Hov wasn’t always Hip-Hop’s sweetheart

Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life remains, to this day, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter‘s best-selling album, having being certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA. So, back in 1999, a year after Vol. 2 was released and 2 years removed from the death of The Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z was the biggest young star Hip-Hop had to offer. It’s pretty easy to see why his next album, Vol. 2…Life and Times Of S. Carter, was hotly anticipated and coveted.

Lance “Un” Rivera was a Hip-Hop producer known for his work on Cam’ron‘s Confessions Of Fire and Junior Mafia‘s Conspiracy albums, among other works. He, like Jay Z and his entourage, would end up at a release party for Q-Tip‘s solo debut, Amplified. As the story goes, word had gotten back to Jay that Rivera was responsible for the heavy bootlegging of Vol. 3, which wasn’t released until December 28th, 1999–Q-Tip’s party was on December 2nd of that year. Jay Z, livid that his music was being circulated almost a month prior to its release date–which is soon even in today’s leak-happy climate–rushed Rivera’s crew, and a physical altercation ensued. Rivera was rushed to the hospital to get treatment for a serious stab wound, and the next day, Jay Z turned himself in to authorities.

Despite Hov’s worries, Vol. 3…Life and Times Of S. Carter would go on to debut at #1 on Billboard in its first week on the shelves and be certified 3x Platinum.