2000: Judgment Day2.31999–2001: Blackout! (with Redman) and WWF Aggression2.42001–2004: The W, Iron Flag, and Tical 0: The Prequel2.52006–2007: 4:21... The Day After2.62007–2010: Blackout! 22.72011–present: The Meth Lab and Crystal Meth3Acting career4Other ventures5Personal life5.1Legal issues6Controversies6.1Wu-Tang management6.2Wendy Williams6.3Sean Combs6.4Fox Television7Discography8Filmography9References10External linksEarly lifeBorn on March 2, 1971, in Hempstead, Long Island,[5][6] Smith divided his childhood between his father's Long Island residence and his mother's home in the Park Hill section of Clifton, Staten Island, locally known as Killa Hill.[7] Growing up in Hempstead, Smith began playing lacrosse at a young age and continues to be a passionate supporter of the sport. He attended New Dorp High School, where he became friends with Remedy.[8] He has two sisters, Terri and Missy.[7]
Music career1992–1996: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and TicalAs Wu-Tang Clan ascended to hip hop stardom, Method Man was always one of the most visible members of the collective. He was one of only two members to get a solo song on the group's debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and he was the first to release a solo album under the Clan's unusual contract which allowed its members to release albums under any record label. Method Man chose to sign with rap label Def Jam Recordings, although Elektra Records A&R man Dante Ross initially wanted to sign him around the same time Ross signed fellow group member Ol' Dirty Bastard.[9] Method Man's solo debut, Tical (1994), was critically acclaimed and well received, entering the American charts at #4 and eventually selling in excess of one million copies. That album featured the hit single "All I Need", later remixed featuring Mary J. Blige, which won a Grammy ("I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need"). During this time Method Man also became close friends with fellow New York City-based rapper The Notorious B.I.G., and was the only guest rapper featured on his debut album Ready to Die. He was also featured on Spice 1's album AmeriKKKa's Nightmare on the track "Hard 2 Kill". In 1995, he was also featured on "Got the Flava" off Showbiz and A.G.'s album Goodfellas. In 1996, Method Man appeared on Tupac Shakur's album All Eyez on Me, on the song "Got My Mind Made Up" alongside his rhyme partner Redman, the Dogg Pound (Daz and Kurupt) and Inspectah Deck, whose verse did not make the released album version (although his nickname "Rebel INS" can be heard as the song fades). He was also featured on Redman's 1996 album Muddy Waters on the track "Do What Ya feel".
1997–1998: Wu-Tang Forever and Tical 2000: Judgment DayOn June 3, 1997, the Wu-Tang Clan released their Grammy-nominated multiplatinum double CD Wu-Tang Forever, the long-awaited follow up to 36 Chambers. The album has sold over 2 million copies to date worldwide.
His second solo album was Tical 2000: Judgement Day, released in 1998, which was heavily influenced by the apocalypse theories surrounding the forthcoming end of the millennium, and which featured myriad guest appearances from his fellow Wu-Tang MCs. The album was certified double platinum. Other guest appearances include Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, D'Angelo, Chris Rock, Mobb Deep, Redman, and brief cameos from Russell Simmons, Bishop Don "Magic" Juan, Janet Jackson, and Donald Trump.[10] The album sold better than his first fueled by the party track "Judgment Day" and the D'Angelo collaboration "Break Ups 2 Make Ups", earning Platinum and Gold certifications in the U.S. and Canada respectively. Reviews for the album were mixed and its long runtime and abundance of intermittent comedy skits were widely criticized. Producers on this album included True Master, 4th Disciple and the RZA.
1999–2001: Blackout! (with Redman) and WWF AggressionMethod Man was part of the very successful Hard Knock Life Tour with Jay-Z, Redman, Ja Rule, and DMX. During this tour, Method Man & Redman recorded Blackout!, a light-hearted, bass-heavy, profanity-laced, party record with an EPMD-evoking emphasis on funky beats and the mischievous wit and cool flows and good rhythm of the two MCs. The album reached platinum status quickly, both in the U.S. and Canada, fueled by "Da Rockwilder", "Cereal Killa", "1, 2, 1, 2", "Tear It Off" and "Y.O.U." This album also featured three previously released tracks on which the two collaborated.
