How much is Jay-Z worth?
|Net Worth:||$1 Billion|
|Date of Birth:||December 4, 1969|
|Country:||United States of America|
Ruling the world of hip-hop ever since he burst on the scene in the mid-’90s with Reasonable Doubt. Shocking everyone with what he did next, transforming his image and becoming one of the richest men in America.
Who Is Jay-Z
Rapper, entrepreneur, fashion designer, businessman, basketball team owner—there isn’t much you can’t add to Jay-Z’s résumé. Now one of the most successful artists in America both for his chart-topping music and his financial acumen, Shawn Corey Carter came from humble beginnings to rise to the level he’s achieved today.
Dozens of hit singles and prolific albums that not only impacted hip-hop but had a significant cultural impact as well. The rapper is well known for discovering and collaborating with his protégé, Kanye West, and for his well documented relationship with superstar Beyonce Knowles. A lot of his wealth comes from his many platinum records, but even more from making clever investments that have gone on to become massively lucrative.
We calculate that rapper-extraordinaire Jay-Z has a net worth of $1 billion dollars, as of 2021.
Jay-Z was born on December 4, 1969 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up the youngest of four to a single mother in the Marcy Projects. He admits early on he started dealing drugs as a teen just to get by. Fortunately for him, he was in good company because future rap-stars The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes were his classmates at the vocational high school he attended, but never graduated from.
His only escape from the dark road he was going down was his interest in music, something that was sparked when his mom bought him a boom box as a kid. In the late 80s, he met underground rapper Jaz-O, who took him under his wing and featured him on his singles ‘Hawaiian Sophie’ and ‘The Originators.’ After gaining some attention with Jaz-O and winning some freestyle battles on his own, rapping under the stage name Jay-Z, a derivative of his nickname Jazzy, he finally decided to leave his drug dealing life behind in 1992.
Molding His Own Success
Without a record label to back him, Jay-Z took matters into his own hands and banded with his then-friend Damon Dash and Kareem Burke. Together they founded the record label Roc-A-Fella Records in 1996. That year, he released his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, featuring Mary J. Blige and his former classmate The Notorious B.I.G. The record didn’t become a commercial success, but it established his credibility and gave his career the jolt it needed.
His next two albums secured his place in rap both commercially and critically when his 1997 album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 went platinum and his third album Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life produced his biggest single ‘Hard Knock Life’ and his first Grammy nod. They were just the beginning of a string of hit albums he would release over the next few years, but his career had a hiccup when he was accused of stabbing a record producer in a New York City club in 1999. Jay-Z denied the incident, but eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and walked away with three years probation.
Over the next few years, he released more hit albums including The Blueprint in 2001, which went on to become one of his most successful, he engaged in a public feud with fellow rappers Nas and Prodigy, he started his own clothing label Rocawear and opened the 40/40 Club, named after the elite group of baseball players who have hit 40 home runs and stolen 40 bases in a single season.
In 2003, he released his eighth album, The Black Album, and shocked the public when he announced that it would be his last because he was retiring from hip-hop. The following year, he was appointed the president of Def Jam where he discovered acts like Rihanna and Ne-Yo. But, predictably, and at the relief of his legions of fans, he ended his hiatus in 2006 when he released Kingdom Come.
Jay-Z And Ms. B
Despite some controversy throughout his career and a handful of run-ins with the law, his love life has been pretty stable. He started a secret relationship with Destiny’s Child singer Beyoncé Knowles in 1999 when she was just 18. The couple finally went public when they collaborated in 2002 for ‘’03 Bonnie and Clyde.’ The notoriously private couple secretly wed in New York in April 2008.
Jay-Z left his behind-the-scenes post at Def Jam in 2007, and his rapping career cam back with a vengeance—not that he needed it. He’s regularly listed amongst the most powerful celebrities in Forbes magazine thanks to his nightclub chain, his part ownership of the Nets, his clothing line and his sold-out tours. And it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon. He’s already worth over a billion and showing no signs of slowing down.
How Exactly Did Jay-Z Get So Rich?
