Jay-Z is one lucky man. He’s married to one of the most beautiful women in the industry. He’s cemented his name in the rap world. And of course, he’s extremely wealthy.
But he didn’t amass his reportedly $810 million fortune through luck alone.
Starting His Own Label
The 49-year-old musician turned businessman has always had an insatiable interest in business even at the start of his career.
Way back in his younger days, he made the smart choice of using his paycheck from Payday Records to create his own music label. Along with his friends and associates, Dame Dash and Biggs Burke, Jay-Z launched Roc-A-Fella Records in a small office in downtown New York City.
He then used the record label to launch his first album which enjoyed both critical and commercial success in 1996. Riding on this success, Roc-A-Fella went on to release some of the 90s and 00s best rap albums including six albums from rapper and now fellow mogul Kanye West.
While the label went under in 2013, Jay-Z wasn’t fazed at all. He then continued on his new label, Roc Nation, which he put up together with entrepreneur Jay Brown. His first client was Rihanna herself leading other big names like Shakira, DJ Khaled and Big Sean to sign on as well.
Building An Empire
The rapper wasn’t just content with creating businesses though. It seems that it was a brand he was planning to build.
Aside from venturing into the recording business, he also dabbled into the fashion industry with the launch of Rocawear back in 1999. He proved to be a huge success in this niche as well with the brand garnering annual sales of $700 million at the height of its popularity.
But after a falling out with his business partner, Jay-Z eventually sold Rocawear to the Iconix Brand Group for $204 million nine years after its launch.
He then moved on to the arena of sports management putting up Roc Nation Sports in 2013. The management currently represents popular athletes like the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys and Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams.
Now a very experienced and accomplished businessman, Jay-Z doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
One of his most recent business ventures is the acquisition of Aspiro, a Norwegian tech company back in 2015. It’s now been re-launched into Tidal, an ‘artist-owned’ music streaming service.
Being a musician himself, he got artists the likes of Madonna and Kanye West as co-owners of Tidal. The company recorded having three million subscribers just a year after its launch. But it has recently been facing trouble with the exodus of its executives and Jay-Z’s reported selling of 33% of the company to mobile giant Sprint.
Fortunately, the mogul has a lot of other businesses to fall back on in case his streaming service goes under.