Their success would lead the duo on to star in movies and TV shows, become product spokespersons and household names, but also associated them with marijuana use in the media. The most immediate results of their success was their co-starring roles in the major motion picture film How High, their endorsement deal for Right Guard, Redman's starring role in Seed of Chucky and a short-lived sitcom on Fox Television entitled Method & Red.
In 2000, Method Man performed Know Your Role which was included on the album titled, WWF Aggression. The song is focused on the popularity of professional wrestler at the time Dwayne Johnson whose wrestling name was 'The Rock' and the main line in the song is The Rock's most famous caption "Do you smell what The Rock is cookin'?".
2001–2004: The W, Iron Flag, and Tical 0: The PrequelThe Wu-Tang Clan released The W on November 21, 2000, and Iron Flag on December 18, 2001. The W received both critical and commercial success for the group, while Iron Flag did receive some but not to the effect of The W. The efforts earned two more platinum plaques for the Wu-Tang Clan.
In 2004, Meth released his third solo album Tical 0: The Prequel, which featured the hit party single "What's Happenin'" with Busta Rhymes. Hip hop critics voiced their displeasure with the album, many agreeing that Tical 0 felt like generic party rap and featured too many mainstream guests, detracting from his own performances. Regardless, this album sold reasonably well and was certified gold record by the RIAA relatively quickly, but would not see the platinum success of his previous solo releases. There was trouble before the album's release when Method apparently complained to the press about excessive interference from Def Jam over the album's beats (Meth supposedly desired more input from Wu-Tang leader RZA). On its release, many fans and critics were taken aback by its strong "mainstream" or "commercial" sound, highlighted by the guest appearances of pop-rap stars like Missy Elliott and P. Diddy, two artists that are involved with much different facets of rap music.
P. Diddy was one of the executive producers for the album, although Meth later voiced his displeasure with the final product. "On the third LP, it was suggested (by Def Jam) to bring in Harve Pierre and P. Diddy. Who am I to argue? Puff knows how to sell some records. But that wasn't the direction to go in, and I know that."[11]
2006–2007: 4:21... The Day After
Method Man at the 2007 EurockéennesMethod Man's fourth album, entitled 4:21: The Day After was released in August 2006 with a star lineup of producers featuring Havoc, Erick Sermon, Scott Storch, Allah Mathematics, Mr. Porter, and, most importantly to Meth, RZA. This time around, a more focused Method Man went back to his hip hop roots and both hip hop fans and the media took notice. He did an interview on the ItsHipHop.Tv.[12] Despite this being one of Meth's strongest solo efforts to date, the album failed to do well commercially due to it having no single or video, which Method Man has held discontent towards his own label for. However, he toured strongly all over the world to promote the album, and appeared onstage with fellow Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck, as well as New York up and comers Saigon, and Gat Murdah. Meth contributed various reasons for the problems between him and his label, Def Jam. While he puts most of the blame on personal agendas in the Def Jam offices, Meth did take some blame, himself, for giving in to his record label.
In early May 2007, Method Man's camp leaked the street single "New York New York" which became a popular track on the internet.[13]
2007–2010: Blackout! 2On March 27, 2007, Redman confirmed on BET's Rap City: Tha Bassment that a sequel to How High is currently being written.
In an April 10, 2007 Onion A.V. Club interview,[14] Redman hinted that there would be a second collaborative album with Method Man, with work beginning in midsummer or early September.
In early 2008, a remake of the Smooth da Hustler and Trigger tha Gambler classic Broken Language was released to the internet by the duo entitled Broken Language 2008, fueling rumors of a Blackout! sequel coming soon. This rumor was further fueled by the duo while performing in Gainesville, Florida at the University of Florida. Blackout! 2 was scheduled for a December 9, 2008 release but was pushed back to the first quarter of 2009, with a new release date of May 19, 2009. Bun B confirmed that he guest starred on Blackout! 2 – in April 2009, a single was released titled "City Lights", produced by Nasty Kutt[15] Also producers such as Erick Sermon, Rockwilder and Pete Rock announced their presence on the album.
