Jay-Z Celebrates 43rd Birthday: Looking Back At His Big Year

By Maurice Bobb

Birthdays for someone like Jay-Z must be a dizzying affair. Most people can look back on the year they’ve had since their last born day and pinpoint a few significant moments. But as Jay celebrates his 43rd year on earth today (December 4), he’ll need to break from his standard operating procedure and actually write down all of the larger-than-life moments that have transpired over the last 365 days to be able to remember them all.

King H-O entered his 42nd year as hip-hop’s most successful multi-hyphenate, but none of that compared to the day he and his wife Beyonce, People magazine's "Most Beautiful Woman" of 2012, welcomed their daughter Blue Ivy into the world in January. The moment was so transitional for Jay that he even featured “the most beautiful girl in the world” on a song, “Glory.”

If that wasn’t enough, Hov’s joint Watch the Throne tour with Kanye West, which spanned October 2011 to June 2012, became the highest grossing hip-hop concert tour in history. Jay followed that with eight epic sold-out shows to launch the house he helped build, the Barclays Center, which is home to the team he has partial ownership in, the recently relocated Brooklyn Nets. The concert series and the reintegration of professional basketball back to his favorite borough further cemented the Marcy Projects legend as Brooklyn’s favorite son.

Additionally, Jay literally changed the game when he signed on to executive-produce NBA 2K13, one of the most popular play-action games ever.

"I always thought the flavor of the games were lacking," Jay-Z told MTV News candidly as he walked the carpet at the 40/40. "I'm just gonna be honest: I felt that they cheated us on the music."

On the film side, Jay decided to partner with Oscar-winning director Ron Howard to film a new documentary that will highlight his two-day Made in America festival that rocked Philly back in September. The doc will be a sequel of sorts to his widely successful “Fade to Black.”

For an encore, Jay then reminded everyone that he wears tuxes next to the president when he and Bey hosted an exclusive fundraiser for President Barack Obama at the 40/40 club in Manhattan and raised $4million for his reelection campaign. The rapper born Shawn Carter also pinch-hitted for the POTUS in a decisive campaign rally in the battleground state of Ohio when he performed alongside Bruce Springsteen, amending one of his most popular lines from the Black Album’s “99 Problems” during the performance to fit the occasion: "I got 99 problems but a Mitt ain’t one."

No word yet on how Jay will celebrate his birthday, but you can bet that with the year’s he’s had, he’ll be “stuntin’ to the max, like wavy.”

Happy Birthday Jay-Z!