Shawn Jay-Z Carter is considered one of the greatest entrepreneurs and artists of all time. His ability to transcend the music industry and become one of the most iconic figures of our generation is no coincidence.
Whether it’s through a New York Times best selling book, a Grammy award winning song or a multi-million dollar clothing line, Jay-Z has left an indelible impact on our culture. And he doesn’t take this as just any old hobby either.
“My brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM, where there’s no emotional attachment.” This is a man who obviously knows what he’s doing. Remember, he’s not a businessman, he’s a business man! These are the 15 Reasons Why Jay-Z Is The Quintessential Businessman
15. He created Roc-A-Fella Records in 1996.
The first big move Shawn Carter made on the scene was when he linked up with Damon Dash and Kareem Burke to start Roc-A-Fella Records. During the same time Hov released his first album, Reasonable Doubt. This was the first of many steps sky rocketing him straight to the top.
14. He started Rocawear with Damon Dash in 1999.
In 1999, Jay teamed up with Dame to created the urban streetwear brand Rocawear. It has since expanded into everything from jewelry to woman's handbags. Jay bought out Dash's 25 percent stake in the company for $30 million in 2005 after the two had a falling out and sold total control to Iconix Brand Group for $204 million in 2007. Not a bad return on his investment.
13. He signed Kanye West to Roc-A-Fella in 2002.
As shocking as it may sound, this almost never materialized! While Jay was feeling Yeezy's beats, he hesitated at first upon hearing his lyrics. In fact he wanted him to just stay behind the scenes as a producer. Jay eventually gave in and decided to feature him as an artist on Roc-A-Fella. Fast forward to today and I think it's fair to say that he made the right move.
12. He started opening his 40/40 Clubs in 2003.
Jay-Z was the first, and only, rapper to launch his own set of nightclubs throughout the country. The first location in NYC led to more openings in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The most recent club opened right up at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn. Hov also plans to open more clubs in Chicago, Tokyo and Macau.
11. He got paid $50 million from Ace of Spades.
In 2006, Jay-Z made it clear that he no longer f*cked with Cristal after they made some pretty racist comments about rappers drinking the luxury champagne. He boycotted them and was forced to find himself a new bottle to sip on. The drink of choice? Ace of Spades. Jay reps them hard and it has even been reported that he made up to $50 million just dropping their name. That's easy money.
10. He a bought a stake in the Nets in 2004.
Well everyone knows he has a minimal stake in the team, he is still the face of the organization and even moved them to beautiful Brooklyn in a ridiculous new arena. He reportedly paid about $4.5 million for ownership rights and gets a dope courtside seat with his wifey in exchange. He is also heavily involved in recruiting players from other cities as he is friends with most of the star players, most notably LeBron. Don't be surprised if you see the King in Brooklyn come 2014.
9. He married Beyonce in 2008.
As we all know, Jay-Z and Beyoncé have been married for a few years now. They even had their first child just last year, but while they are surely in love, this was definitely a calculated business move for both of them. They have a reported combined net worth of $775 million.
8. He bought himself out of his Def Jam contract.
Jay became a completely independent artist after buying out his own Def Jam contract despite being a part of the company for his whole career. The fee was a reported $5 million, which was cool since he dropped The Blueprint 3 right after. He got out of a horrible 360 deal and took possession of all his own music.
7. He signed the deal with Live Nation in 2008.
In probably his most lucrative deal to date, Hov agreed to a deal with the concert-promotion company Live Nation in 2008 for about $150 million over the course of five years. The deal also provided money for all his business ventures, which led to his next big move.
6. He opened his own entertainment company, Roc Nation.
Once Jay linked up with Live Nation, together they established his record label Roc Nation. Here Jay-Z has a talented roster of some of the best artists in the game from J. Cole to Rihanna. While the company is still young, look for them to bolster their team with some of the greatest upcoming acts.
5. He crossed into movies and executive produced two soundtracks.
In 2007, Jay-Z released American Gangster which also coincided with blockbuster hit featuring Denzel Washington "American Gangster." He help produce the soundtrack for the movie, in addition to his album, and even had the film running while he recorded the tracks. You can look forward to more of his work in the upcoming film "The Great Gatsby," featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.
4. He became brand director for Budweiser Select.
In 2011, Jay began serving as co-brand director for Budweiser Select. He collaborates with the company on strategic marketing programs and creative ad development. He provides direction on brand programs and ads that appear on TV, radio, print and high-profile events.
3. He invested in a monster real estate development in NYC.
He has also invested in a real estate development venture called J Hotels which recently acquired a $66 million mid-block parcel in Chelsea, New York. Jay-Z and his partners are contemplating constructing a high-end hotel or an art gallery building on the newly acquired site, which has the potential to go up about twelve stories. That's a far cry from Marcy Projects in Bed Stuy.
2. He executive produced the soundtrack for NBA 2K13.
In 2012, Jay took part in one of the most popular and greatest games of all time — NBA 2K13. Not only did he bless them with some of his waviest tracks, but he put together the entire soundtrack that has songs ranging from old school rap to new alternative. He even got his own avatar who sits courtside at all Brooklyn Nets home games. No Beyoncé next to him though.
1. He started his new sports agency, CAA, in 2013.
On April 2, 2013, ESPN reported that Jay-Z will be launching his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sports. The sport management group will work as partner with Creative Artists Agency. In conjunction with the agency's launch, New York Yankees' second basement Robinson Cano has left agent Scott Boras to sign with the company. Sources have made mention that Jay-Z himself is planning to be a certified sports agent, first in baseball and eventually in basketball and football. He has already scooped up Victor Cruz from the New York Giants. But in order to represent clients in basketball, he would have to give up his small share of the Brooklyn Nets.
Bonus: Jay-Z inks exclusive global deal with Universal Music.
Jay-Z and his Roc Nation label have reportedly inked a deal with Universal Music, granting them the rights to Hov’s forthcoming projects as well as any releases from the artists on the label’s roster. While specifics have yet to be disclosed, we assume this was a very lucrative move for the business-savy Brooklyn-bred emcee. While Jay may have taken a bit of a hiatus from music, it’s clear he’s been making some serious power moves on the business end.
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