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Jay-Z Named World's First Billionaire Rapper, Here's How He Achieved the Massive Feat

That is a title that could be contested by fellow mogul Dr Dre, who declared himself “the first billionaire in hip-hop” back in 2014.

Associated Press

Updated:June 4, 2019, 11:42 AM IST
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Jay-Z Named World's First Billionaire Rapper, Here's How He Achieved the Massive Feat
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Jay-Z might have 99 problems, but a fortune ain’t one: the rap mogul is now considered a billionaire.

The bona fide title comes by way of Forbes, the financial magazine known for its annual wealth rankings, which conservatively estimates a 10-figure fortune, accounting for his “superstar lifestyle”. Of equal note, the Brooklyn-bred rapper is reported to be the first hip-hop artist to reach billionaire status.

That is a title that could be contested by fellow mogul Dr Dre, who declared himself “the first billionaire in hip-hop” back in 2014 around the time he cut an estimated USD 3.2-billion deal with Apple for Beats Electronics.

However, at the time, Forbes estimated his value climbing to USD 800 million, which is not a figure to sneeze at.

Like Dre, though, Jay-Z’s fortune isn’t attributed to his musical success but is a consequence of the name recognition it afforded him. Forbes reported that his empire-building prowess came from recognising “that he should build his own brands rather than promote someone else’s”.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Sean Carter, got his start in the Brooklyn projects as a drug dealer, giving his rags-to-riches tale an ever-aspirational flavour.

His business savvy could be traced back to the launch of his Roc-A-Fella record label to release his 1996 debut album “Reasonable Doubt”.

Needless to say, several critically acclaimed albums followed (14 of which went No 1), as well as 22 Grammy Awards and notice by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He is also married to singer-turned-business-shark Beyoncé, and together they’ve repeatedly topped the charts, not to mention lists for power couples. Together, they surpassed the billion-dollar mark in 2017.

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