On 2001's "Ether," Nas quipped that Jay-Z was "36 in a karate class." But today (Dec. 4), Jay-Z is in a class of his own, as he becomes the first 40-year-old rapper to command hip-hop's number one spot. Follow us in ushering in Jay-Z admittance into middle age with a birthday extravaganza. But first, scroll to the bottom to make sure you're invited
Happy Birthday... From The People
VIBE takes to the New York City streets to get fans' feelings on Jay's 40th
40 Minutes Of Hov
VIBE.com resident DJ Sweetz celebrates the biggest birthday in rap with a 40 minute blend of all of Jay-Z's favorites.
Download VIBE'S 40 Minutes of Hov
1969 Time Capsule
Ten things that happened the year Gloria Carter gave birth to a 10-pound, eight ounce Jay-Z... who didn't give her any pain
1) Along with Sean Corey Carter, the world also welcomed
Jennifer Lopez, Roy Jones Jr., Bobby Brown, Terrence Howard, Nate Dogg and
2) Big lights inspired the underdog New York Jets to defeat
the Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III. Another home team, the Mets, won
their first-ever World Series over the Baltimore Orioles.
3) Richard Nixon became the 37th President of the United
4) President Dwight D. Eisenhower died.
5) The average yearly income was $8,550 and the average
monthly rent was $135.00. Gas cost $0.35 per gallon.
6) A Vietnam War draft lottery was held, the first since
World War II.
7) The Boeing 747 Jet was introduced. See: "Boeing Jets, Global
Express, out the country but the blueberry still connect."
8) The Beatles released Abbey
Road, their last album recorded together.
9) The Brady Brunch
and Sesame Street debuted on television.
10) Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (allegedly?) walked
on the moon for the first time during the historic Apollo 11 mission
The Style Maturation of Jay-Z
Jay-Z's disparaging fashion commentary on "Death of Auto-Tune (D.O.A.)," shows you where the hip-hop king's style sensibilities lie. "You boys' jeans too tight / your colors too bright / your voice too light / I might wear black for a year straight / I might bring back Versace shades..." Jay has always had a street swagger that extended to the oversized Tees and saggy jeans of his Rocawear line, but these days the throwback jerseys have been traded for Tom Ford tuxedos and smoking jackets. Check out Hov's evolving style over the years.
With Michaele and Tareq Salahi making unauthorized visits to the White House, party crashing is all the rage in 2009. No worries. Security will be on special lookout for these folks at Jay's big 4-0 bash
LL Cool J