How Jay-Z Became The First Billionaire Rapper!

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Full list of all his investments that make up $1billion dollars. Big Surprise! It wasn’t just Music. The last one will amaze you.

Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z is one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, and the first rapper to become a billionaire.

Beats by Dr Dre

Actually, Dr Dre was the first to strike a multi-billion dollar deal, when he sold Beats to Apple for $3 Billion. However, his personal cut from the deal was around $600Million, bringing his total net worth to $700million, a massive figure for a musician, but still shy from the billionaire class.

Thus Forbes officially recognizes Jay-Z as the first billionaire rapper in the world.

Jay-Z is one of the most successful hip-hop artist and entrepreneurs in the United States. He has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. He has received 13 Grammy Awards and many other additional nominations.

Becoming a billionaire is no mean feat, and there are many lessons you can learn from Jay-Z’s meteoric rise to the billionaire club.

And as an entrepreneur, it will interest you to know that music and music-related businesses accounted for only 25% of Jay-Z’s wealth. The rest are from savvy business investments and entrepreneurship.

Looking at the detailed breakdown of JayZ’s billion, you will quickly realize that Jay-Z is not just an ordinary rapper, but an astute businessman.

From the beginning, he knew that making music is different from making money.

“Hip-hop from the beginning has always been aspirational. It always broke that notion that an artist can’t think about money as well. Just so long as you separate the two and you’re not making music with business in mind. At some point, it has to be real when they touch it, when they listen to it. Something has to resonate with them that’s real.”  Jay Z

One of his smartest business moves, was using music as a vehicle to brand himself and then investing in his own brand.

Check out his holdings below:

  1. Real Estate: $50 Million

Jay Z invested in some quality real estate now worth $50Million and keeps appreciating till date.

  1. Art Collection: $70 Million

For over a decade, Jay Z also silently amassed an impressive $70Million art collection which includes legendary Picasso’s work and the $4 million “Mecca”.

  1. Music Catalogue: $75 Million

Jay Z started building the foundation of his billion-dollar empire in his contract with Def Jams record. Def Jams Records owned by Universal Music Group, is an American record label focused predominantly on hip hop and urban music.

In 2004, Jay Z was appointed as president of Def Jam, prior to heading Def Jam, Jay-Z negotiated the eventual return of his master recordings from Def Jam, a move that helped launch his career. As president of Def Jam, he launched the successful career of Rihanna and  Ne-Yo

In a separate deal with EMI, he clawed back his publishing rights. In each of these deals, he made sure to retain the rights over his music catalogue.

Wise move: his hits now clock close to 1 billion streams annually valuing his catalogue at $75Million.

  1. Roc-Nation $75Million

At the end of 2007, Jay-Z decided not to renew his contract as the President and CEO of Def Jam in order to start his new venture, Roc Nation. Remember that he retained his music publishing rights).

Top talents like Rihanna also left Def Jam to join Roc-nation.

Roc-nation itself is a huge business enterprise that is involved in music, live events, sports, and TV.

Example, Roc Nation Sports is a subsidiary dedicated to sports representation for professional athletes.

Roc Nation represents some of the top stars in the entertainment through its sports agency  as well as its record label and artist-management arms.

5.  Tidal: $100 Million

Tidal is another Jay-Z company that solidifies his reputation as an astute businessman.

Realizing that music streaming is the new top revenue generation stream for musicians, Jay-Z instead of joining other established music streaming services, decided to build his

own streaming service, and thus vertically integrate his music empire from production to delivery.

In 2015, Jay-Z submitted a bid to purchase the Scandinavian streaming service’s parent company for just shy of $60 million. He relaunched Tidal later that year with a roster of celebrity investors including his wife, Beyoncé, and other music luminaries, from Kanye West to Calvin Harris.

6.       D’usse: $100Million

Jay-Z formed a joint venture with beverage giant Bacardi, to produce D’usse cognac which sells almost 200,000 cases and has grown nearly 80% yearly. The cognac resonates with his large fan base, who are attracted to the ultra-premium lifestyle.

A bottle of D’usse sells from $29.99 to as high as $299.99 depending on the brand.

7.       Cash, Stocks, and Investments: $220 Million

A huge chunk of Jay-Z’s wealth comes from a vast portfolio on investments. In 2013, he invested $2 million in UBER, and today, that investment alone is worth $70Million.

After sending the first $2million, JayZ had such a strong conviction on the future value of Uber, that he sent another $5Million. But UBER founder Travis Kalanick promptly rejected the second offer.

8.       Armand de Brignac: $310 Million

The biggest share of JayZ wealth comes from his $300 gold bottled premium “Ace of Spades” champagne launched in 2006. He constantly used verses in his music to promote and build the brand, which is now worth half a billion dollars!

Other successful business ventures owned by Jay z includes the urban clothing brand, Rocawear. He also co-owns the 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar that started in New York. He is also a part owner of the NBA team, The New Jersey Nets.

Nine years ago, JayZ had a launch with the 2nd richest man in the world, Warren Buffet. Buffett, then 80, walked away impressed with the artist 40 years his junior: “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.”

Time has proven that the business guru Warren Buffet was right.

Jay Z is not your average musician, he is a tough as nail entrepreneur.

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