Jay-Z Says When He Was 12 He Shot His Brother

"I thought I'd go to jail for ever," the music mogul reveals

By Mac Montandon
|  Monday, Nov 22, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 AM PDT
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Jay-Z Reveals Secrets to New Book "Decoded"

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Jay-Z performs as part of the 2010 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on June 12, 2010 in Manchester, Tennessee.

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Jay-Z's street cred just grew even more.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper this weekend, the rap star and entrepreneur said that when he was 12 years old he shot his brother, Eric.

The brothers were living in the notoriously rough Marcy housing project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn at the time. Eric was addicted to crack, Jay-Z says, and had stolen one of Jay's rings to help finance his addiction. So the future multi-millionaire shot him.

"It was terrible," Jay-Z told The Guardian.  "I was a boy, a child. I was terrified."

Ultimately Eric never pressed charges and later apologized for the theft when Jay-Z visited him in the hospital.

"I thought my life was over," Jay-Z said. "I thought I'd go to jail for ever."

He didn't, of course, and instead went on to amass a fortune pegged at $450 million from his musical career as a performer and label founder, as well as savvy investments in everything from fashion to the Broadway hit, "Fela!"

In a manner, the mic master has already discussed the chilling event -- in his 1997 song "You Must Love Me" Jay-Z raps: "Saw the devil in your eyes, high off more than weed, confused, I just closed my young eyes and squeezed. What a sound,  opened my eyes just in time to see ya stumbling to the ground."

 

Selected Reading: The Guardian, PopEater, Yahoo.

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