Raised on the streets of Brooklyn and forced to provide for himself and his mother, Jay-Z, born Sean Corey Carter, turned to hustling while gaining a name for himself as a rapper. Befriending a small town rapper Jaz-O, Carter learned the basics of the rap industry, changed his moniker to Jay-Z and boldly started his own label Roc-A-Fella records. Met with immense success, both with his albums, and his label, Jay-Z established himself as a hip hop mogul known as a master of flow and for his clever wordplay, coupled with masterful timing. After dropping a successful album each year from 1996 to 2003, Jay-Z announced his retirement from rap and subsequently took over as president for the major label Def Jam Records. Again met with success, Jay-Z signed multiple popular artists, including Rihanna and Kanye West to the label, pulling it out of the financial slump it was suffering. In 2006 Jay-Z officially came out of retirement and continues to release albums and tour fairly extensively, all while running his hip-hop empire.