Rare footage of Jay-Z interview from the 2001 ‘The Come Up DVD’
(Credit: Alamy)

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Rare footage of Jay-Z interview from the 2001 'The Come Up DVD'

Jay-Z is the wealthiest man in hip-hop (now that Kanye’s net worth has dropped), and since 1995, Hov has been bringing us quality music. From Reasonable Doubt to 4:44, the Brooklyn rapper has been around since the days of Big Daddy Kane and Biggie Smalls. As one of the first artists from the genre to achieve billionaire status, Hov (real name Shawn Carter) is considered one of the best rappers of all time. 

Born and raised in the drug-infested Marcy Projects, a public housing scheme located in Bedford-Stuyvesant of Brooklyn, Carter was raised by his mother. Brooklyn was a musical hotspot during the late 1980s and early 1990s, especially for hip-hop. As an adolescent, Carter attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School along with rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes.

Before Jay-Z exploded onto the scene in the late 1990s, he was an aspiring rapper who was just around. He was ubiquitous and persistent in his aim to prove that he was a certified rapper and did so by constantly adapting and affiliating himself with those more prominent than him. In his quest to attain exposure, during the 1980’s the Brooklyn rapper affiliated himself with Jaz-O. The rapper (real name Jonathan Burks) was a Brooklyn rapper, born and raised in the same housing scheme as Hov, the Marcy Houses. Burks knew Jay from his area, and in a bid to help a young him, he allowed him to become part of his entourage.

In 1995 Jay-Z, along with Dame Dash, created Roc-A-Fella Records to release his debut album, Unreasonable Doubt, and since then, Hov has dominated hip-hop. With his final musical endeavour being his 2017 album, 4:44, Jay’s rap career was around 22 years in length. However, since then, Carter continued to take on all sorts of ventures in and outside of the music industry. With Roc Nation, his NFL deals and a net-worth of over $1billion, the ‘Hustler’ performer is undoubtedly one of the best MCs in hip-hop history.

Shortly before his problematic album rollout in 2001 for The Blueprint, Jay-Z sat-down for an interview with Fendi for The Come Up DVD and spoke about the process of making an album and how he approaches it. He also spoke about not really paying attention to the media and what other artists may be saying about him. Carter also insisted he isn’t bothered about MCs challenging him and enjoys competition.

The footage also shows Jay-Z on the phone speaking to Def Jam Recordings Chairman Lyor Cohen. You can watch the footage in the video below.