Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4 1969), better known as Jay-Z, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, actor, entrepreneur, businessman, investor, and philanthropist and is the current president and CEO of Roc-A-Fella Records and the former president and CEO of Def Jam. He is one the most financially successful American hip-hop artists.
- If you are having girl problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one, you think - this guy is talking about women, but I am not. I am not talking about women at all. In the first verse I am talking about the industry, magazines and radio. I am using that as a metaphor. And in the second verse I am talking about a K9, which is a female dog, which is a bitch. And then in the third verse I am talking about a guy trying to punk me. So I am not talking about a female at no time in that song. But if you just hear the record, 99 problems but a bitch ain't one, you'll think that I am talking about about women, but I am not, at no point in the song.
- Jay-Z being interviewed by Charlie Rose 2/7/05
- Jay Hov about to change my name to Jay Peso
but in a meantime called me William H though
on a platinum Yamaha got the engine gunning
throwing it up like liquor on an empty stomach.
Reasonable Doubt (1996)
- There's heaven, then there's hell niggas
One day your cruising in your 7 next day your sweatin forgettin your lies
Alibis ain't matchin up, bullshit catchin up
Hit with the rico, they repo your vehico'
Everything was all good just a week ago
'Bout to start bitching ain't you? Ready to start snitching ain't you?
I'll forgive your weak ass, hustling just ain't you
Aside from the fast cars; honey's that shake they
ass at bars you know you wouldn't be involved
with the underworld dealers, carriers of Mac Miller
East coast bodiers, west coast cap peelers
Little monkey niggas turn gorillas
Reasonable Doubt (1996)
- For nine six, the only mc wit a flu
Yeah I rhyme sick I be what you tryin to do
Made a fortune off Peru, expedite, china white heron
Nigga please like short sleeves I bear arms.
- Brooklyn's Finest
- Hand gettin the mic. Forgettin all I ever knew, convenient amnesia. I suggest you call my lawyer, I know the procedure
Lock my body, can't trap my mind
easily, explains why we adapt to crime
I'd rather die enormous than live dormant, that's how we on it.
- Can I Live
- Whoever said illegal was the easy way out couldn't understand
The mechanics and the workings of the underworld, granted
Nine to five is how to survive, I ain't trying to survive
I'm trying to live it to the limit and love it a lot
Life's ills poison my body
I used to say Fuck mic skills, I never prayed to God, I prayed to Gotti
That's right it's wicked, that's life, I live it
Ain't asking for forgiveness for my sins
- Even if it ain't sunny, hey, I ain't complaining I'm in the rain doing a buck 40, hydroplaning, what, shorty? (Where you disappear to, son?) Maintaining Putting myself in a position most of these rappers ain't in I'm living, the ill street blues got you hunger painin' Nothing to gain and a whole lot to lose, you still singing, fool I'm thorough, in every borough, my name be ringing
- Feelin' It
The Blueprint (2001)
- They say you can't turn a bad girl good
But once a good girl's gone bad, she's gone forever
- Song Cry
- Hov' is back, life stories told through rap
Niggas acting like I sold you crack
Like I told you sell drugs; No, Hov did that
so hopefully you won't have to go through that.
- I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in hell
I am a hustler, baby, I'll sell water to a well
- U Don't Know
- 6 oohie, jewels dripping big tooly
I ball for real: y'all niggas is Sam Bowie
And with the third pick, I made the earth sick
M.J., him Jay, fade away perfect.
- Hola Hovito
- Niggas pray and pray on my downfall
But every time I hit the ground I bounce up like round ball.
- Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)'
- On repeat, the CD of B.I.G.'s 'Me and My Bitch'
Watching Bonnie and Clyde, pretending to be that shit
Empty gun in your hand saying, 'Let me see that clip'
Shopping sprees, pull out your Visa quick
A nigga had very bad credit, you helped me lease that whip
You helped me get the keys to that V dot 6
We was so happy poor but when we got rich
That's when our signals got crossed, and we got flipped.
- Motherfuckers say that I'm foolish I only talk about jewels
Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?
See I'm influenced by the ghetto you ruined
That same dude you gave nothing, I made something doing.
