Shawn Carter

by Michael from Toronto

Everyone in the world needs a hero, someone who they can look up to. Heroes can inspire people, make them feel secure or comfort them. My hero is Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z; he inspires me in multiple ways which is why I chose him as my hero. His life story, confidence, passionate music, and talent all inspire me though.

When people think of the ghetto, we think of a place that does not exist, made up because we never experience it. We are aware that it is presumably dangerous, but we never see it with our own two eyes. In Shawn's eyes, this was everyday life for him, to see a lot of violence and illegal actions. Shawn was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 4th, 1969 in the Marcy House projects. The Marcy House projects were government funded housing for poor people (ghetto area). Unfortunately as well, his father abandoned him when he was very young, and so he grew up without one. His childhood did not look very benevolent either, as he sold drugs in his neighbourhood. His family was so poor; dealing drugs was the primary way of making money for him. Shawn was always talented and interested in music; he once saw a man rapping on the street and thought it was very interesting. Since then, Shawn has acquired a new name called Jay-Z and started to produce music. He currently now is part of one of the richest couples in America with his wife, also known as Beyonce Knowles. He now lives in New York City, his favorite city in the world, with his wife and soon-to-be-born child. However why is Jay-Z a hero?

Since there are no such things as "cartoon" heroes, the ones that can fly or teleport; my definition of a hero is a person who can overcome adversity, and become successful. Shawn Carter was faced with adversity for all his life, and in the end was able to become successful and famous. In the beginning of his life, his father abandoned him, his family was below the poverty line, and he dealt drugs just to make enough money for his family. With determination, Shawn pursued one of the hardest professions on this planet, singing/rapping. He did not have any connections, and he started off alone with his own business. Later as he became more famous, he was signed by other big companies and the snowball effect continued. Modernly, Shawn is donating an abundant amount of money to charity; he also has his own charity called the Shawn Carter Scholarship fund, which donates to the Marcy projects in New York.  Shawn is my hero because he overcame adversity, became successful, and uses his wealth to donate to good causes. This inspires me to believe in the quote, "anything is possible" as I think of Shawn's life timeline. 

Jay-Z has influenced the lives of many people including myself. Music is a very big part of my daily life, as I cannot go through one day without listening to any song. I was born and raised on music as I play the piano, and guitar. Music is a process that cleanses my soul, and whenever I listen, I think about the deeper meaning of life. It may be awkward to think that Rap music can accomplish that, but for me it can. On my iPod, I listen to Jay-Z the most, as it is good music, but also because he has meaningful lyrics behind his songs. For example in the song Young Forever he says, "Fear not when, fear not why, fear not much while were alive, life is for living not living up tight, see ya somewhere in the sky, fear not die, I’ll be alive for a million years, bye bye." I translate that line into, live life by the moment, enjoy every second, and do not worry about the future. Segments like these are very deep in meaning and make me think about the world. This is why Jay-Z is important in my life, as a hero and also as a role model. For example, ever since I was a little child, I was always extremely shy. I could never make public speeches, I never wanted to be the leader, and I always hid in my mother's shadow. Believe it or not, listening to rap music, especially Jay-Z has built my confidence up. Confidence is achieved when you feel good about yourself and your stance or role in the world. Listening to Jay's music does in fact make me feel good about myself, as it is very inspiring. Now I can stand in front of everyone and talk, I try taking the leadership position more often with my friends, and I feel comfortable interacting with other people who I do not know. I recently went to the Watch the Throne concert, and saw Jay-Z in person dancing on stage and tried to copy his moves for a coffee house. Therefore, Jay-Z or Shawn Carter is a heroic figure in my life. 

Works Cited

Page created on 1/12/2012 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/12/2012 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

The MY HERO Gallery - For the Gallery Page dedicated to Jay-Z, also by Michael.

Extra Info

One of the best rappers of all time, thanks to the greatest HOV