Former Jay-Z associate Jaz-O is reportedly dropping a new biography called Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office exposing the rap mogul’s early days in the drug game.
According to reports, Jaz discusses specific instances including a situation where Jay shot his own brother.
“He was like, ‘I shot my brother,’ ” recalls Johnathan “Jaz-O” Burks in a new biography, “Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office.” “I was like, ‘What the f–k did you shoot him for?’ He’s like, ‘I told him to stop taking my stuff.’ He said it was kind of an accident . . . but the situation got kind of crazy, and he just happened to hit him in the arm.'” He’s done so well, many have forgotten he started as a street hustler from the grim Marcy Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant who sold crack by the kilo, was nearly murdered by a rival and narrowly escaped jail after cops pulled him over when his car was loaded with cocaine. He later plunged a knife into the belly of a man he thought was stealing music profits from him. And yet, he never went to jail. The biography by journalist Zack O’Malley Greenburg, out this month, provides a colorful reminder of the rapper’s dark roots. (New York Post)
In 2009, Jaz recruited a former friend of Jay’s named Gunna to discredit the rap mogul’s image.
“Bubble lip Shawn,” he says in the video. “He went from Buble lip Shawn to Jigga to Jay-Z, d*mn you on Jaz d*ck…He was a worker, he wasn’t the dude…All the stuff you hearing on records, it’s not true…For all y’all that don’t know, homie wasn’t that big time, drug dealer, gangsta motherf*cker that he talk about on them records. Dude was getting smacked up, robbed out in the hood, he was getting robbed. One time, I was locked up, some comrades stripped him up. I got the news and told homie he had to give him his sh*t back…We the truth, just ask the streets.” (Hip Hop Beef)
Around May 2009, Jaz opened up about his issues with Young Hov.
“I got a few joints here and there, taking shots at your boy, [Jay-Z],” Jaz explained in an interview. “But you know, that’s hip-hop. I ain’t taking it no where further than that, I ain’t taking the guns out or none of that sh*t. I try to keep people from calling it a beef, it’s not really a beef. I’m not really paying much attention to dude, first of all. Secondly, it’s not a violent thing. So you know, I gotta make my move, I gotta extend my platform…The sh*t is kinda personal, but I keep it where it’s supposed to be for the industry and the business…I’m not really hearing responses and like I said, I’m not being on the violent sh*t…I can only go in on facts, sh*t that’s real. N*ggas ain’t built a certain way but they make the world think that they are.” (Vlad TV)
In past years, Jaz addressed his “bad guy” image and cited Jay’s negative references in songs as reason enough to battle.
“I pride myself in being real humble but I ain’t takin’ no sh*t from nobody,” Jaz said in an interview. “No matter who it is, where it is. I ain’t takin’ no sh*t from nobody so I had to do what I had to do and I’mma continue doing it. N*ggas wanna talk, they can talk. I’mma walk…If you wanna squash something, we know so many of the same people, my number ain’t no secret…He got an album coming out so I guess he tryin’ to stir up some sh*t.” (Sub Zero DVD)
Check out some past Jaz-O footage below: