Jay-Z has made history. The musician has been named as the world’s first billionaire rapper. According to Forbes, Jay-Z has a $1 billion empire thanks to his several ventures as an entrepreneur, artist, art collector, and real estate mogul.
The 49-year-old musician was raised by a single mother and had a tough childhood. However, Jay-Z always knew what his next steps would be. He started rapping very early and still had a great talent for business. This combination would lead him to build his empire that goes much beyond music. And he is just starting.
Here are some reasons Jay-Z is so successful.
10 He bet on himself
Jay-Z had a hard time to get a contract with a major record label. He did not put himself down and together with two partners, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke, he founded his own company: Roc-A-Fella Records.
He released his own album and two years later, in 1998, he got the attention of big executives. They sold 50 percent of the company for $1.5 million and seven years later they sold the other half for $10 million. Jay-Z remained as CEO between 2005 and 2008.
It shows that believing in your talent and betting on yourself can change your own career.
9 He likes to take risks
Jay-Z is not only a talented musician but a great dealmaker. That means that he doesn't always choose what looks easier.
In 2003, he was offered a contract with Nike, a leading brand. However, he decided to sign with Reebok. Those sneakers used to cost $150 and more than 10,000 pairs were sold in a few hours.
When he released his book Decoded in 2010, he invests one million dollars on a market campaign on Bing, while most people would go for Google.
He doesn't make ordinary choices and most of the times he is very successful.
8 He is very rational
Jay-Z is very rational and thinks a lot where to invest his millions. "It's the discipline not to get caught up in the moment," Carter told Forbes in a 2010 joint interview with Buffett.
According to the musician, there is always a hot thing for the moment and he tries to think ahead.
"People tend to make emotional decisions based on that," Carter said.
Jay-Z never goes always analyzes every aspect of a business and thinks about all the possible scenarios. That makes him one of the most successful investors in show business.
7 He thinks long term
Jay-Z is the type of person who likes long term relationships. And this time we are not talking about his marriage to Beyonce. But about business.
When he released his album Kingdom Come, he decided to promote it with a Budweiser ad on television. And he had many plans for the brand. Jay-Z was named co-brand director of Budweiser Select beer. Even more impressive, he and Budweiser are still doing business together and the company is one of the sponsors of his Made in America festival.
Once again, his ability to think ahead when it comes to business is very useful.
6 He is a brand himself
Back in the '90s, Jay-Z's greatest desire was probably to make a living with his music and he achieved something higher than his dreams. Perhaps if someone told him that one day he would be in the selected billionaire club, he would laugh at this person.
But Jay-Z is more than a musician, he has become a brand and he is aware of it. In 2095 he rapped about it and the lyrics claim that "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man."
And he is 100 percent right about it.
5 He tries to be connected with himself
Although Jay-Z is very rational when it comes to business, he is a sensitive musician and he is always connected with his own feelings, mainly when he is producing an album.
In 2017 he released the album 4:44 and his songs talks about very private matters, like his mother's sexual orientation and his infidelity.
"If I go into a studio and find my truth of the moment, there are several people in the world who can relate to what I'm saying, and are going to buy into what I'm doing. Not because it's the new thing of the moment, but because it's genuine emotion," he told Forbes.
4 He has different investments
Jay-Z likes to put his money in the most different type of business. But they all have something in common: they are a guarantee of an enormous profit.
In 1999 he co-founded Rocawear, a clothing retailer, that was sold in 2007 for $204 million. In 2015 he bought the company behind Tidal for $56 million and today it is worth $600 million.
Jay-Z also has a brand of champagne, a sports management company, a club in Manhattan, a startup for renting private jets, and probably more business that we are not even aware of.
3 He feels related to all those businesses
But he doesn't choose the companies just for money and somehow he feels related to all them. Even if they are in very different fields.
"My brands are an extension of me," Jay-Z told Men's Health in 2010. "The clothes are an extension of me. The music is an extension of me. All my businesses are part of the culture, so I have to stay true to whatever I'm feeling at the time, whatever direction I'm heading in. And hopefully, everyone follows."
It seems to be working very well so far.
2 He found the perfect partner
When two successful people get together, the sky is the limit. Beyonce and Jay-Z have a fortune together of $1.3 billion.
Jay-Z is the hip-hop's first billionaire and Beyoncé made their fortune with music, fashion, studios, movies, and other investments. They are very successful individuals, but together they are the most powerful couple in entertainment.
Their power doesn't come only from money, but they also have powerful connections, like the Obamas.
Having a partner who is just as ambitious as he is, helps Jay-Z to reach their goals.
1 He doesn't let off a good idea
"If I was crossing a street with my friends and a rhyme came to me, I’d break out my binder, spread it on a mailbox or lamppost and write the rhyme before I crossed the street," he noted.
How many good ideas you had and let them go? One of the secrets for Jay-Z success is to believe in his ideas, take notes and work on them. When no one thought he could make it, the musician was investing lots of time and work on his great ideas.