Jay-Z

Jay-Z is arguably the most successful artist and entrepreneur in American hip-hop. His net worth is over $150 million. His new album The Blue Print 3 is his 11th release to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard 200. He’s also undeniably talented, which can’t be said for all of the genre’s superstars. This is an MC who creates his rhymes sans pen and paper, instead listening to tracks over and over again until the witticisms, double entendres, and hooks emerge on their own. The result this time around may not be as groundbreaking as on albums he released in the late ‘90s, but it’s a sleek commercial effort packed with radio hits and collaborations with big names like Kanye, Rihanna, and Alicia Keys. Most impressive is that Jay-Z, who is pushing 40 in an industry obsessed with fresh talent, keeps up with — and often surpasses — his younger peers’ performances without ever breaking a sweat. All ages. ERIKA HOBART

Sat., Oct. 17, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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