Jay-Z, rapper, business leaders, philanthropists, was born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969, New York to Gloria Carter and Adnes Reeves. In 2006, Jay-Z ended his retirement from making music, releasing the new album Kingdom Come. Jay-Z turned his attention to the business side of music, becoming president of Def Jam Recordings. In 2008, Jay-Z signed a $150 million contract with the concert promotion company Live Nation. Shawn Corey Carter Biography and Profile.