It’s official – Forbes has declared Jay-Z hip-hop’s first billionaire.
Hov has reportedly accumulated a fortune that totals $1 billion, making him the first musician in hip-hop to do so. He is also one of only a few entertainers to achieve that feat. According to Forbes, Jay’s empire was built through various deals in liquor (Armand de Brignac and D’Ussé), cash investments, art collections, real estate, streaming services, his record label, and music catalog.
Jay-Z’s cash and investments come to a total of $220 million; his stake in liquor brands D’Ussé and Armand de Brignac totals $410 million; his music streaming platform, Tidal, tallies at $100 million; Roc Nation follows with $75 million; his music catalog rakes in $75 million; his art collection, $70 million; finally, his real estate investments totals $50 million.
Some may assume that Dr. Dre already achieved billionaire status a couple of years ago, but that isn’t entirely true. According to Forbes, Dre sold his brand, Beats by Dr. Dre to Apple for $3 billion. While his company is worth billions, Dre’s personal net worth is $850 million.
Jay’s story is especially astonishing considering his journey to the top. Coming out of Brooklyn’s Marcy housing projects, Jay hustled as a drug dealer. He later traded in the life for music, cofounding Roc-A-Fella Records and releasing 14 No. 1 albums.
Swizz Beatz, the superproducer behind some of Jay-Z’s biggest hits, says that people can look to Jay as the model of success. “It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture. A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us,” he said.
Forbes senior editor and Jay-Z biographer Zack O’Malley Greenburg agrees with Swizz, telling VIBE: “Jay-Z’s journey is the modern-day embodiment of the American dream. His ascent offers an invaluable blueprint and inspiration to the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Read more from Forbes’ full story here.