Who Am I? #3

Before I start with the soundtrack, let me set up the story.

Born in Brooklyn, New York  on December 4, 1969, my childhood was spent in one of the worst parts of the city. From a young age, I used hip-hop as a means of escape. As I grew older, I was influenced by drugs and gun violence, and used these experiences as inspiration for my earlier music.

In 1989, I met an artist who would become my mentor. We recorded a song together, and it led to an appearance Yo! MTV Raps. It was around that time that I decided to start going by the stage name you know me as today!

Still relatively unknown, I released my first album under my friend’s record label in the mid-90s. It only made it to #23 on the Billboard 200, but that did not stop me. I kept working and my persistence yielded several No.1 albums and singles, and a Grammy!

However, after I releasing my 2003 album, I shocked the world by announcing that I was going into retirement. Honestly, I was bored from the lack of competition in the industry at the time, and I wanted a break. During my hiatus, I decided to focus on the business side of music and became the president of Def Jam Records. Even though I signed many well-known artists into stardom, I resigned from my position because of ethical conflicts with the label’s business practices. So, I ended my retirement and began recording music again, taking the world by storm, dropping a hit album right out the gate!

I also started getting involved with other business ventures such as, concert promotion, clothing lines, sports bars, and even a streaming service where exclusive tracks were released only to subscribers.

As for my private life, and I want to emphasize the Private portion, I married the love of my life in 2008.  It was a small ceremony with our closest family and friends. As the years went on, we had three children, one daughter and a pair of twins.

In 2017, two major events occurred the impacted my career and rocked my personal life. The first – I became the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a huge accomplishment showing rap’s evolution as an art form. At the same time, I had to deal with a media circus around my marriage, claiming I was unfaithful. Hey, I can admit that I’m not perfect and make mistakes, but those are issues are for me and my wife to sort out. We try our best to keep our Private lives Private to avoid unnecessary drama. My wife and I have, however, have engaged in couples therapy to work through our issues and continue to work on nurturing our relationship.

Who am I?