Facts/non-opinionated, accumilative definitions:
Jay-Z was a hip-hop artist in the 1990's. Jay-Z was pseudonym for Sean Carter, dirivative of his New York childhood nickname, Jazzy.
Jay-Z, over the period of his career in hip-hop, was very successful, and had a slew of hits, such as "Can I Get A..." "Big Pimpin" and "Hard Knock Life". Jay-Z's debut album "Reasonable Doubt" did not receive much success, but much acclaim for those who found the album. His later work was geered more towards a pop-oriented crowd, however, they became more and more successful. His "Blueprint" album was seen as his masterpiece, but not quite topping "Reasonable Doubt". Jay-Z and mogul Damon Dash started Rocafella records. He announced his retirement in early 2004 and "The Black Album" was his last album.
During Jay's career, he engaged in a feud or "beef" with another popular rap artist named Nas. Both MC's were considered applicable opponents for each other, unlike many beefs, and there would be no clear victor if they were to ever MC battle. Many people decided to take sides on this fight, while many stayed neutral.
This posters opinion:
I like Jay-Z. Though I always like the hip-hop stylings of Public Enemy, Run D.M.C, A Tribe Called Quest, and the Beastie Boys better, I still have an amount of respect for him being a known pop-oriented rapper and still making good albums and keeping a certain amount of street credibility. As for what side I take on the feud, I'm going to go with Jay. Though I do thoroughly enjoy Nas and his "Illmatic", I feel that Jay just made better albums than Nas, which is a factor which is very important to me.
"A good example of hip-hop's influence on pop music in the 1990's would be Jay-Z"