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Rapper Jay-Z Arrested

Grammy-winning rapper Jay-Z was arrested for illegal gun possession near a Manhattan nightclub early Friday, police said.

The rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, was arrested with three other men shortly after 3 a.m. when a loaded handgun was found in their car, said a police spokeswoman, officer Cheryl Cox.

Undercover officers say they saw a man armed with a gun getting into the 2001 Chevy Suburban outside Club Exit in the Hells Kitchen neighborhood on the West Side. Cox did not know which man was carrying the gun.

Police stopped the car less than a block away and found the gun, and the four passengers were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Cox said.

Along with Carter, 31, police arrested Hamzah Hewitt, 39, Romero Chambers, 43, and Tyran Smith, 28. Friday's arrest was not Carter's first run-in with law. He was indicted last January for allegedly stabbing a record executive during a nightclub brawl.

The rapper's "Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock Life" won the Grammy for best rap album in 1999.

The arrest comes less than a month after a jury acquitted rap mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs and his bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones, of gun possession and bribery charges from a Dec. 27, 1999, shooting inside another Manhattan nightclub. Three people were injured.

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