Let’s nip this in the bud before we go any further – Dr. Dre’s company is worth billions, but the rapper himself is worth a paltry $850 million.
Jay-Z, on the other hand, has just become the first hip-hop artist to crack a personal net worth of $1 billion.
That’s according to Forbes, who say his rapidly expanding portfolio now includes “liquor, art, real estate (homes in Los Angeles, the Hamptons, Tribeca) and stakes in companies like Uber”.
No word on whether Trevor Noah was paid to be his personal bodyguard, but I feel like Trevor has enough dough in the bank.
It’s been quite a rise to the top for Jay-Z:
His journey is all the more impressive given its start: Brooklyn’s notorious Marcy housing projects. He was a drug dealer before becoming a musician, starting his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records, to release his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt. Since then he’s amassed 14 No. 1 albums, 22 Grammy awards and over $500 million in pretax earnings in a decade.
Crucially, he realized that he should build his own brands rather than promote someone else’s: the clothing line Rocawear, started in 1999 (sold for $204 million to Iconix in 2007); D’Ussé, a cognac he co-owns with Bacardi; and Tidal, a music-streaming service.
They broke down his wealth bit by bit, and these are the standout numbers:
Armand de Brignac – $310 million
Jay-Z has used his music to shill the $300 gold bottles of the “Ace of Spades” champagne since launching the brand with the 2006 video “Show Me What You Got.” More recently, his verse on Meek Mill’s “What’s Free” put a half-billion-dollar value on the wine, which seems like a bit too bubbly a number.
Cash & investments – $220 million
A vast investing portfolio includes a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million. He reportedly purchased his piece for $2 million back in 2013—and then wired founder Travis Kalanick another $5 million in an attempt to increase his holdings, but was rebuffed.
D’Ussé – $100 million
Jay-Z’s cognac, a joint venture with beverage giant Bacardi, moves almost 200,000 cases and has grown nearly 80% annually. “Jay-Z resonates with consumers who are attracted to the ultra-premium lifestyle,” says Eric Schmidt, Beverage Marketing Corp.’s Director of Alcohol Research.
After that, it’s small change, like another $100 million in Tidal, $75 million in Roc Nation, $75 million in his music catalogue, and a $70 million art collection.
Just the $50 million real estate portfolio, too.
Well played, sir.
For those who are wondering, Beyoncé’s personal net worth is estimated to be $350 million.
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