The duo has finished their Still High tour with Termanalogy, the Alchemist, and Evidence of Dilated Peoples.
2011–present: The Meth Lab and Crystal Meth
Method Man at Budapest Park in 2015Crystal Meth is to be Method Man's upcoming fifth and final studio album.[16][17][18] The album has no confirmed release date. The Crystal Meth album was first announced before Method Man began working on his and Redman's second collaboration album, Blackout! 2, during which time it was tentatively titled The Crystal Method. In the liner notes of that album, it was given a scheduled release date for 2009. The album, however, was further postponed until it was later mentioned in an MTV interview it would be released in early 2010.[16] At a concert on December 23, 2010, Method Man told the crowd to look for his album in March 2011. However, the album was postponed again.
In an April 2011 interview with The Come Up Show, following a recent performance in Canada, Method Man replied to a question regarding his "weed-loving" image: "When you get older and you've got kids and your kids are going to school and you know [their] teachers...and they see how active you are and concerned [you are] with your kids' education or well being, it's hard to sit there and be taken seriously if people are always talking about he's always high...which is totally not the case", he said. "When I first came out, I was young, we were doing our thing, we smoked a lot...and we didn't care if the world knew. Now, I have to use more discretion because of my kids. This is not for me; everything I do is for them now, so I use a bit more discretion and I don't put weed as a forefront any more."[citation needed]
On October 5, 2011, a new single from Method Man, entitled "World Gone Sour (The Lost Kids)", was released on iTunes.[19] In July 2012, he confirmed that the album will come out in 2013 & will be produced by RZA,[20] although he has also stated that RZA would not entirely produce the album, but instead be just one of a few producers which includes RZA, Erick Sermon, Rockwilder, and some new younger producers such as Diggilo.[21] He also expressed a desire to work with Odd Future frontman Tyler, The Creator.[22] Throughout 2013, Method Man worked on material for Crystal Meth and significantly worked on the Wu-Tang Clan's sixth studio album, A Better Tomorrow. He also toured with Redman throughout the year.[23] On January 1, 2014, Method Man announced that a mixtape titled The Meth Lab would be released in March 2014 and that Crystal Meth would be released in August 2014 on Tommy Boy Entertainment.[24] However, Method Man released The Meth Lab as a mixtape album[25][26] through Tommy Boy on August 21, 2015. Crystal Meth was again said to drop in August 2016 but still hasn't been released as of 2021.
Acting careerIn the late 1990s, Smith began a career in acting. He has had recurring roles in critically acclaimed television shows such as HBO's Oz as Tug Daniels, HBO's The Wire as Prop Joe's nephew Cheese, The Twilight Zone, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, in which Smith portrays Drops, a wealthy Las Vegas party promoter who clashes with the CSI team (specifically investigator Nick Stokes) in their investigations involving Drops' clubs or entourage, in the episodes "Poppin' Tags" (2006), "Big Shots" (2007), and "Drops Out" (2008).
Smith and Redman hosted a pilot on MTV called Stung.[citation needed] Additionally, Smith has made numerous appearances as himself on TV shows such as Mind of Mencia[citation needed] and Chappelle's Show.[citation needed]
His first prominent role came in with the film Belly (1998), along with fellow rappers Nas and DMX. Smith has since added many credits to his name, including roles in the films Garden State, One Eight Seven, and many others, with starring roles in feature films such as How High and Soul Plane. Method Man had a cameo in the horror movie Venom (2005), where he played a deputy who is killed shortly into the movie. On March 27, 2007, Redman confirmed on BET's show Rap City that the sequel to How High was being written; the script for How High 2 is being written by Dustin Lee Abraham of CSI, who also wrote the first movie. Smith also appeared in the 2008 movies The Wackness (2008) and Meet the Spartans (2008).
Method Man stars in the Law & Order SVU episode "Snitch" as the main antagonist. The episode was first broadcast December 4, 2007.
Method Man appeared in the Def Jam series of video games. In Fight for NY he voiced Blaze, one of the main characters. In Icon, he voiced Gooch, a major character in the storyline. In Underground, he voiced Meth, one of the major characters.
