Jay-Z is famous for saying that he’s not a businessman, but he’s a “business, man”.
The rapper has managed to prove that’s the case by becoming one of few people to be a billionaire – and the first person in hip hop to achieve the feat. Jay-Z is building quite the kingdom for himself that continues to expand. As well as being a rapper, Jay-Z has invested in art, liquor, real estate, and even in companies like Uber. He’s not just made money, but he’s been smart with the money he has. Where Jay-Z found himself is even more impressive when you consider the journey that has led him to this point.
Born and raised in the notorious Marcy housing projects of Brooklyn, then Shawn Carter was a drug dealer before becoming the musician we know him as today, starting his own record label Roc-A-Fella Records to make his 1996 debut – Reasonable Doubt. Rechristened as Jay-Z, he went on to release 14 No. 1 albums, win 22 Grammy awards, and amass over $500 million in pretax earnings in under a decade. One of the most important things Jay-Z did was focus on building up his own brands instead of promoting someone else’s. His clothing brand, Rocawear, was started up in 1999 and then sold in 2007 for $204 million. He also pioneered a cognac with Bacardi, called D’Ussé, and launched his own music streaming service Tidal.
So how does all that money break down? Well not only does he have a massive $220 million in cash and investments, but he also has a $410 million stake in the aforementioned D’Usse, as well as his Armand de Brignac liquor. Throw in the $100 million from his ownership of Tidal, the $75 million from his company Roc Nation, and his other investments, and it’s easy to see how he became the first hip-hop billionaire – and how it’s so impressive he was able to do it by 50. Some people may believe that Dr. Dre became the first hip-hop billionare when he sold his Beats by Dre to Apple for $3 billion, but Forbes reports that his actual net worth is a little under a billion, sitting at $850 million. He came close, but Jay-Z pipped him at the post. Jay-Z;
Billionaire and Community Leader One of the most impressive things about Jay-Z being a billionaire is that he managed to do it while giving back to the community.