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Jay-Z Becomes Hip-Hop's First Billionaire

American hip-hop artist Jay-Z is rap's first billionaire, according to Forbes.

The rapper, who started off his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records, back in the 90s, has transcended the hip hop model and is now an astute businessman who now owns a sports management company and stakes in several others.

Forbes has taken a look at all of Jay's assets and they're now claiming that he's the very first rapper to reach billionaire status.

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"Less than a decade later, it’s clear that Jay-Z has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion, making him one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire—and the first hip-hop artist to do so," Zack O'Malley Greenburg writes.

"Jay-Z's steadily growing kingdom is expansive, encompassing liquor, art, real estate (homes in Los Angeles, the Hamptons, Tribeca) and stakes in companies like Uber."

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is married to world-famous singer Beyonce, who's worth an estimated $400 million herself - that certainly can't hurt.

The rap mogul either owns or has a stake in the following companies:

- a $70 million stake in Uber

- ownership of the streaming service Tidal

- his $70 million art collection

- ownership of the Roc Nation sports management company

- $50 million in assorted real estate holdings and his music catalog.

"To calculate his net worth, we looked at the artist’s stakes in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne, applying our customary discount to private firms," Greenburg explains. "(He owns 100% of Armand de Brignac and has partial ownership of the other companies.) Then 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. Turns out, Jay-Z really is a business, man."

Jay-Z grew up in a Brooklyn housing project and was a drug dealer before pursuing a career in music. He released his first album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996 and has since garnered 14 No.1 albums and 22 Grammys.

Five years ago, California rapper, producer and businessman Dr. Dre declared himself hip-hop's first billionaire after selling Beats Music to Apple. But, despite his net worth reaching 1.1 billion, state and local taxes bumped it down to just below a billion.

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