In the spirit of celebrating hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, Brooklyn-bred rapper and entrepreneur, Jay-Z is definitely doing his part in keeping the culture, as well as himself relevant to the masses. The man born Shawn Carter has set another record as he became the first Black male recording artist to have 10 solo albums that have gone multi-platinum (Meaning selling at least 2 million units).
Last week, on July 12, 2023, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified two of Jay-Z’s albums to another plateau when “The Black Album” (originally released November 14, 2003) reached 4 times platinum and “Blueprint 3” (released on September 8, 2009) achieved double platinum status. With the latter album, the total of multi-platinum titles for Jay-Z reached 10 albums.
According to Complex, Jay-Z has a total of 12 multi-platinum albums under his belt when you count the two collaborative albums that also achieved at least two million sales. Those two projects are the album he did with Linkin Park titled “Collision Course” which sold 2 million copies, and the collaboration album he did with Kanye West, “Watch the Throne” which has so far sold 5 million units.
Jay-Z has sold over 33.5 million albums to date.
Although Jay-Z is the first Black male recording artist to achieve this feat, Mariah Carey was the first Black recording artist to have 10 solo albums that have sold over 2 million copies. The songstress has 11 solo projects that have gone multi-platinum.
This news comes on the heels of Brooklyn Public Library announcing that an exhibition titled, The Book of HOV debuted last Friday on July 14 for the public to consume. The installation, which Roc Nation created, was done to honor and celebrate the life and work of hip-hop’s richest recording artist.
If you happen to be in the New York City area, you can view the exhibition, which takes up two floors of the Central Library, at 10 Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. To find out more about the installation, you can visit thebookofhov.com.
The Brooklyn Public Library has also announced limited edition releases of 13 Jay-Z-inspired library cards. Each card represents his 13 solo albums. The Library states that anyone who visits other Brooklyn branches can collect all 13 cards starting in August 2023. The cards are now exclusively available at Central Library and Marcy Library.