Jay-Z Is Hip Hop’s First Official Billionaire

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When it comes to hip hop royalty, it doesn’t get much more royal than Jay-Z. He’s not just a rapper – he’s a full-on, legitimate mogul. See, there’s plenty of money to be made in music if you have the talent and hit at just the right time. But for staying power, you’ve got to build an empire. It’s about so much more than music! The most powerful and successful people in the industry are way more than “just” musicians. They’re businessmen and women who have expanded their reach into other arenas, and kicked ass there too. But even among that upper echelon of talent, Jay-Z rules supreme. So supreme, in fact, that Forbes has named him the first official hip-hop billionaire. He may have 99 problems, but a hefty bank account is definitely not one of them.

Jay-Z didn’t hit the billion dollar mark without a lot of work, though. He’s got his hands in EVERYTHING.

Forbes puts Jay-Z’s net worth at a billion dollars. AND THAT’S JUST HIM. We haven’t factored in the Beyonce half of this music empire. The couple has been worth more than a billion combined for some time now. While Jay may have gotten his start as a rapper, he’s played it smart with his fortune, and invested into several different areas. That means that even if he stops all music today, he’s still going to be one successful man. Forbes broke down the value of his portfolio, to give us an idea of how he made it into such an exclusive club.

The value of his stakes in some of these companies is staggering. For example, his investment in Armand de Brignac champagne is valued at $310 million. Then there’s $100 mil for D’Usse cognac, $100 mil for Tidal, $75 mil for Roc Nation, $75 mil for his music catalog, $70 mil in art, and another $50 mil in real estate. He has approximately $220 million in cash and investments, including a $70 million stake in Uber. Jay-Z is not messing around.

Another rapper may contest Jay’s newly minted status.

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Back in 2014, Dr. Dre signed a deal with Apple that was valued at $3.2 billion. So Dre says that makes him the first hip hop billionaire. But Forbes says not so fast! They crunched the numbers, and they say that Dre’s net worth was only $800 million after the deal. “Only”, lol. So as of now, Jay-Z sits alone atop his hip hop billionaire hill. But we imagine he’ll be joined at the top with other, equally talented (and smart) rappers and hip hop musicians soon enough.