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7 shocking secrets about Jay Z and Kanye West revealed in new Channel 4 documentary Public Enemies: Jay Z v Kanye


In new Channel 4 documentary Public Enemies: Jay Z v Kanye, childhood friends will reveal how a young Shawn Carter earned money selling drugs on street corners from the age of 14.


Meanwhile, model student Kanye enjoyed a relatively sheltered childhood in the suburbs of Chicago.

The one-off, hour-long documentary on Channel 4 reveals shocking secrets about the rappers...

Kanye West and Jay Z's relationship will be laid bare in the new documentary (Image: Getty)

1. Jay Z dealt drugs until the mid-1990s

Most people know that Jay Z has a background selling drugs in Brooklyn.

But you might not know that the rapper only gave up the hustle when his first album Reasonable Doubt became a big success in 1996.

By that time he was 27 years old and claimed he'd earned six figures from being a drug dealer.

Jay Z's friend, Clark Kent, a DJ and Producer said: "I wanted to make it my business to make people hear Jay Z, so I was doing my best to try and convince him to rap more than doing the hustle thing. I couldn't get him to stop hustling but I could figure out how to get him to rap more often and enough to make some demos, rap enough for some people to finally hear it and start believing that he raps that good so he'll say: 'Alright, I'll do a show.'

"The hustle was still around when Reasonable Doubt dropped so it was if this s**t don't work, we're still good. It's just that it worked so he dropped it."

2. Kanye West was a nerd

June 2004: Kanye West looking dapper as ususal backstage at the World Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Kanye West was a nerd before he made it big

Before Kanye West made it big, he wasn't taken seriously by his rap peers.

"I don't know how many people are going to tell you how nerdy Kanye West was, I mean he had adult braces and he was just so jumpy and so excited to be there," Jensen Karp, who was a rapper when Kanye started out said.

3. No one liked 'Jesus Walks' the first time

The first time Jesus Walks was ever played was in a large room with very famous people in it.

But years before the song was released - it didn't go down well.

"It was a large room, very famous people in it and they played Jesus Walks, it was the first time I'd ever heard it, it's years before it comes out and he does his Kanye rapping with it and we're sort of all just like: 'We're all rappers dude you don't have to do that thing'. But it was like a music video," Jensen Karp said.

"So he finishes and gets his CD and walks out and the room just breaks laughing and it was just because it was too much, too earnest and too nerdy and that was Jesus Walks for the first time with no one believing in it."

4. Jay Z gave Kanye his big break

Jay Z signed Kanye West to Roc-A-Fella Records (Image: XPOSURE)

Kanye started out as a producer and got his first break with Jay Z's label Roc-A-Fella Records when he had a beat on Beanie Siegel's album.

Coodie Simmons, filmmaker and friend of Kanye said: "You don't realise that if Jay Z put his snap on you, then you're good."

By 2001, Kanye was one of Roc-A-Fella Records' in-house beat makers and produced four tracks on Jay Z's album The Blueprint.

5. A car crash changed Kanye's life

Feb 2006: Kanye West collects his award for Best International Male at the BRITS.
Kanye miraculously escaped a car crash

In October 2002, Kanye was driving through LA late at night when he fell asleep at the wheel and collided with another vehicle.

He miraculously escaped the car crash and had his jaw wired shut.

But soon afterwards he recorded what would be his first single - Through The Wire that told of his near-death experience.

6. Kanye blamed himself for his mum's death

Kanye West
Kanye West and his mother Donda (Image: Reuters)

Kanye's mother Donda West died following complications from cosmetic surgery she underwent after moving to LA to be close to her son.

"Ms West was our queen but she was out in Hollywood, I'm not saying that he's directly responsible for it but that lifestyle was something that he embraced and he didn't see anything wrong with it," GLC, a rapper and friend of Kanye said.

7. Kim Kardashian changed Kanye's relationship with Jay Z

Jay Z, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in Cannes
Jay Z, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in Cannes (Image: Getty)

The queen of reality TV has brought Kanye a huge amount of public exposure but rumours have circulated that it's come at the expense of his relationship with Jay Z.

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