This week, a guy on the radio said that Jay-Z is 50 years old, not 44, as Hova claims. Is it true? Is it false? And what happened to Jay-Z’s lost 6 years? And will someone write a short story about it? And where is his birth certificate? And is it real?
In a Cookies + Sangria Point-Counterpoint, we get to the bottom of the issue.
Point: Jay-Z says that he was born on December 4, 1969
Jay-Z says that he was born on 12/4/69, which would make him 44 years and some change. This is the date he – allegedly – was referencing in A Billi, when he rapped “Get busy, happy birthday my ___” (and then a word I can’t write because I’m white, guys. I’m white and that’s not cool).
This most certainly was the date Jay-Z’s mom Gloria was referring to in December 4th, when she said “Sean Carter was born December 4th, Weighing in at 10 pounds 8 ounces, He was the last of my 4 children, The only one who didn’t give me any pain when i gave birth to him, And that’s how I knew that he was a special child.” [I’m just going to take a moment and suggest that if Gloria Carter felt no pain while delivering a child the size of a family’s Thanksgiving turkey, maybe she’s the magical one, not Jay.]
Counterpoint: Actually, They Just Say That He Was Born On December 4. 1969 Is Not The Only Year With A December 4.
You know the thing about December 4th? We have one every year. You know the thing about birthdays? Everyone has one of those every year too, except for people who were born on February 29th — but we all know that they’re all a little too smug about it and we don’t need to give them any more attention.
Nothing in those lyrics actually tells us how old Jay-Z is.
Point: In This Video From 1988, Jay-Z Does Indeed Appear To Be 19ish
Dude. Just watch this video and revel in the pure, old-school Yo! MTV Raps of it all. Then ask yourself, how old is Jay-Z here? Is he roughly 19? Or is he 25?
In this video, Hova mostly stands to the side of his more gregarious and talented friend, like he is the Sophia Grace to Big Jaz’s Rosie. It’s almost like he is an apprentice rapper – a teen learning the ropes. Nobody has a 25-year-old sidekick. His collab with Big Jaz is obviously a Batman and Robin dynamic, not Batman and someone who is a peer of Batman.
Counterpoint: In This Photo From 2014, Jay-Z Does Appear To Be 50ish
Sometime in the past few years, Jay-Z has started to both look extra-appealing in formal-wear, and increasingly silly in young, casual outfits. Like, he looks like your friend’s dad who is still trying to hang with the young kids. And not your friend’s dad when you were 5. Your friend’s dad now.
Point: Jay-Z Shot His Brother When He Was 12 And His Brother Was 16. In 1982. So Jay-Z is 44.
Jay-Z has spoken out about shooting his brother, claiming that he was 12 at the time. In You Must Love Me, he raps “Saw the devil in your eyes, high off more than weed, confused, I just closed my young eyes and squeezed.”
Counterpoint: If Jay-Z Were Really 12 He Wouldn’t Have Been Worried About Jail
Jay has been quoted as saying “I thought my life was over. I thought I’d go to jail forever” after shooting his brother. Allegedly, his brother refused to press charges. But think about it: a 12-year-old wouldn’t go to jail forever, because a 12-year-old would almost certainly be charged and sentenced as a juvenile. However, if Jay were 16 or older he would be sentenced as an adult. There’s some wiggle room to be tried as an adult at age 14-15, but at 12 Jay would likely be adjudicated delinquent instead. Moreover, because he would be tried in juvenile court and move through the family court system, it’s unlikely that his brother would be able to request that Jay not be charged; rather, at the very least a PINS petition would have been filed.
Also, in You Must Love Me Jay-Z raps “Hot gun burnin’ my waist, ran straight to Jaz’s house.” We know that Jay was (purportedly) collaborating with Jaz when he was 19 years old, but these lyrics mean that Jay was hanging with him when Jay was 12 and Jaz was 18. Sounds suspicious, right?
Point: In This 1988 photo, Jay-Z Looks Like A Young Child
Could he be 19 here? Sure. And even at that, he looks baby-faced for a long-time drug dealer. So are we to believe that he’s actually a 25-year-old drug dealer here? Unlikely. (Unless the photo isn’t actually from 1988. Anyone know when that Giants logo dates from?)
Counterpoint: Jay-Z Claims To Have Made $100,000 By The Time He Was 17. It’s Much Easier To Net 100K By The Time You’re 17 If You’re Actually 23
Young Sean Carter was a drug dealer, and his drug dealing partner says that at 17, they had 100K stuffed under mattresses. Maybe the real reason they built up that much drug money was that they had actually been at it 6 years longer than they were letting on.
Point: Jay’s 43-Year Old Friend Was 17 At The Same Time As Jay-Z
Jay-Z’s friend used the phrase “when we were 17,” making them the same age. His friend was 43 in 2013. Ergo, Jay-Z is 44.
Look. If you have a grandma (this is purely hypothetical, as at C+S we don’t have grandmas), and you’re talking to her, you wouldn’t be like “wow, I just thought we would have accomplished more by the time we were 27” – because you only would use we with your age if somebody was the same age as you. And even though strangers have started calling me “ma’am” or assuming that I have children, in no way is 27 the same age as your grandma. Right? Right.
So, this 43-year-old guy is saying that he was 17 at the same time as Jay-Z. That means Jay-Z isn’t 50.
Counterpoint: That Same Article Quotes A Man From Bed-Stuy Calling His Mother “Mum”
That article is crap.
Point: Jay-Z is Ageless, As Evidenced By This Picture From The 1930s
Jay-Z’s age is irrelevant, because the rules of age do not apply to Jay-Z. That’s why he’s the only living rapper who is also a Newsie. RISE AND SEIZE THE DAY.
Counterpoint: I don’t know… Illuminati, I guess?
Crazy Internet People love saying that Jay-Z and Beyonce are in the Illuminati. I don’t know much about the Illuminati, except that it’s a make-believe secret society of important people, and they put their secret symbol on things. Their secret symbol is a triangle, which is pretty weak if you ask me. If you’re the special club that runs the world, why would you make your special shape be one of the first three shapes you learn when you’re two? Why not a weird rhombus? Or a nonagon? But if Jay-Z was in the Illuminati, he would probably have the means to make you think he was whichever age he wanted.
Guys. Really? All signs point to Jay-Z being the age he says he is. Except, sometimes, his face. But you know what? Jay-Z is one of the richest people on the planet. His career is on fire. He is real-life married to everyone’s imaginary wife, Beyonce. The only downside of being 50 for Jay-Z would be having 6 fewer years to enjoy this plum little life he’s built for himself. Basically, you can try to tear Hova down all you want, but it’s not going to make you have a better life than him.