BrandArena: How Jay-Z Became Hip-Hop's First Billionaire

Thursday 6 June 2019

How Jay-Z Became Hip-Hop's First Billionaire

When American rapper, Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter said in one of his songs that “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man”, very little did the world knew about his vision to hit the billionare's club before year 2020.

Well, the Brooklyn-born artist-turned-entrepreneur's business empire is now worth $1 billion, making him "one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire — and the first hip-hop artist to do so."

According to Forbes, Jay-Z’s net worth is now worth $1 billion. This has made him one of the only few entertainers to become one. He is also “the first hip-hop artist to do so.”

How did he accomplish this? The 49-year-old became a household name 23 years ago. In 1996, Jay-Z became a household name when he released his debut album, "Reasonable Doubt," on his independent label, Roc-A-Fella Records. Since then, he has rapped about his unconventional rise from Brooklyn street corners to corporate boardrooms — has continued to expand his portfolio to include smart investments inside and outside of music.

Create value to get value 

Three years after releasing his debut album, Jay launched a clothing line called  ‘Rocawear’. This was later sold for $204 million to apparel company Iconix in 2007. Meanwhile, earlier in the year 2000, the rapper launched Roc Nation which, according to Forbes, is now worth an estimated $75 million.

Five years after launching Roc Nation, Jay submitted a bid to purchase the parent company of Scandinavian streaming service, Tidal for a little less than $60 million. Instead of hopping on Apple Music or Spotify, Jay-Z decided to curate other people's music - and makes money when they are streaming. The service, which he relaunched later that year, is now worth $100 million.

Today, according to Forbes, his stake in Uber is valued at an estimated $70 million. His real estate investments are worth an estimated $50 million just as his coognac, D’Usse, sells almost 200,000 cases annually and is worth $100 million. More so, the rapper’s investment in Armand de Brignac, a champagne company, is worth an estimated $310 million.

Jay-Z invested wisely rather than spend lavishly on exotic cars and other luxury items. He became a check writer instead of a royalty receiver. This is how you bring your worth. 

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