He made a guest appearance in the music video for "If I Ain't Got You" (2003) by Alicia Keys, where he played the role of her boyfriend. He also appeared in Beanie Sigel's music video "Feel It in the Air", where Method Man played an undercover cop leading an operation against Sigel.
Smith played the main antagonist, an arsonist wealthy executive, in an episode of the FOX TV show The Good Guys.
Method Man appears as Valentine, a hip hop business mogul, in the episode Bad blood in season 2 of Burn Notice.
Method Man had a cameo appearance in the film Cop Land (1997), as a violent criminal who, while fleeing, throws Peter Berg's character off of a New York rooftop. Method Man has also appeared in the TV drama Wonderland, as a patient in a mental hospital.
Method Man plays a small role in the film The Sitter (2011), starring Jonah Hill. He also played crewman "Sticks" in the George Lucas movie Red Tails (2012), about the Tuskegee Airmen.
Method Man plays the leads in the films The Mortician (2011) and #Lucky Number (2015).[27][28]
In 2014, he voiced Phantasm, the primary antagonist on the FX animated comedy Chozen.
In 2016, he played himself in Difficult People, Marvel's Luke Cage, and Paterson. Also that year, he portrayed "Cheddar" in the film Keanu.
In 2017, he became the host of the TBS series Drop the Mic, based on the popular recurring segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Smith is a recurring character in the HBO show The Deuce.[29]
In 2019, Smith voiced Ben Urich in the scripted podcast Marvels. He also appeared in Shaft (2019 film) as Freddie P, an acquaintance of John Shaft, who is starred by Samuel L. Jackson.
In 2020, Smith appeared as a recurring character in the Netflix original series Teenage Bounty Hunters as Terrance Coin, Bowser's rival bounty hunter.
He also starred in the 2020 film Concrete Cowboy, an adaptation of the book Ghetto Cowboy.
Other venturesMethod Man appeared in the documentary entitled The Show (1995). There is a memorable scene in which Method Man, on a train in Japan, gets into an argument with U-God and Ghostface Killah, over camera time, radio interviews, and clothing mishaps.
In 2006, Method Man appeared on the MTV reality game show Yo Momma, in the pilot episode.
Method Man is the first of the Wu-Tang Clan to produce a series of eponymous graphic novels for Hachette Book Group USA's imprint Grand Central Publishing[30] (to be followed by GZA and Ghostface Killah).[31]
In 2017, he became the co-host (with Hailey Baldwin) of a celebrity battle rap show Drop the Mic [32]
Personal lifeHis son Raekwon Smith will play football for Stony Brook University.[33][34]
Legal issuesOn May 17, 2007, Method Man was arrested in New York City for marijuana possession. His SUV was pulled over near the Battery Tunnel toll booths for having an expired inspection sticker. An unidentified source said, "It was like something out of Cheech & Chong. He rolls down the window and the smoke would choke a horse."[35] The arresting officer noticed two blunts and a plastic bag containing marijuana in plain view. Upon further inspection more marijuana was found under the driver's seat. Method Man was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal possession of marijuana, DWI, and driving an uninspected motor vehicle.[35][36] He reached a plea agreement to perform community service including rapping to children about the dangers of drugs.[37]
On October 5, 2009, Method Man was arrested at his home in Staten Island for income tax violations.[38] He was accused of failing to file income tax returns for the state of New York between 2004 and 2007, and owes nearly $33,000 in taxes. On June 28, 2010,[39] Method Man pleaded guilty to tax evasion and was sentenced to a conditional discharge[40] and paid a $106,000 fine.[39]
ControversiesWu-Tang managementIn 2003, Method Man criticized Oli "Power" Grant and Mitchell "Divine" Diggs, the managers of the Wu-Tang Clan business.[41][failed verification] "Number 1 on my shit list right now is Divine from Wu-Tang management. He took something major from me that he had no intention of giving back."[42]
Aside from the financial issues, Method Man was unhappy with the decision to bring Wu-Tang into the fashion world for a brief period of time with Wu-Wear, despite the brand being a major money-maker for the group. "When Wu-Wear started making shoes and sneakers and pants, it was shoddy material. I never rocked that shit."[42]
Wendy WilliamsIn 2006, Method Man had a personal and publicized conflict with TV talk show host Wendy Williams on The Breakdown, an Internet show on[43] Williams talked on air about Method Man's wife's having cancer, which was something he wanted to keep private and her own family members had not yet known about. He said that people who lived next door to him did not know, but Williams had dug it up and made it public over the radio. Because of this leaked information, Method Man and his wife had many problems.[43]
Williams also reported rumors that Method Man had been having an affair with his wife's doctor. Method Man first heard of this while in recording sessions in Los Angeles.