The Black Album (2003)
- Good-bye to the game all the spoils, the adrenaline rush
Your blood boils, you in a spot knowin' cops could rush
you in the drop, you so easy to touch
No two days are alike, except the 1st and 15th pretty much
And trust, is a word you seldom hear from us
Hustlers, we don't sleep, we rest one eye up
And a drought could define a man when the well dries up
You learn the worth of water
Without work you thirst 'til you die, yup!
- December 4th
- Music business hate me ‘cause the industry ain't make me
Hustlers and boosters embrace me and the music I be making
I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars
They criticized me for it, yet they all yell "holla"
If skills sold, truth be told, I'd probably be lyrically Talib Kweli
Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense
But I did 5 mill' – I ain't been rhyming like Common since
When your cents got that much in common
And you been hustling since your inception
Fuck perception! Go with what makes sense
Since I know what I'm up against
We as rappers must decide what's most important
And I can't help the poor if I'm one of them
So I got rich and gave back, to me that's the win/win
So next time you see the homie and his rims spin
Just know my mind is working just like them (rims, that is)
- Moment of Clarity (move to the black album)
- Now you know yo' ass is Willie when they got you in the mag
for like half a billy, and yo' ass ain't lily
white that mean that shit you write must be illy
Either that or your flow is silly - it's both
I don't mean to boast, but damn if I don't brag
Them crackers gon' act like I ain't on they ass
The Martha Stewart, that's far from Jewish
Far from a Harvard student, just had the balls to do it
- "What More Can I Say"
- I'm not a biter, I'm a writer for myself and others / I say a B.I.G. verse, I'm only biggin' up my brother / Biggin' up my borough, I'm big enough to do it / I'm that thorough, plus I know my own flow is foolish / So them rings and things you sing about, bring 'em out / It's hard to yell when the bar-rell's in your mouth
- Pop died, didn't cry, didn't know him that well / Between him doin' heroin and me doin' crack sales / With that in the eggshell, standin' at the tabernacle / Rather the church, pretendin' to be hurt - wouldn't work / So a smirk was all on my face / Like damn, that man's face is just like my face / So pop, I forgive you for all the shit that I lived through / It wasn't all your fault homey, you got caught
- Moment of Clarity
- If skills sold / Truth be told / I'd probably be / Lyricly / Talib Kweli / Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense / (But i did five Mil) / I ain't been rhymin like Common since -- When your sense got that much in common / And you been hustlin since / Your inception / Fuck perception / Go with what makes sense / Since / I know what I'm up against / We as rappers must decide what's most impor-tant
- "Moment of Clarity",
- I never asked for nothin' I don't demand of myself / Honesty, loyalty, friends and then wealth / Death before dishonor and I tell you what else / I tighten my belt 'fore I beg for help / Foolish pride is what held me together through the years / I wasn't felt which is why I ain't never played myself / I just play the hand I'm dealt, I can't say I've never knelt / Before God and asked for better cards at times to no avail / But I never sat back feelin sorry for myself / If you don't give me heaven I'll raise hell ('Til it's heaven)
- Justify My Thug
- If you're havin' girl problems I feel bad for you son / I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.
- I’m already the GOAT, the next stop is the billie
- “I Get Money Remix”
- If you kill me you're famous,
If I kill you, I’m brainless,
What’s a nigga to do?
