The rap superstar pulled a gun on his drug-addicted older sibling Eric after he discovered he had stolen his ring.
The hip-hop mogul - real name Shawn Carter - decided to get himself a firearm and take revenge.
He told The Guardian Weekend magazine: "I went to someone`s crib, someone`s house, and got a gun. Guns were everywhere. You didn`t have to go far to get one. Just everywhere...
But after the shooting he admits he was fearful about would happen next, he added: "I thought my life was over. I thought I`d go to jail forever. It was terrible. I was a boy, a child. I was terrified."
However, Jay-Z`s fears never came to anything, because Eric decided not to press charges and instead apologised to his brother for stealing and for being a crack addict.
The `Empire State of Mind` rapper - who is married to Beyonce Knowles - grew up in the tough Marcy Houses projects in Brooklyn, in New York City.
This year he was named the highest-earning man in hip-hop by Forbes after raking in $63 million in the last 12 months, thanks to his `Blueprint 3` world tour and other ventures including his record label, fashion line, and stakes in the New York Nets basketball team, Broadway music `Fela!` and a chain of sports bars.