She said me and [the doctor] was f**king. What kind of s**t is that, man?," he said. "You don’t do that to nobody. You say the f**k you want to say about me, say nothing about my family, man".[44]
Sean CombsDuring a concert in 2006, Method Man criticized Diddy's decisions on Duets: The Final Chapter, the posthumous album by The Notorious B.I.G., saying that Biggie never would have worked with some of the rappers. "They got niggas on that album Big would have never rocked with," Meth said of the album. "Musically, I ain't fckin' with Puff Daddy".[45] Method Man also brought up the fact that he was the only other rapper that Biggie chose to have on his debut album Ready to Die; he was featured on te track "The What".
Fox TelevisionIn 2004, Method Man starred in a Fox sitcom called Method & Red. However, after only a short time on the air, the show was put on hiatus and never returned. Method Man later spoke to the press about Fox's influence on the show's style, saying that "there's been too much compromise on our side and not enough on their side", and criticizing the network's decision to add a laugh track. Before the show premiered, he was telling fans not to bother watching it. He told the Los Angeles Times:
This is frustrating for me. I'm trying to keep this show ghetto, and there's a way for it to be both ghetto and intelligent. But it's not going that way.[46]
DiscographyMain article: Method Man discographySee also: Method Man & Redman discography and Wu-Tang Clan discographyStudio albumsTical (1994)Tical 2000: Judgement Day (1998)Tical 0: The Prequel (2004)4:21... The Day After (2006)The Meth Lab (2015)Meth Lab Season 2: The Lithium (2018)Collaboration albumsBlackout! (with Redman) (1999)How High (with Redman) (2001)Blackout! 2 (with Redman) (2009)Wu-Massacre (with Ghostface Killah and Raekwon) (2010)Dirty P (with Havoc) (TBA)
Reginald "Reggie" Noble (born April 17, 1970), better known by his stage name Redman, is an American rapper, DJ, record producer, and actor. He rose to fame in the early 1990s as an artist on the Def Jam label.
He is well known for his collaborations with his close friend Method Man, as one-half of the rap duo Method Man & Redman,[1] including their starring roles in films and sitcoms. He was also a member of the Def Squad in the late 1990s.Contents1Early life2Music career2.1Whut? Thee Album & Dare Iz a Darkside (1990–1995)2.2Muddy Waters (1996–1997)2.3Doc's da Name 2000 & Blackout (1998–1999)2.4Malpractice (2001)2.5Mixtapes, Collaborations & Production (2002–2006)2.6Red Gone Wild (2007–2008)2.7Blackout! 2 & Reggie (2009–2010)2.8Mudface, 3Joints (2011–present)3Other ventures3.1Acting3.2Fashion3.3Hosting4Personal life5Discography6Other media6.1Video games6.2Television shows6.3Filmography7Awards and nominations8References9External linksEarly lifeRaised in Newark, New Jersey, Redman attended Speedway Avenue School and 13th Avenue School before attending West Side High School, an experience he described as "off the hook".[2]
In 1987, Redman was expelled from Montclair State University his freshman year due to poor academic performance at age 16. Having no other options, Redman then went back home to live with his mother, Darlene Noble, who eventually kicked him out of her house for selling cocaine.[3] Two years later, at age 18, Redman was a young DJ-MC who went by the name "DJ Kut-Killa". He freestyled over funk and hip hop instrumental tracks on vinyl records in various parks and house parties around New York and New Jersey.
