Jay-Z comes from humble beginnings. Before he became the multi-million dollar public figure and business mogul, married to one of the hottest chicks in the game he was just Shawn Carter. Shawn was a basic dude who in an interview prior to the release of Reasonable Doubt, was riding hard for Dame Dash (and for Linda and his now adult son Boogie) and Rock -a- fella Records.
Check out this interview with RadioActive from September 1995. During the interview Jay-Z talks about his start in the rap game, Philly cheesesteaks, and breaks into and ill freestyle.