Jay-Z Is Hip-Hop's First Billionaire
Photo Credit: NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Jay Z performs during Tidal X: 1020 at Barclays Center on October 20, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Jay-Z Is Hip-Hop's First Billionaire

Jay-Z will go down in history as hip-hop’s first billionaire, according to Forbes.

Throughout his career the rapper/entrepreneur hasn’t quiet about his ventures and his entrepreneurial spirit and pride has shined through in his music. After all this is the same person who gave us the iconic boss line from his feature on Kanye West’s Diamonds From Sierra Leone: 

I’m not a businessman, I’m business, man!

Let me handle my business, damn

That line came in 2005. Over a decade later, Jay-Z is living those by those words.

Jay-Z is self made and has built his fortune through music, real estate, champagne, cognac deals, and by elevating his own personal brand. He’s also a mainstay in the tech industry, not just through his streaming platform Tidal, but through investments in companies like Uber and Ethos. In his song, Legacy, he gave us a glimpse of how tech is the next great bastion of wealth for Black people and how he intended to capitalize it.

TIDAL, the champagne, D’USSÉ, I’d like to see
A nice peace-fund ideas from people who look like we
We gon’ start a society within a society
That’s major, just like the Negro League
There was a time America wouldn’t let us ball
Those times are now back, just now called Afro-tech
Generational wealth, that’s the key

-Genius

Jay-Z has been giving us the formula in his music all this time, we’re just now seeing the major results of projects he’s been working on for years.

He joins Robert Smith, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan as some of the few black billionaires in the U.S. 

It was originally thought that Dr. Dre became the first figure in hip-hop to hit the $1 billion threshold after his mega deal with Apple, but as CNN’s Doug Criss points out, he felt just short once taxes kicked in.

There’s no word on what Jay-Z’s latest moves are, but as for now, he’s sitting comfortably as one of hip-hop’s best businessmen and will be an even better model for rappers trying to use their brand to make their pockets bigger.

Check out how Jay-Z’s  wealth is divided here, via Forbes:

Armand de Brignac champagne
$310 million

Cash & investments, including a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million
$220 million

D’Ussé cognac
$100 million

Tidal streaming service
$100 million

Roc Nation
$75 million

Music catalog
$75 million

Art collection
$70 million

Real estate
$50 million