Redman was eventually discovered by Erick Sermon of EPMD while he was a DJ for Lords of the Underground. Erick Sermon said when he met Redman for the first time, "I knew there was something spectacular about him. Right off the bat. The next day, we talked. And within the next two or three months, he moved to Long Island, to my crib. He moved right into my apartment."[4] After moving in with Erick Sermon, Redman went out on tour with EPMD. While on tour with the group he did everything from carrying the group's bags to coming out on stage and doing rap freestyles. In 1990 at an EPMD show in New York, Redman was invited onstage by Erick Sermon where he delivered a rap freestyle that changed his life. He freestyled a song describing himself as a rapper using every letter in the alphabet, from A to Z. After this, Redman was an official rap artist and began production with Erick Sermon on his first major label album, Whut? Thee Album.
Music careerWhut? Thee Album & Dare Iz a Darkside (1990–1995)In 1990, Redman made his official debut on EPMD's album Business as Usual, appearing on the tracks "Hardcore" and "Brothers on My Jock".
In 1992, Redman released his debut album, Whut? Thee Album, which Allmusic noted for blending "reggae and funk influences" with a "terse, though fluid rap style".[5] The album peaked at number forty-nine on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold. He was named "Rap Artist of the Year" by The Source. Redman followed this up with his 1994 album, Dare Iz a Darkside. The first single, "Rockafella", samples Leon Haywood's "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You" and George Clinton's "Flash Light", two of the most sampled songs in hip hop. Redman's second album was notable for having most of the tracks produced by the artist himself (later on Redman would let other producers make most of his beats). During this time he used former mentor Erick Sermon to produce his records, including "Pick it up" and "Whateva Man" from Muddy Waters.
In 1992, Redman appeared in A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" music video.[6]
Redman released his second studio album, "Dare Iz a Darkside" on November 22, 1994, by Def Jam Recordings. The album debuted at 13 on the US Billboard 200. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Redman has said that he was on drugs during the recording of the album, and said in 2010 that he doesn't play the album in recent years because it was made during one of the dark times in his life.
Muddy Waters (1996–1997)On December 10, 1996, Redman released his third album Muddy Waters, which was highly praised by critics.[7][8] The album featured two of his Billboard's hit singles: "Whateva Man" and "It's Like That (My Big Brother)". The song "Do What You Feel" appeared on the soundtrack to the video game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 12, 1997. During this time, with new found friendships with Method Man and Tupac, they both appeared on Tupac's double album All Eyez on Me on the song "Got my Mind Made Up".
In 1999 Redman took part in the Hard Knock Life Tour, including a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre.[9]
Doc's da Name 2000 & Blackout (1998–1999)
Redman (left) has collaborated with Method Man (center) on two full-length albums and Erick Sermon (right) as a member of the Def Squad.In 1998 Redman released his first collaboration album El Nino with group Def Squad. His fourth studio album Doc's Da Name 2000[10] was a top seller, shipping platinum in sales and exceeding his previous record of gold. It peaked at #11 on The Billboard 200 and had three songs ("I'll Bee Dat", "Da Goodness", "Let Da Monkey Out") that charted. With his new formed close partnership with labelmate Method Man who, with him, made a featured appearance on the Doc's Da Name 2000 record on the song "Well All Rite Cha". In 1999 Method Man and Redman released a collaborative album called Blackout!. Originally, the record was supposed to be advertised as "Amerika's Most Blunted", but it was changed to the more commercially friendly title Blackout!.
Malpractice (2001)In 2001 Redman released his fifth studio album Malpractice. It reached #4 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold by the RIAA on July 21, 2001.[11] It boasted two singles "Let's Get Dirty (I Can't Get in da Club)" and "Smash Sumthin'".
Mixtapes, Collaborations & Production (2002–2006)
Redman performing at the 2004 NBA All-Star Jam Session in Los AngelesSince the release of Malpractice, he has kept his fans happy by independently releasing the Ill At Will mixtapes, which feature various members of his new record label Gilla House members under Redman's Gilla House imprint include Saukrates, Icarus, Ready Roc, E3, Young Heat, and Melanie.
Redman had his best-known international hit with Christina Aguilera, when he was featured on her 2002 single "Dirrty". Around this time he was also featured on a popular remix of Pink's track Get This Party Started. He is cited in the song 'Till I Collapse as rapper Eminem's favorite rapper, beating out Jay Z, 2Pac, and Notorious B.I.G., among others.
