Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), better known as Jay-Z, is an American rapper and current president and CEO of Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella Records. In addition, he co-owns The 40/40 Club, and is co-owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA team. He is one of the most financially successful American hip-hop artists.
1998's Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life spawned the biggest hit of his career at the time, "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)". He also relied more on flow and brilliant wordplay, and he continued 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. Other producers tapped for beats include: 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". Vol. 2 would eventually become Jay-Z's most commercially successful album, it was certified 5x platinum in the United States and has to date sold over 8 million worldwide. The album went on to win a Grammy Award, although Jay-Z boycotted the ceremony protesting the fact that DMX failed to garner a Grammy nomination.