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

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Ever wonder how much money Jay-Z has? According to news reports, the rapper has officially reached billionaire status. Thanks to his wise investments in art, alcohol, and acreage, Jay-Z has become larger than life. But things weren’t always so easy for Hova. From growing up in the projects to revolutionizing the music scene, find out how Jay-Z became the richest rapper in history.

Empire State Of Mind

For those of you who didn’t know, Jay-Z didn’t exactly come from the wealthiest background. Born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969, Jay-Z was raised in the Marcy housing project in Brooklyn, New York. The aspiring rapper and his three siblings were brought up by their single mom Gloria Carter in a low-income neighborhood. Jay-Z even reportedly told interviewers that he grew up selling drugs and was shot at several times. Luckily for him, the aspiring rapper went to George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, the same high school as the Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. Jay-Z found escape in playing music, and acquired his signature moniker from his childhood nickname, “Jazzy,” and his favorite rapper’s name “Jaz-O.”

Soon enough, Jay-Z dedicated his entire life to music. Surprising, the rapper even distributed his CDs from the back of his car before he was signed. In 1995, Hova, along with Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs, established the music label Roc-A-Fella Records. By the following year, Jay-Z had struck a deal with the music label Priority, and launched his 1996 album Reasonable Doubt. His debut record was declared platinum. In 1997, Jay-Z was scouted by Def Jam and premiered his album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, produced by P. Diddy. The rest is hip-hop history!

Can’t Knock The Hustle

If there’s one thing we know for sure about Jay-Z, it’s that you can’t knock this man’s hustle. After establishing a record-breaking musical career, the entrepreneur set his sights on some serious long-term investments. Aside from his creation of Roc-A-Fella Records, Jay-Z also introduced his clothing brand Rocawear in 1999. In 2007, he was able to flip the brand for $204 million. The businessman is also the co-owner of the Cognac manufacturer D’Ussé and has invested $100 million in the brand. He has also contributed $310 million to his own champagne brand, Armand de Brignac.

Not to mention that Jay-Z has a $100 million stake in the exclusive music service TIDAL. Hov also put $70 million of capital into Uber, $70 million of capital into priceless works of art, and $50 million of capital into real estate properties. It’s no wonder that Jay-Z has been so wealthy over the years, thanks to all of his smart investment strategies.

Brooklyn’s Finest

A true rags-to-riches story, Jay-Z has gone from extreme poverty to extreme affluence. He’s become the richest rapper in the world, thanks to his savvy investments. With a $75 million stake in his entertainment company Roc Nation and a $75 million stake in his music, Jay-Z’s net worth will most likely continue to climb over time. His days of living a “hard knock life” are gone forever.

Although it’s true that he’s officially a billionaire, some of Jay-Z’s closest friends believe that he is only just beginning his ascent into superstardom. When asked about the rapper’s extraordinary accomplishments, hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz dished to Forbes that, “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 continued to tell Forbes that “If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be. Because he’s only just starting.”

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