Under his birthname, Reggie Noble, Redman has done production for himself, many of his crew members, and even Shaquille O'Neal on his 'Shaq-Fu: Da Return' album.
Red Gone Wild (2007–2008)In March 2007, Redman released Red Gone Wild. He stated on MySpace that the reason for the long wait to drop the album was the fast-changing pace of hip hop. On March 27, 2007, Redman confirmed on BET's Rap City: Tha Bassment that the sequel to How High, How High 2, was currently being written. In an April 10, 2007, Onion A.V. Club interview,[12] Redman hinted that there would be a second collaborative album with Method Man.
Blackout! 2 & Reggie (2009–2010)Blackout! 2 was announced in 2007 by Redman and was originally scheduled for release in 2008, but its release was pushed back a number of times due to numerous reasons. In early 2008, a remake of the Smoothe da Hustler and Trigger tha Gambler classic Broken Language was released on the internet by the duo entitled Broken Language 2008, fueling rumors of a Blackout! sequel coming soon. This rumor was further fueled by the duo while performing in Gainesville, FL, at the University of Florida. A Blackout! LP was scheduled for a December 9, 2008, release but was recently pushed back to the first quarter of 2009. It was finally released on May 19, 2009. It debuted at number #7 on the Billboard 200, at number 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, at number 2 on the Top Rap Albums and digital in charted number 7 on the Digital Albums charts selling 63,000 copies in its first week.[13] The album also charted number 10 on the Canadian Albums Chart. The album has sold 160,375 copies in the United States by December 12, 2009, according to SoundScan.
In May 2009, Redman confirmed his next solo album would come out December 2009. The title for the project is Reggie Noble "0" 9½.[14] The title of the album was then changed to just Redman Presents... Reggie, and three singles ("Coc Back", "Oh My", and "Money on My Mind") were released. The first single "Coc Back" (which features Ready Roc) had music video filmed and released for it. But as it turns out, none of the tracks made the final cut of the album, only being promo singles. During an interview, Redman stated that Reggie Noble (Redman's own birth name), does the album, not Redman. Redman also said that there is going to be more, "poppish", type songs, rather his normal "rugged" and "hardcore" songs.[15] After a few push backs, Redman Presents... Reggie was finally released on December 7, 2010. The first official single is "Def Jammable" and a video was released for the single. It has been confirmed that Redman will appear on a remix along with French rapper Soprano of "Tranne Te" by Italian rapper Fabri Fibra.
Mudface, 3Joints (2011–present)In June 2013, Redman announced that his next studio album Muddy Waters 2 would be released in late 2013[16] via Entertainment One and he would release a mixtape to go along with it, which evolved into an EP titled Muddy Waters 2: The Preload.[17] Redman has also confirmed work on Blackout! 3 with Method Man with recording starting summer 2012, however, recording was pushed back to late 2014. Mudface was released on November 13, 2015,[18][19] with Blackout! 3 coming out after, and Method Man's long-awaited mixtape and fifth solo album directly following these projects.[20] Method Man and Redman are also slated to be working on a long-rumored sequel to their original stoner comedy, How High.[21] In a HipHopDX interview in February 2017, Matt "M-80" Markoff confirmed the project, revealed that the sequel will be titled Too High and that he is currently looking to acquire finances for the film.[22] An EP called '3 Joints' was released on his Gilla House label in 2020, as further work on other albums continues.
Other ventures
This section is in list format, but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this section, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (June 2019)ActingIn 2001, Redman co-starred with Method Man in the stoner comedy film How High, which featured the pair playing two marijuana-addled students attempting to survive at Harvard. Redman also stated at a concert (at the Soundset in Minneapolis) that he and Method Man are working on How High 2, a sequel to the first movie.
Redman played a major role in the horror film Seed of Chucky.
Method Man and Redman also appear in Def Jam Vendetta, Def Jam: Fight for NY and Def Jam: Icon video games, often as tag team partners, and briefly had their own television sitcom, Method & Red, on Fox during the 2003–2004 season.
In the music video for The Offspring's single "Original Prankster", Redman plays the part of the "conscience", telling the "Original Prankster" what pranks to pull.
