As he celebrates another birthday, it’s understandable if Jay Z spends this one out of the spotlight. He understandably made numerous headlines and was the target of gossip for all of 2014. Last year was one of Jay Z’s biggest in music, as he released Magna Carta…Holy Grail, went on the “Legends of the Summer” tour with Justin Timberlake and embarked on his own world tour.
Jay Z only had a few guest verses this year for the “On The Run” tour with his wife Beyonce, but he still had press looking his way. A lot of that was his fault: you tend to elicit chatter when you mention Drake‘s name in a song or wear a woman’s jersey. Some was because of circumstance, because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned — especially with a shoe in an elevator.
Yes, even the great Hov took some punches and these weren’t his first. In fact, this is the 15-year anniversary of when he stabbed Lance “Un” Rivera over the leak of Vol. 3…Life and Times Of S. Carter.
But through it all the headlines this year, Jay Z also found ways to flourish. He’s still (apparently happily) with Beyonce and he’s made major moves at Roc Nation Sports.
For a full look at Mr. Carter in 2014, check out Jay Z’s year in 45 moments below.
Jan. 27 — Jay Z got on the Grammys stage with Beyonce to perform “Drunk In Love.” The handful of Beyonce’s ass Jay Z grabbed assured us things were OK with the couple, before one elevator video changed that.
Jan. 29 — Probably not as epic as when Kanye West got his Roc-A-Fella chain, but you still have to note how complete J. Cole must’ve felt when Jay Z gave him his original chain during a Madison Square Garden concert on his 29th birthday. Happy chaining day, J. Cole.
March 10 — There are reasons why some things go unreleased. Jay Z and Timbaland’s infamously terrible “Ghetto Techno” was one of them. “Computerized,” a Daft Punk/Jay Z collaboration intended for Magna Carta Holy Grail, isn’t as bad, but it comes off as more retrograde than progressive. The Blackberry gets a mention for some reason.
May 4 — The Brooklyn Nets are still as middling as they were when they first came to Brooklyn, but at least they were temporarily able to silence Drake. The team was able to take down the Raptors at in the playoffs’ first round, giving Jay Z the final laugh over Drake in their short trade of words.
March 23 — Jay Z has obviously been involved in more serious beefs (**cough** Nas **cough**), but it was still interesting to see him trade words with Drake. Hov caught wind of Drake’s Rolling Stone comments and bit back on the “We Made It” remix: “Sorry Mrs. Drizzy for so much art talk/ Silly me rappin’ ’bout shit that I really bought.” Drake made it a hot line; Jay Z made it a hot line. The circle of life.
March 24 — Jay Z has grown into a staple of New York music, so it makes sense that New York magazine had him on the cover of its celebration of 100 years of pop music. It also was a rare photo: this was taken at his birthday graffiti artist Edwin “PHADE” Sacasa’s birthday party in Queens, N.Y.’s Jamaica Colosseum Mall on Jan. 21, 1987.
April 7 — The Five Percent Nation medallion is a symbol of power and unity for many. It also pisses off white people even if Jay Z’s the one wearing the said medallion. He caught some flack for wearing one during a Nets game.
April 9 – Jay Z was the final answer on Jeopardy. That’s how you know he’s major.
April 12 — Nas was busy promoting the 20th anniversary of this landmark Illmatic for most of the beginning of the year. During this tour, he performed that album in its entirety. He had a little something extra for Coachella, though. Nas brought out his former rival Jay Z to perform “Dead Presidents” and “Where I’m From.”
April 19 —Pharrell’s performance at Coachella should’ve been called “Pharrell & Friends,” because he brought out a bunch of his collaborators. They included Pusha T, T.I. and, hence why this is mentioned, Jay Z.
April 25 — Jay Z even got himself caught up in an extortion plot. Producer Chauncey Mahan, who worked with Jay Z from 1998 to 2002, got questioned by police over the alleged theft of master tapes that went missing in 2002. Mahan apparently tried to auction the tapes to Roc Nation for $100,000 (bad on him since the tapes are worth at least $15 million), but settled for $75,000 to meet up with Jay Z’s crew. The plan didn’t work, however; Jay Z’s people contacted the LAPD and Mahan was instead taken in for questioning without being arrested.
Hov accused Mahan of grand larceny and extortion, while Mahan has since filed a copyright ownership suit. Perhaps the best thing to come from this was Just Blaze’s evisceration of the troubled producer.
April 28 — Jay Z made his way on to DJ Khaled’s “They Don’t Love You No More.” His verse was notable only for continuing his uncooked beef with Drake and making an entire sport angry with just two lines: “Haters wanna ball, let me tighten up my draw string /Wrong sport, boy, you know you’re as soft as the Lacrosse team.” Tsss…
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) April 28, 2014
April 29 — Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports celebrated one-year in business. To celebrate, Jay Z bought himself a gift: a sign in the middle of Time Square.