Forbes: Jay-Z is not just rap royalty, he’s a billion-dollar business, man

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett knew one day the rapper would branch out and amass an incredible fortune. But the estimates on his true wealth are conservative

Jay-Z at Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 1, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.


How rich is Jay-Z? He’s a business, man.

Nine years after Jay-Z sat down with billionaire Warren Buffet over strawberry malts to discuss wealth and the art of giving for the Forbes 400, the iconic rapper has amassed a billion dollar fortune – becoming the first rapper to achieve this milestone, a new article in the business magazine says. His investments span numerous ventures, from real estate to liquor and from art to business holdings in Uber.

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Buffett saw it coming.

“Jay is teaching in a lot bigger classroom than I’ll ever teach in. For a young person growing up, he’s the guy to learn from,” he told Forbes.

Jay-Z did, too. “Hip-hop from the beginning has always been aspirational,” he said at the time.

Jay truly started from the bottom and now he’s here. Born Shawn Carter, he is a product of Brooklyn’s Marcy housing projects, where he admits he sold drugs before turning to music as a career and starting his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records. Since his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt, Jigga has created 14 No. 1 albums and has earned 22 Grammy awards.

And he hasn’t remained solely in music. He has achieved success in many different ventures. He started his clothing line, Rocawear, in 1999, and sold it in 2007 for $204 million to Iconix in 2007; D’Ussé, a cognac he co-owns with Bacardi; and Tidal, a music-streaming service.

Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean said Jay’s success and drive is a great model for Black people to emulate.

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“It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture. A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us,” Swizz Beatz told Forbes. “If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be, because he’s only just starting.”

To calculate his billion dollar net worth, Forbes considered Jay-Z’s stake in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne, Uber, Tidal, Roc Nation, and his impressive art collection and real estate holdings. Jay also has earned money from earlier power moves where he negotiated the return of his master recordings from Def Jam and scored his publishing rights in a separate deal with EMI.

He’s a hustler, baby.

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