Shawn Carter popularly known as Jay-z is the latest entrant to the Forbes 400 list of American billionaires and the first Hip-Hop personality to attain this feat. This journey to becoming a billionaire started right from when he ditched selling drugs on the streets of Brooklyn to co-founding Rocafella Records in 1996 named after the late American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller whose wealth made him a category king during his era in the late 19th-early 20th century as he controlled the oil industry to focus on a career as a rap artiste as he was inspired by the success of his friend’s the late Notorious B.I.G, Big Daddy Kane who had become cult heroes in the rap industry and his mentor Jaz-O after who he was named.
He released his classic debut Reasonable Doubt which was about his experience on the streets and his dreams about being wealthy. In 2000, he and his former manager Damon Dash established the Roca Wear clothing line which made revenues of $100million in 2001 and $300million in 2002. In 2005 he was worth $286million and sold the rights of Rocawear to Iconix Brand Group for $204million while retaining his stake and still oversees it’s marketing, licensing and product development.
After his contract with Def Jam records expired and his tenure as it’s CEO, Jay-z made another strategic move by establishing Roc Nation in partnership with Live Nation worth $200million which will focus on signing music artistes, artiste management and music publishing etc, a break away from the norm which had most artiste’s establishing boutique record labels that split their earnings with the parent record labels.
His investments which made him a billionaire include:
.Real Estate: $50million
. Collection of Art Objects: $70million
. Discography: $75million. His classic albums Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint which was inducted into the U.S Library of Congress National Recording Registry as culturally, historically and aesthetically significant as well as other albums have sold over 100million copies worldwide with 22 Grammy Awards which is the most by a rapper and holds the record for the most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 with 13.
.Roc Nation: $75million
.Tidal Music Streaming Service: $100million
.D’Usse Cognac Joint Venture with Bacardi: $100million
.Cash and shares in companies including Uber: $220million
And his crown jewel Armand De Brignac Golden Champagne aka ‘’Ace Of Spade’’ which adds $310million to his networth.
Like his classic single ‘’Dead Presidents’’ where he boasted that money should represent him, Jay-z’s feat is worthy of emulation by artistes all over the world on how to leverage their personalities to build billion dollar brands.
We believe other black artistes especially in Nigeria, could borrow leaf from Jay-z’s feats.