It’s Jay-Z’s Birthday! 4 Reasons We Celebrate His 43rd Year

Photo: (Getty/MTV Act)

Happy Birthday, Jay-Z! Go and brush your shoulders off! Hova turns 43 today, and to celebrate the rap legend’s big day, we’re talking about all the meaningful things he’s done over this past year. From supporting gay marriage to sending underprivileged kids to school, here are a few ways Jay has taken care of his “Clique” in 2012.

+ He Publicly Supported Gay Marriage

Jay made a bold statement in favor of marriage equality this spring. He made headlines — not only because of what he said, but because the hip hop community has been notoriously homophobic for years. “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love,” he said. “It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple.”

+ He Was Politically Involved

This fall, Jay hosted an exclusive political fundraiser at his 40/40 club in NYC. Tickets were $40,000 each (HOLY $#%!), raising a total of $4 million for Obama’s reelection campaign. Whether or not agree with Jay’s endorsement, it’s always great to see celebs so passionate and outspoken about the direction of their beloved country.

+ He Held a Charity Concert

This February, Jay hosted a concert for his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and the United Way of NYC. The show raised money for gifted high-school students who can’t afford the increasing costs of college tuition.

+ He Became a Role Model to Fathers

Jay and wife Beyoncé welcomed their first child — daughter Blue Ivy Carter — into the world this year. Few things are more admirable than being a loving father, and the rap mogul is just that. “She has to love herself, she has to know who she is, she has to be respectful, and be a moral person,” he said in an interview with The New York Times Style Magazine. “She also has to win her first Grammy before she learns to walk,” he added… No, he didn’t really add that, but with two superstars as parents, I wouldn’t put it past her.

Happy birthday, Shawn Carter! May this next year the best — and most giving — yet.

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