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Forbes: Jay-Z is not just rap royalty, he’s a billion-dollar business, man

How rich is Jay-Z? He’s a business, man.

Nine years after Jay-Z sat down with billionaire Warren Buffet over strawberry malts to discuss wealth and the art of giving for the Forbes 400, the iconic rapper has amassed a billion-dollar fortune – becoming the first rapper to achieve this milestone, a new article in the business magazine says. His investments span numerous ventures, from real estate to liquor and from art to business holdings in Uber.

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Buffett saw it coming.

“Jay is teaching in a lot bigger classroom than I’ll ever teach in. For a young person growing up, he’s the guy to learn from,” he told Forbes.

Jay-Z did, too. “Hip-hop from the beginning has always been aspirational,” he said at the time.

Jay truly started from the bottom and now he’s here. Born Shawn Carter, he is a product of Brooklyn’s Marcy housing projects, where he admits he sold drugs before turning to music as a career and starting his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records. Since his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt, Jigga has created 14 No. 1 albums and has earned 22 Grammy awards.

And he hasn’t remained solely in music. He has achieved success in many different ventures. He started his clothing line, Rocawear, in 1999, and sold it in 2007 for for $204 million to Iconix in 2007); D’Ussé, a cognac he co-owns with Bacardi; and Tidal, a music-streaming service.

Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean said Jay’s success and drive is a great model for Black people to emulate.

READ MORE: Jay-Z to Reopen Iconic Webster Hall with Special concert of his rare B-Sides

“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,” Swizz Beatz told Forbes. “If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be, because he’s only just starting.”

To calculate his billion dollar net worth, Forbes considered Jay-Z’s stake in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne, Uber, Tidal, Roc Nation, and his impressive art collection and real estate holdings. Jay also has earned money from earlier power moves where he negotiated the return of his master recordings from Def Jam and scored his publishing rights in a separate deal with EMI.

He’s a hustler, baby.

READ MORE: Jay-Z wins legal fight to bring diversity to an all white panel in trademark case

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