With the arrival of 'Magna Carta Holy Grail,' we look at a varied path to stardom
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Founds Roc-A-Fella Records
Unable to procure distribution for his 1996 debut album "Reasonable Doubt," Hova and partners Damon Dash and Kareem Burke founded independent label Roc-A-Fella Records (through Universal subsidiary Priority Records) to release the set, which went on to critical acclaim and (eventually) platinum sales. The label's reputation continued to grow with Jay-Z's increasing sales figures (not to mention his rising stardom), and it later went on to release albums by artists including Cam'ron, The Diplomats and, last but definitely not least, future superstar Kanye West. Though Jay-Z, Dash and Burke subsequently sold their interest in the label to Def Jam Recordings, Carter continued to play an active role as president of the latter company, including with the release of he and West's 2011 collaborative album "Watch the Throne" and, coming up, his eagerly-awaited forthcoming set "Magna Carta Holy Grail."