According to Forbes, the hip-hop impresario has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion, making him the first rapper to do so.
The self-made mogul, 49, has been steadily building his empire, which includes liquor, art, real estate, and investments. In 2007, he sold his clothing line Rocawear to Iconix for $204 million and has ownership stakes in D’Ussé cognac and his TIDAL streaming service.
To get to the billion-dollar mark, Forbes calculated JAY-Z’s assets including $310 million from his Armand de Brignac champagne, $220 million for cash and investments in companies like Uber, $100 million from his D’Ussé cognac with Bacardi, $100 million from TIDAL, $75 million from Roc Nation, $75 million from his music catalog, $70 million from his art collection, and $50 million from real estate, including a $26 million East Hampton mansion and a $88 million Bel-Air estate.
“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,” said JAY-Z’s friend and collaborator Swizz Beatz. “If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be. Because he’s only just starting.”
Less than a decade ago, JAY-Z graced the cover of the Forbes 400 “Richest People in America” issue alongside Warren Buffett. Buffett was then No. 2 on Forbes‘ billionaire list, while a then 40-year-old JAY-Z was on his way. But now Hov has joined the elite club.
“I hope to inspire,” he said during the 2010 interview. “I guess Obama took this thing already but just the hope of how far we can make it and the hope in knowing how far you can go from where you started if you really apply yourself and stay true to who you are.”