DC26 – "I'm Not A Businessman, I'm A Business, Man."
It takes a lot of talent, will, and skill to become a great rapper during any time period. Although many have succeeded in hip-hop, such as 2pac, Biggie, Nas, etc., not many can say that they've been able to succeed in everything they do. A prime example of this rare form of success is Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z. He truly seems to have a "Midas touch."
Jay started off like any other rapper, attempting to make it in a man's game. He was trying to get a record deal, working with friends Jaz-O and Big Daddy Kane, and freestyling anywhere he could in attempt to be noticed. This plan didn't work out that well for Jay, so he kept selling CD's out of his car to anybody who would walk by. Jay took his first huge step in his music career in the year 1995, when he got with his friends Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs to create the record label known as Roc-a-Fella Records. Since then, he's proven himself as a talented label exec, as in 2009, he formed his second label, Roc Nation, signing the likes of rappers J. Cole and Jay Electronica along with female vocalist Rita Ora.
Although Hova is highly successful, musically, it doesn't stop there. To expand on this, look at his former ownership of the Brooklyn Nets. He owned a share in the and team and was highly influential in their relocation from new Jersey to his hometown, Brooklyn. It's obvious that he has love for basketball, as he also executive produced the soundtrack for the popular NBA game, NBA2K13.
He later let go of his ownership in order to become a licensed sports agent. After leading the Nets to the playoffs, he gave up his stake and started Roc Nation Sports. This newly formed agency started out by signing Robinson Cano, the second baseman for the New York Yankees. Other signees include Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, and the Tulsa Shock's guard Skylar Diggins.
Since it's obvious that Jay has sports covered, let's flash back to 1999, when he partnered with Dame Dash in order to create the Rocawear clothing company. Currently, Rocawear earns around $700 million every year, selling clothing items and accessories such as shirts, pants, shoes, and even handbags, for men, women, and kids. In 2007, Hova sold the rights for the brand for $204 million. Although he sold the company's rights, he still kept his enormous share in the business.
My brands are an extension of me. They're close to me. It's not like running GM, where there's no emotional attachment.
In 2003 Jay-Z did what many rappers probably dream of. He bought a nightclub, opened it up west of the fabled Broadway and called it the 40/40 Club. Two years later, he opened one in Atlantic City. In 2007, he opened his third in the famed city of Las Vegas. He even connected his ventures putting a fourth one inside of the newly established Barclays Center, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets. These four clubs, combined, make $20 million every year.
At the 40/40 club, ESPN on the screen
When you total this all up you have a multi-talented rapper who is a business in his own self, (Jay-Z™). As he's shown through music, clothing, clubs, a sports team, and multiple agencies, Jay can do no wrong with any venture he tries. He has taken part in multiple thriving businesses, a successful music career, has a superstar wife and kid, and a net worth alone of $475 million dollars a year. Although many have a successful career, the thing that sets Jay apart is that he successful careers. He created what some some would call an empire, but the strangest thing is that Jay sees it as the beginning; the first small step of his legacy.
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