Sean Carter A.K.A Jay-Z is one of the most celebrated names in the music industry across all genres. One might say Jay-Z is at the very pinnacle of his music career he can rise no further…Maybe but things have not been always this rosy for this hip-hop legend.
Starting his career as far back as the days of 2 Pac and Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z dropped his first album Unreasonable Doubt in 1996. That album remains chief cornerstone to the success the man has achieved to this day.
Like most hip hop artist Jay-Z started mixed up in illegal drug dealing, but thanks to his tunnel vision focus the man saw and seized the moment to quit and lean into his rap career.
Jay-Z has revealed he started his hip hop career with a 100 grand he had raised through doing drugs. At heart, the streets taught him to hustle so he knew better to trade street hustling to becoming a music icon.
Through every successful person’s journey beefs and fallouts is the order of the day. Jay-Z’s first mentor was Jazz-0 as the rapper indicated they would spend hours writing, trading, and flowing rhymes. That relationship seemed to have gone sore as the rapper moved on to pursue his dream. His next mentor was Biggie Smalls as the rapper professed and he went on to have a song with Biggie Smalls on his first album.
The lessons to take away from transition from being a drug dealer to a rapper and execution of Reasonable doubt are as follows:
- Identify Opportunity
Jay-Z had been around long enough to know drug dealing sooner or later leads you behind bars or to the graveyard. It was a no brainer to Mr Carter to leverage where he was for a better opportunity.
2. Use mentors
Jay-Z’s story seems to have been filled with mentors, it actually makes sense as he learned his rap from Jazz-O before he moved to admire Biggie’s style. He was also smart enough to move on from Jazz-O otherwise he would have remained small time.
3. Networking and Connections
Looking at the Unreasonable doubt album it had a lot of famous guest appearances and in return, it’s to this day a timeless masterpiece. It is proof your network is your net worth, being a new rapper it would have been easy to be looked over so he had to make sure he grabbed attention as much as possible and having many features worked like a charm.
To be continued…
You can listen to Unreasonable Doubt Below: