Jay Z is now a billionaire: Here’s how he made it to billions

Jay Z has just been officially named first rapper to be a billionaire, according to Forbes.   Joining the likes of  Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg,  Mark Zuckerberg, and Kylie Jenner.

While being a billionaire is an impressive accomplishment, Jay Z is also a member of an even smaller group of black billionaires, an even more elite group of American black billionaires, and is the first hip-hop artist to join those impressive ranks.

Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, grew up in Brooklyn’s Marcy housing projects. He famously worked as a drug dealer (can’t knock the hustle) before becoming a musician. He then part founded a label, Roc-A-Fella Records with Damon Dash & Kareem Burke.  They released his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt.

Carter’s substantial assets includes the following:

  • $75 million music catalogue
  • $70 million art collection
  • $50 million in real estate
  • Stakes in companies like Uber
  • Ownership of the Roc Nation management company
  • D’Ussé cognac he co-owns with Bacardi
  • Ace of Spades champagne he shares with Armand de Brignac
  • Tidal

Jay Z also has 14 No. 1 albums, 22 Grammy awards, and made an estimated over $500 million in pretax earnings in a decade. With all that, he still found time to tour the world with his wife, Beyoncé (worth an estimated $355 million herself).

The title of hip-hop’s first billionaire may be controversial, though, as back in 2014, Dr. Dre claimed he was hip-hop’s first billionaire after selling his stake in Beats Music to Apple. However, as CNN notes, taxes on the blockbuster deal pushed Dre’s net worth below the billion-dollar mark.