Forbes magazine has anointed Jay-Z the first hip-hop artist to become a billionaire.
On Monday, the finance magazine’s senior editor Zack O’Malley Greenburgh wrote that the Brooklyn-bred rap kingpin has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion, making him one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire and the first hip hop artist among them.
Forbes took a deep dive into Jay-Z’s stake in companies such as Armand de Brignac champagne ($310 million), his cash and investments ($220 million), his Bacardi partnership D’Usse cognac ($100 million), the Tidal streaming platform ($100 million), the Roc Nation empire ($75 million), his Def Jam music catalog ($75 million), formidable art collection ($70 million) and real estate ($50 million).
The magazine said it added up his income, subtracted a “healthy amount to account for a superstar lifestyle” and checked the numbers with outside experts to ensure the estimates were fair and conservative.
“Turns out, Jay-Z is a real business, man,” Greenburgh wrote, a nod to the Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder’s lyrics from his 2005 remix of “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.”
“It’s bigger than hip hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture,” producer Swizz Beatz is quoted as saying in the article. “A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us.”
“If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be,” he added about the 22-time Grammy Award-winner.