Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    JAY-Z Becomes First Billionaire Rapper

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    Tara Mahadevan

    Chicago-based journalist // @mhdvn

    JAY-Z has amassed a fortune that amounts to $1 billion, but how did he get there?

    According to Forbes, the Brooklyn rapper cinched the title through investments in liquor, art, real estate, and shares in growing companies like Uber. He’s also one of only a few entertainers to become a billionaire, and the first rap artist to do so.

    His ascent from the Marcy Houses in Brooklyn to starting Roc-A-Fella Records and releasing his 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt was no easy feat. He’s had a business-oriented mind from the beginning, launching Rocawear in 1999 (which he sold in 2007 for $204 million), co-owning D’Ussé with Bacardi, and acquiring and relaunching TIDAL.

    Frequent collaborator Swizz Beatz shared how impressed he is with Hov’s business acumen and explained how he’s a role model for others: “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 told Forbes.

    “If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be,” he continued. “Because he’s only just starting.”

    Forbes calculated that Hov has around $220 million in cash and investments, which includes an estimated $70 million stake in Uber that he purchased for $2 million in 2013. He’s invested $100 million in D’Ussé and $310 million in his champagne, Armand de Brignac.

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