Though there are other rappers who have become billionaires since, Jay-Z was the first ever hip hop figure to be worth ten figures. Of all of Jay-Z’s albums, 14 of them went straight to number one on the Billboard 200 chart, which is more than any other solo artist in history. The second follow up to the rapper’s iconic The Blueprint, The Blueprint 3, was his 11th number one, which is when he broke the record for most number one records by a solo artist. A record that previously belonged to none other than Elvis Presley. A host of super producers such as No I.D., The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Kanye greatly helped the record’s success.
The rapper’s latest solo album, 4:44, even broke records before it was released. The mobile phone company Sprint had purchased a million copies to give away free to its customers, making the record instantly top the Billboard 200 chart and go platinum instantly.
Besides making hundreds of millions of dollars of record sales, Jay-Z is a business man and his made some risky investments that have massively paid off. Jay-Z invested $2 million of his wealth into Uber, and that amount is now worth over $70 million today. Other business ventures include serving as the co-brand director for Budweiser Select, owning the 40/40 Club sports bars, which now have locations in over 20 airports, being co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team. He also owns shares in several high end real estate companies, as well as interests in casinos and racetracks.
Why Is He So Famous?
The rapper’s debut record, Reasonable Doubt, was released in 1996 and it received immediate acclaim and commercial success. After that he put out more singles and his profile sky-rocketed when he released the smash hit “Hard Knock life (Ghetto Anthem)”. The track sampled the Annie soundtrack and turned it into a hip-hop soul beat. Since then, Jay has gone on to sell 50 million records and 75 million singles using the help of hugely unique producers that have become Grammy Award winners, such as Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, and Kanye.
The Blueprint is arguably the musician’s most acclaimed album of a career full of universally acclaimed releases. Though the album was reportedly written in two days, it still went on to sell millions of copies and became 2x platinum in North America, despite being released on the day of the 9/11 attacks. This was the first of Jay-Z’s albums in which Kanye West had a major role in producing the record, producing four of the album’s 11 tracks. The record was also carried almost entirely by Jay-Z as the only guest spot to be featured was from Eminem, which is something of a rarity in hip hop albums.
Being well-known for his contagious laugh, in 2008 it was the Glastonbury fans that would get the biggest laugh when Jay-Z mocked Noel Gallagher, which made headline news all over the world. Well known for being a predominantly rock centric festival, Glastonbury hired Jay-Z as the headliner of the 2008 line-up. Gallagher, of Oasis fame, went on a rant full of vulgar language about how Jay-Z isn’t qualified for that kind of gig. In what could only be seen as a giant win for Jay-Z, the rapper hilariously opened his headlining act with a cover of Oasis’ most famous song, “Wonderwall.”
What Makes Him So Successful?
It isn’t just luck that Jay-Z has gone on to win more than 20 Grammy Awards. He has had great working relationships with several high end producers who will always work with him. In the early 2000s, Jay-Z discovered Kanye. Kanye wasn’t a rapper at the time, but more of a producer. The two had a great working relationship and West produced a lot of Jay’s most popular hits in the 2000s. This culminated in 2011 with the collaboration album between the two industry behemoths, Watch The Throne, which is one of the most expensively produced records of the 21st century.
Jay-Z is a businessman almost as much as he is a musician. He is an opportunist in the best way and knows a great idea when he sees it. His business mindset began very early on in his career when he was just 26 years old as he founded Roc-A-Fella records in 1995. In the mid 2010s, Jay-Z founded Tidal, a music streaming subscription service. Jay-Z had the great idea to capitalize on exclusivity. At the time, no streaming service was offering albums by famed musicians that were exclusive to the service, which is something that Tidal was doing in spades. Once it was proved successful, other streaming services were quick to to copy the business model, but no other service could offer musicians with the same pedigree as Tidal, which had exclusive rights to Kanye’s The Life of Pablo, Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Jay-Z’s 4:44, and more.
Jay-Z has a total net worth of one billion dollars. Together with his wife Beyonce, they have a combined net worth of $1.4 billion. He is the most successful rapper to venture in to investing in businesses and becoming a fully fledged entrepreneur. But Like Jay rapped in “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” he ain’t a businessman, he’s a business, man.