Hard-Knock Past: Celebs Who Went From Rags to Riches

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  • Mariah Carey
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Jay Z
  • Mark Wahlberg
  • New Edition
  • Tyler Perry
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Mary J. Blige
  • 50 Cent
  • T.I.
  • Tina Turner
  • Bill Cosby
  • Bob Marley
  • Tupac
  • Lil Wayne
  • Oprah Winfrey

Jay Z

Before he was a businessman with an empire at his feet, Jay Z was another poor kid from Marcy Housing Projects in Brooklyn raised by a single mother and involved in crime. He has used his hard knock life as material for his rhymes since the beginning of his career.

(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

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