Jay Z : From Drug Dealer To
$500 Million

On December 4th 1969, Shawn Corey Carter aka Jay Z, was born to Gloria Carter in the Marcy housing project of Brooklyn, New York. The conditions were terrible but they served as the motivation for one of the greatest financial successes to come out of American hiphop music. His net worth is estimated at over $500 Million.

Getting By

His father abandoned the family when Jay Z was quite young leaving his mother to care for their four children as a single parent. The neighborhood had a severe crime problem and money was hard to come by so to help make ends meet Jay-Z began selling crack cocaine while still a child.

Photo by Adam Glanzman / CC BY 2.0

His interest in rap music was present even then and he would later credit this interest and talent with taking him away from that lifestyle and keeping him from jail or an early death. He was academically inclined but never finished highschool. For the period that he was in attendance, he crossed paths with other future rappers such as Biggy Smalls and Busta Rhymes.

Making It

He made steps into the rap world from the late eighties to the mid nineties but his big break came with his co-founding of Roc-A-Fella records in 1996 with two friends. His first record did modestly but featured other major acts of the time and was a good forerunner for his next album, 1998’s “Hard Knock Life”.

Taking the unusual choice of sampling the title track’s hook from “Little Orphan Annie” set him apart in his industry. It also helped earn him a Grammy nomination and cemented his place in pop culture.

Expanding Influence

Jay Z retired from the music industry after the release of 2003’s “The Black Album” and turned his sights to business where he became involved in several wildly profitable ventures that helped add to his substantial net worth.

He was instrumental in the development of artistes such as Rihanna and Kanye West during his tenure as Def Jam Record’s president but left in 2007 due to his dissatisfaction with the company’s approach to change.

He also took this time to invest in Rocawear, a fashion extension of the Roc-A-Fella label as well as an accompanying film company. He has also invested heavily in the natural cosmetics line “Carol’s Daughter” and is co-owner of the pricey “40/40 club” sports bar franchise.

He is known for his sharp business sense and is constantly on the look out for new opportunities.

Marriage and Comeback

While officially retired, Jay-Z had participated in several collaborations with other artistes including long time love interest, singer, Beyonce Knowles and in 2006 he finally returned to music as a solo act with the release of “Kingdom Come”. This was followed a year later by “American Gangster”.

In 2008 he married Beyonce Knowles. Their combined superstar status had by then already led them to be named the most powerful celebrity couple of 2006 by Time magazine. His 2010 release “Blueprint 3” contained the hip-hop ballad to the city of New York, “Empire State of Mind” featuring singer, Alicia Keys which shot to number one and became a favorite of many New York based sports teams.

In 2013 he released “Magna Carta, Holy Grail”, a star studded masterpiece that featured acts such as Justin Timberlake and relative newcomer, Frank Ocean to critical acclaim.

Giving Back

Jay-Z was heavily involved in the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and used his influence to convince younger voters to come out to the polls. He has also been active in relief efforts to address water shortages in Africa, a project that was documented by MTV. Following the devastation to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, he donated money to assist the Red Cross in their work there.

Lessons You Can Learn From Jay Z

This classic rags to riches story can teach the following lessons:

  • Spend your time at the bottom learning the skills you need at the top
  • Never lose sight of your goals
  • Never get too comfortable

Press Like If You Learnt Something New : )

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

The material in this site is purely for educational purposes only. In creating this side we have sourced info from many sites and would like to give credit to where it is due.We do not intend to infringe any website's copyrighted material and we use the information for educational purposes and use information that are public in nature and hopefully protected by freedom of information laws. Also, when I created this website years ago, I took many pictures from the internet that may infringe your copyright. I will be slowly taking all these down and if the picture that belongs to you or your company is still there, please drop me an email and I will remove the pictures. If you found that any article in this website infringe your rights please let us know and we will take it down. Thanks.


References:

Forbes (The ultimate site for billionaire rankings)

CelebrityNetWorth (The ultimate site for net worth of celebrities)

TheRichest (Great site for things about money and rich people)

Wikipedia (Greatest site on earth for lots of information)