From the projects to the billionaires club: Jay-Z is the first billionaire rapper

04 June 2019 - 10:51 By Unathi Nkanjeni
It's official, Hova is rap's first billionaire.
It's official, Hova is rap's first billionaire.
Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

"Ain't no such thing as an ugly billionaire, I'm cute." That's what Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, rapped in 2017.

Little did we know that rapper and businessman was speaking things into existence.

On Monday Forbes magazine broke the news that the rapper's fortune "conservatively totals $1bn, making him one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire – and the first hip-hop artist to do so."

The report attributes Jay-Z's first billion to him being a fashion trendsetter, a streaming music mogul, a sports management company owner and being married to Beyoncé Knowles.

This is in reference to the couple's numerous collaborations. 

Forbes gave a brief breakdown of some of the various businesses that Jay-Z either owns or has a stake in:

  • A $70m stake in Uber
  • A $310m stake in Armand de Brignac
  • $220 millionm in "cash and investments"
  • $100m in his cognac D'Ussé
  • His ownership of the streaming service Tidal which totals to $100m
  • His $70m art collection
  • His ownership of the Roc Nation sports management company, which is $75m
  • $50m in assorted real estate holdings
  • $75m in his music catalog

With this kind of guap, its also clear that when Beyoncé rapped on Everything Is Love, “My great-great-grandchildren already rich. That’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list,” she was connecting the dots of the couple's legacy.


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