According to Forbes, music-mogul Jay-Z has hit the mark by becoming the world’s first billionaire rapper. He has successfully built brands around music, fashion, property, and investments.
The new Forbes magazine estimated that the rapper’s wealth now amasses a total of $1bn (£800m).
“It’s evident that Jay-Z has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1b. This makes him one of the few entertainers to become a billionaire, and first hip hop artiste to achieve the feat,” the magazine said.
The magazine further stated that the rapper has succeeded because he built brands rather than just endorsing them.
In its rankings, Forbes had earlier declined claims that rapper and producer, Dr. Dre had climbed the billionaire status in 2014. Then, the rapper made a fortune through the sale of his Beat headphone business to Apple for $3bn. But last year Forbes indicated that his personal wealth was at about $770m.
Most notably, Jay Z, born Shawn Carter, was bred in New York City’s most notorious neighborhood.
His journey to stardom started in 1996 when he released his debut album – Reasonable Doubt. Thereafter, he released The Blueprint album which was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. This was because It was termed ‘historically, culturally, or aesthetically significant’.
“To calculate his net worth, we checked the artiste’s stakes in companies such as Armand de Brignac champagne, applying our customary discount to private firms. (He owns 100% of Armand de Brignac and has partial ownership of the other companies.) Then we added up his income, subtracting a healthy amount to account for a superstar lifestyle. We checked our numbers with a roster of outside experts to ensure these estimates were fair and conservative. As it seems, Jay-Z really is a businessman,” Forbes said.
Among the 49-year-old’s assets are:
A $75m music catalog
Stakes in Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Usse cognac, worth $410m in total
A stake in Uber worth about $70m
Property in fashionable parts of New York and Los Angeles
A $100m stake in the music streaming service Tidal
An art collection valued about $50m
His wife, Beyonce, is reportedly worth about $335m, made from endorsements and music. The couple has maintained a joint net worth of over $1bn for several years.
Speaking on the feat, Kasseem ‘Swizz Beatz’ Dean – the producer behind some of Jay-Z’s biggest hits – told Forbes that the rapper’s success is ‘bigger than hip hop’.
Furthermore, he said that, “It’s the template for our culture. A guy that we have same resemblance, sound like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was impossible.”
Jay-Z appears alongside wealthier billionaire, Warren Buffet, on the front cover of the latest Forbes magazine.
Almost a decade ago, it seemed that the business tycoon, Warren, had spotted something special in the rapper. He told Forbes in 2010 “Jay is teaching in a bigger classroom than I will ever teach in. For a young person growing up, he’s a guy to learn from.”