Can’t Knock The Hustle: Jay-Z Becomes First Billionaire Rapper (And Here’s How He Did It)

What is Jay-Z worth? He's believed to be first billionaire rapper

How much is Jay-Z worth? If you’re a music fan, not even someone who’s big-time into rap, that’s probably a question you’ve asked yourself before. After all, the man known as HOVA has built an empire, moving through the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the music charts, to the CEO desk, and, finally, blending it all together with his equally successful wife, Beyonce Knowles. Jay-Z truly is the epitome of rags to riches, often detailing his journey from selling crack on the streets to where he is now — and he’s more than unapologetic about reminding people.

Now, when someone asks themselves how much Jay-Z is worth, the answer is simple: $1 billion. Yep, that’s billions, with a “b”.

The news comes from Forbes, which recently announced (and detailed) how the rapper and successful businessman had reached the plateau, making him the first rapper to ever accomplish such a feat. So how did he do it? It took more than just rapping, because Jay-Z’s net worth came from a number of smart investments and the launching of new products.

Where Did Jay-Z’s Net Worth Come From?

As mentioned above, Jay-Z’s net worth isn’t just from his music career, meaning that, somewhere along the line, he knew that it would take more than just a 9-to-5 gig to reach the level of wealth he’s currently at. That means he invested in things like liquor, art, real estate and shares in growing intriguing companies like Uber, which have all delivered huge returns.

In addition to the investments that Jay-Z’s made, the rapper moved from the Brooklyn projects through doing what he knows best: music. From starting Roc-A-Fella Records and selling millions of copies of his albums over the years, to launching the Rocawear clothing line — which he sold for $204 million in 2007 — to  acquiring and relaunching the streaming musical service TIDAL, HOVA’s bread and butter has always been his biggest passion.

Similar to that of his good buddy and basketball player LeBron James — who’s also expanded his influence by being a serial entrepreneur — Jay-Z’s net worth grew from the realization that his influence was bigger than just being a rapper. At least that’s what Swizz Beats, a frequent collaborator of Jay’s, had to say in the Forbes feature.

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

At 49 years old, Jay-Z has plenty of years left to grow his wealth and empire even bigger, so Swizz may not be exaggerating when it comes to the idea that he’s “only just starting.” Who knows how much Jay-Z might be worth when all is said and done?

How Is Jay-Z’s Net Worth Broken Down?

With Forbes estimating that Jay-Z’s net worth is now over the $1 billion mark, it begs the question as to how all that money’s broken down, and where he has the most invested. That’s why the publication reached out to outside experts to figure out “fair and conservative” estimates, subtracting a large amount to compensate for his lifestyle, while giving an idea as to which companies he has the most money in.

Using that blueprint, Forbes calculated that Jay-Z has around $220 million in cash and investments — which includes an estimated $70 million stake in Uber that he purchased for just $2 million in 2013. The rapper also invested $100 million in D’Ussé, and another $310 million in Armand de Brignac, his champagne brand.

When it comes to his music enterprises and investments, Jay-Z’s net worth gets a big boost from companies like TIDAL — with an expected return of $100 million from the streaming music service — $75 million in Roc Nation, $75 million in his own music catalogue, $70 million in his art collection, and, lastly, about $50 million in real estate through properties in places such as Tribeca, East Hampton, and Bel Air.

So, while most of us ask how much is Jay-Z worth? Right now, it’s $1 billion. But considering he seems to turn everything he touches into gold, don’t be surprised if that figure continues to rise over time, because, as his buddy Swizz Beatz said, just imagine what he’s about to be as he continues his hustle.

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