In 2004, Redman again co-starred with Method Man in the Nickelodeon cartoon, The Fairly OddParents, in School's Out! The Musical, rapping the "Pixes Rap".[23]
Redman is featured in the 2006 video game True Crime: New York City.[citation needed] He provides the voice of himself in a mini-game where he tries to escape New York during a riot. This character also has a cameo in the main storyline.
FashionIn April 2015, Redman released a collaboration with New York-based streetwear brand Mighty Healthy. The 420-themed collection includes jerseys, T-shirts, hats, and other items with cannabis-related graphics.
HostingIn August 2017, it was announced that Redman would host the first season of VH1's Scared Famous, which premiered on October 23, 2017.[24]
Personal lifeRedman was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Darlene and Eddie Noble. His sister Rosalyn Noble is a fellow rapper, going by the name Roz. She's appeared on several Redman songs over the years.[5] He is a cousin of rapper Tame One.
In 2001, Redman appeared on an episode of MTV Cribs and showcased his Staten Island home which, in contrast to the luxurious homes usually featured in the series, was described by XXL magazine as "small and grimey". The episode, which featured the crew having to pinch two wires together because the house lacked a doorbell, and a cameo by Redman's cousin Mr. Cream sleeping on the floor in a comforter, has become "the most infamous, most cited" episode of the show according to MTV VP of programming Nina L. Diaz.[25][26] According to a 2017 interview, Redman still lived in the property and was quoted as saying "It's real small. Two bedrooms. [...] I wouldn't know what to do with a big house".[27]
Redman began boarding his four-month-old pit bull terrier Daddy with dog trainer Cesar Millan, with Daddy ultimately becoming Millan's "right-hand-man" on his TV show The Dog Whisperer.[28]
DiscographyMain article: Redman discographyFurther information: Method Man & Redman discographyStudio albumsWhut? Thee Album (1992)Dare Iz a Darkside (1994)Muddy Waters (1996)Doc's da Name 2000 (1998)Malpractice (2001)Red Gone Wild: Thee Album (2007)Reggie (2010)Mudface (2015)Collaboration albumsEl Niño (with Def Squad) (1998)Blackout! (with Method Man) (1999)How High (with Method Man) (2001)Blackout! 2 (with Method Man) (2009)Other mediaVideo gamesNBA 2K1 (Hidden player)Def Jam VendettaDef Jam: Fight For NYDef Jam Fight for NY: The TakeoverDef Jam: IconTrue Crime: New York CityNBA 2K6 (24/7 EBC made), featured as celebrityTelevision showsSoul Train- HimselfIn Living Color- HimselfThe Jamie Foxx Show (2000) Season 4 episode 21 "Jamie in the Middle"MADtv (2001) (skit appearance)MTV Cribs (2001)Doggy Fizzle Televizzle (2002) (skit appearance)Chappelle's Show (2003) Season 1, in which Redman advertises his own (fictional) brand of toilet cleaning product.Method & Red (June 17 – September 15, 2004) Main role, alongside Method ManThe Fairly OddParents (2005) (voice) (ep: School's Out: The Musical)Trippin' (2005)Wild 'N Out (2007) Season 4Celebrity Rap Superstar (2007) MentorCelebrity Storytelling: Waiting for Godot (2016)Scared Famous (2017)Power Book II: Ghost (2021)Filmography1998: Ride1999: Colorz of Rage1999: P.I.G.S.2000: Boricua's Bond2000: Backstage2001: Statistic: The Movie2001: How High2002: Stung2003: Thaddeus Fights the Power!2003: Scary Movie 32004: Seed of Chucky2004: Beef II2004: Meth & Red2005: Hip-Hop Honeys: Las Vegas[29]2006: Rock the Bells (2004)2006: High Times Stony Awards2007: Big Pun The Legacy2007: The Sunset Strip2012: The Art of Rap2015: Dark2019: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot2019: The Return of the living DeadAwards and nominationsRedman has been nominated for two Grammys:
Grammy Awards2003, Best Pop Collaboration w/ Vocals "Dirrty" w/ Christina Aguilera (nominated)2001, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group "Ooh" w/ De La Soul (nominated)

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