Jay-Z is widely regarded as one of the best rappers of all time. The Brooklyn lyricist (real name Shawn Carter) has been a dominant force in the industry since the late 1990s. With his exceptional ability to adapt, the 4:44 hitmaker managed to stay relevant and exciting in the music business for over two decades and, as such, is a highly respected figure.
Aside from his music, Carter remained a high-profile figure due to his various business ventures and compelling relationship with Beyoncé, who is considered by many to be one of the greatest entertainers alive. However, although he has been blessed with fame and droves of intrigued fans, Jay-Z isn’t necessarily too fond of being in the public eye and especially doesn’t like being on camera.
Jay-Z has been around for much longer than most people think, and although his heyday is considered the late ’90s and early 2000s, Carter was rapping long before the turn of the millennium. The ‘PSA’ emcee was born and raised in Brooklyn when it was a bustling cultural hotspot in the late 1980s and early-’90s. During this period, he befriended some of the area’s legends and found his way into music. In the early 1990s, Carter found himself under the wing of Big Daddy Kane and Jaz-O. He would later go on to become cordial with The Notorious B.I.G., with whom he made two songs, ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ and ‘I Love the Dough.’
With his high work rate, sheer determination and hustler’s mentality, Jay-Z released an album anally for the first eight years of his career and, by 2003, had eight studio projects under his belt. His album The Black Album was accompanied by a DVD showcasing Carter’s creative process and behind-the-scenes footage of him working on the body of work. Entitled Fade To Black, the documentary detailed much about Carter and his world concerning music, but nothing too personal.
However, in a recent interview with TIDAL (a company Carter once owned), the musician spoke about why he doesn’t like being in front of cameras too often, explaining, Yeah, we don’t come from that school. We come from the ‘don’t-you-ever-record-us’ school.” Perhaps a mentality derived from his previous criminal dealings, Carter admitted that he always has a wariness about how that footage might get used in the future and exploitation.
The artist continued, “We come from that school, and we had fights over that. N*ggas trying to record. We would say, ‘Aye yo, don’t record me, champ. I ain’t into that.’ We just come from a different world.” Speaking about Fade To Black, Carter explained his DVD is “why The Black Album was so special! It was the first time cameras came into the studios and just lived with us!” The DVD was truly special. You can watch the 2004 documentary in the video below.