Shrewd moves that led to big pimpin’
To say JAY-Z (née Shawn Corey Carter) has accomplished a lot since his birth on December 4, 1969, would be an understatement. His ascension from the notorious Marcy Projects in Brooklyn to hip-hop superstar is well documented, but it’s not just any top-selling musician who goes on to become a billionaire. In fact, JAY-Z is the first hip-hop star to achieve that distinction. On JAY-Z’s 50th birthday, we look at some of the wise business moves and investments that made Mr. Carter a billionaire.
When looking at JAY-Z’s wealth it makes sense to start with what set him on his path to immense success— music. In the early 2000s, JAY-Z struck a deal with Def Jam to secure ownership of the master tapes of his recordings, and also regained the publishing rights from EMI. The music alone is worth around $75 million.
Four years ago, JAY-Z entered the world of streaming music as the owner of Tidal. After purchasing the company for $60 million, JAY-Z launched a rebranded version that is now worth $100 million.
A partnership with Live Nation that started in 2008, Roc Nation is an all-encompassing entertainment company that operates a record label and produces concerts, films, tours, and music. Additionally, the company has a talent management wing that represents such sports superstars as Kevin Durant and CC Sabathia. Valued at $75 million, the company has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, London, and Nashville.
Like many other celebrities, JAY-Z has gotten involved in the spirits industry. Unlike many other celebrities, his ventures have been remarkably successful. He owns the high-end champagne company, Armand de Brignac (commonly known as the Ace of Spades) which he promoted in the video for his 2006 hit “Show Me What You Got” and is valued at $310 million.
The hip-hop mogul also owns D’Usse cognac, which is a joint venture with Bacardi. More affordable than Ace of Spades, the liquor sells around 200,000 cases per year. JAY-Z’s stake is valued at $100 million.
In addition to his natural business acumen, JAY-Z gleaned investment advice from none other than Warren Buffet. His investment portfolio, valued around $220 million, includes a $70 million stake in Uber which he purchased for $2 million in 2013.
In addition to an $88 million California mansion in Bel Air and a $26 million East Hampton estate, JAY-Z and Beyonce also own a $2.6 million home in New Orleans and a $6.5 million penthouse in New York City. While it might not quite add up to his real estate investments, JAY-Z is also a collector of fine art whose collection, valued at $70 million, includes a print by Basquiat which he purchased for $4.5 million.
With such wise business moves and a generous degree of natural talent, it’s safe to assume that Shawn Carter will be celebrating a half-century on Earth in style.