- "Streets Is Watching"
- I’ve got demons in my past so I’ve got daughters on the way,
If the prophecy is correct then the child should have to pay,
For the sins of the father so I barter my tomorrows against my yesterday’s
In hopes that she’ll be okay
- "Beach Chair"
- No compass comes with this life, just eyes,
so to map it out you must look inside,
sure books could guide you but your heart defines you, chica
- "Beach Chair"
- Rumor has it "The Blueprint" classic
Couldn't even be stopped by Bin Laden
So September 11th marks the era forever
of a revolutionary Che Gueverra
- The Bounce
- A wise man told me don't argue with fools
Cause people from a distance can't tell who is who
Kingdom Come (2006)
- I'm still here mon frere I know the cross I bear,
They like, that's why they call you Hov? I'm like yea
I'm like air, little shots go through me, won't tear
One tissue no tears, no tissue not an issue
- Dig a Hole
- I heard motherfuckers saying they made Hov
Made Hov say, "Ok so, make another Hov"
- Lost Ones
- While I'm watchin every nigga watchin me closely
my shit is butter for the bread they wanna toast me
I keep my head, both of them where they supposed to be
Hoes'll get you sidetracked then clap from closed feet
- "Can I Live"
- But reality bites and this is her life / He wasn't really her husband though he called her wife / It was just this night, when the moon was full and the stars were just right and her dress was real tight / He had her sounding like Lisa Lisa / "Wonder if I take you home, will you still love me after this night" / Mike was the hard head from around the way / That she wanted all her life / Cause she wanted all the hype / She used to hold on tight when he wheelied on the bike / He was a Willie all her life / He wasn't really the one to like / There was a dude name Chi, who would really treat her right / He wanted to run to the country to escape the city life / But Isis, liked this, Broadway life / She loved the Gucci sneakers / The Red, Green and White / Hanging out the window when she first seen him fight / So turned on that she had to shower twice*
- "Meet The Parents" - Blueprint 2 The Gift and The Curse (2002)
- I guess it's just the need to be heard / I need niggas to say / I can't believe your words / I'm just an addict / Addicted to music / Thoughts is sporadic / I gotta un-confuse it / Sorta like a Rubik's Cube is / Every albums' a color / But I fuck up the other / Color / (laughs) I guess I'm more like / A bitch with a belly but her ass is right / (laughs) Y'all don't understand me still / I never enjoy my success but my family will / And I'm alright with that / So the rap Jerry Rice is back / To fulfill a need / Though I lead the league / I pray everyday I travel at God Speed / Not a minute slower cause the minute you Hova / Everybody praying for your spinach to slow up / It's sad but it's true / But nigga's ass gone turn blue / Holding' ya breath, cause the force that's controlling my step / Won't let me lose it till I'm undisputed / Until I'm one with the music / Till I'm dead and gone in search of the perfect song* -
- "Addicted to the Game" - Blueprint 2 (Unreleased and Underground) (2002)
Late Registration (2005)
- This ain't no tall order, this is nothin to me
Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week
- Diamonds from Sierra Leone (note)
Paper Trail (2008)
- ("No one on the corner") Got a bop like this
Can't wear skinny jeans cause my knots don't fit
No one on the corner got a pocket like this
So I rock Roc jeans cause my knots so thick
You can pay for school, but you can't buy class
- With the same sword they knight you, they gon' good night you with
Shit, that's only half if they like you
That ain't even the half what they might do
Don't believe me, ask Michael
See Martin, see Malcolm
See Biggie, see Pac, see success and its outcome
See Jesus, see Judas
See Caesar, see Brutus, see success is like suicide
Suicide, it's a suicide
If you succeed, prepare to be crucified
Media meddles, niggas sue you, you settle
Every step you take, they remind you you're ghetto
So it's tough being Bobby Brown
To be Bobby then, you have to be Bobby now
And the question is, "Is to have had and lost
Better than not having at all?
- "Lost! by Coldplay Feat. Jay-Z (add note)
Theater of the Mind (2008)
- Thank God for Cool Herc
Without this shit I probably would’ve got murked
Shout outs to Grandmaster Flash and the cash
And even Jaz bum ass
- Do It For Hip-Hop (note)
The Blueprint 3 (2009)
- If Jeezy's payin' LeBron, I'm payin' Dwyane Wade
Three dice Cee-lo, three Card Molly
Labor Day Parade, rest in peace Bob Marley
Statue of Liberty, long live the World Trade
Long live the King yo, I'm from the Empire State that's
- Empire State of Mind
- If you want to make more than Jay-Z, go do more than Jay-Z.
- Dave Ramsey, in response to criticism of the rapper spending lavishly for a friend's birthday party, Jay-Z Spending $91,135 in One Night Shouldn't Make You Mad, The Dave Ramsey Show Feb 25, 2018, YouTube.com, quote at 13:06