Occupation: Rapper, producer, mogul
Previous TIME 100 appearances: 1
From growing up in the projects in Brooklyn to becoming one of the most respected producers and hip-hop artists of all time, Shawn Carter, more widely known as Jay-Z, knows something about transformation. Last year he took a turn as author with the release of his book Decoded, which was part memoir, part hip-hop history and tribute. Like most of his ventures, the book was both commercially and critically well received (even its elegant design earned plaudits). And with a growing empire that includes clubs, a fashion line and a stake in the NBA's New Jersey Nets, he's on his way to filling another role megamogul. In 2010, he appeared on the cover of the Forbes 400 issue with Warren Buffett. And though he didn't quite make the list of America's richest, the magazine was quick to note that he's on his way there.
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