Shawn 'Jay Z' Carter, one of hip-hop’s biggest moguls, has truly made a name for himself as a rapper, entrepreneur, and music producer. He released 15 studio albums, won 19 Grammy awards, was the co-founder of Roc- A-Fella records, and founder of Roc Nation. According to Forbes.com, Hov’s net worth is $520 million dollars. The former street hustler from Brooklyn is also known for his collaborations with several artists, spanning across multiple genres. However, when Jay Z collaborated with R&B artists, his career elevated because he garnered more female fans, while demonstrating his diversity as an artist. Jay Z’s delivery can range from high to low and he knows how to entertain with his beguiling hooks and verses.
After going through a talented list of candidates, Singersroom narrowed it down to the top 5 R&B artists that made Jay Z into a more credible superstar. These five artists allowed Jay Z to be authentic and more of a reformer.
Check out our listing!
Jay Z and LA Reid signed R&B’s gentlemen, Ne-Yo to Def Jam during his time as a CEO of the label. It was a smart business move, because Ne-Yo showed his artistic skills as a songwriter and vocalist to mainstream R&B. Ne-Yo brought millions and millions to the label, especially when he wrote the song “Irreplaceable,” for Jay’s wife Beyoncé, and it was an international hit in 2006. He also worked with the R&B gentlemen on the song, “Crazy,” from his third studio album, Year of the Gentlemen, in 2008. When Jay Z signed Ne-Yo, he revealed his savior- faire attitude about the music business and why he is business-savvy.
Mary J. Blige
One of Jay Z’s biggest hit was with the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, on the track “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” from his 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt. MJB voluntarily sang on the track because she was impressed with the young MC at the time. The Queen encouraged Jay and Damon Dash to sample Meli’sa Morgan’s “Fool’s Paradise,” and the hook relates to the song’s theme. Jay Z collaborated with Mary again on the record, “Can’t Hide From Love,” from her 2005 album, The Breakthrough.
Back in 2006, Jay Z was skeptical about signing Rihanna to Def Jam because he was unsure if Rihanna would release another massive hit. It was a risky move for him because of the success of “Pon de Replay.” He said, “When a song is that big, it's hard for a new artist to come back from. I don't sign songs, I sign artists". However, she released several chart-topping singles, including “Umbrella,” with her then boss. The song talks about a platonic connection transforming into a romantic relationship, despite the stormy weather. The pop and R&B record won a Grammy award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Jay worked with Rihanna again, but this time with Kanye West on the number one record, “Run This Town,” for his eleventh studio album, Blueprint 3. The single received two Grammys for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. As you can see, Jay Z makes excellent music with the Barbadian Princess.
Jay Z first collaborated with the Pied Piper of R&B back in 2001 on his “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” single. It was the perfect timing because Jay was accused of stabbing his former business partner, Lance ‘Un’ Rivera, while the media viewed him as a cruel and corrupt man. But “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” became a smash hit. Jay and Kellz worked together again on the remix to R. Kelly’s “Fiesta,” which was number on the R&B charts for five weeks. R. Kelly and Jay Z also released two platinum selling albums together, The Best of Both Worlds and Unfinished Business. But, the two kings parted ways due to lawsuits, internal conflicts with each other, and violence during “The Best of Both Worlds” tour. 13 years later, Jay- Z and Kellz are still known as one of the most dynamic R&B and hip-duo collaborators.
Jay Z and Beyoncé began working together in 2002 on the song, “03 Bonnie & Clyde,” and it received satisfactory reviews from critics. It was an anthem for everyone, especially men who were looking for a ride or die lady in their life. At the time, the industry was uncertain if Jay and Bey was a couple, but they became crossover superstars from the single. After “03 Bonnie & Clyde,” Jay and Beyoncé worked together on various records, including “Crazy in Love,” “Déjà Vu,” “Upgrade U,” “Drunk in Love,” and “Glory.” They kept a low profile in their relationship, which didn’t interfere with their professional endeavors. Even though Jay Z and Beyoncé are husband and wife and now parents to their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, the world will always keep in mind that the powerhouse couple will continue to work together musically.