LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Producer Shawn Carter AKA Jay-Z attends "The Harder They Fall" World Premiere during the 65th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 06, 2021 in London, England.

Jay-Z’s music is only one part of the rap mogul’s legacy. In the words of Jay himself, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” He lives by those lyrics with all of his successful investments over the years. The crown of “Hip-Hop’s First Billionaire” was given to the Brooklyn native in 2019, according to Forbes, and he has not let up since.

As of this year, Jay-Z’s net worth is $2.5 billion, according to the finance publication. Jay, whose real name is Shawn Carter, started hustling as a drug dealer in his home city of Brooklyn. He created his first business venture in 1996 with Dame Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, which was Roc-A-Fella Records. It was there that the hip-hop icon created his debut album, Reasonable Doubt. That album and the other 13 No. 1 albums solidified his place as a rap legend. However, unlike most artists who tend to go broke, Jay was able to capitalize off his music and create more business opportunities for himself.

wRELATED: 25 of Jay-Z's Most Iconic Lyrics

His music catalog is worth $75 million, according to Forbes. Before being named president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings in 2004, he created a sweet deal for himself. He was able to get back his master recordings from the label. He also secured a separate deal with EMI to get his publishing rights.

Art is another way the Brooklyn native allowed himself to add to his fortune. “Yellow Basquiat in my kitchen corner / Go ‘head, lean on that s— Blue, you own it,” he raps in “Picasso Baby” from Magna Carta… Holy Grail referring to the late painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. Jay wasn’t joking either. His art collection is valued $70 million. He even posed with a never-before-seen Basquiat painting in his Tiffany’s promo with his wife Beyoncé in 2021, which caused some controversy.

Lastly, real estate is another investment type that Jay has plenty of. Jay and Beyoncé have an impressive real estate portfolio valued at $50 million. They bought a Tribeca penthouse in 2004 for $6.85 million and a $26 million East Hampton mansion. The powerhouse couple has a $88 million mansion in Bel Air, Calif., and closed on a $200 million Malibu property in May. The sale marks the most expensive residential real estate deal in California history.

Take a look at 11 businesses Hov has created or invested in to earn his billion-dollar status:

  • Roc-A-Fella Records - Record label

    Roc-A-Fella Records is a record label and music management company. Roc-A-Fella Records signed Kanye West, Cam’ron, Jadakiss, and other influential artists in hip-hop. Jay-Z founded Roc-A-Fella Records along with Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke in 1996. In 2005, Jay along with Dash and Burke, sold the company for $10 million. Island Def Jam Music Group bought 50% of the record label that year.

  • Roc Nation - Entertainment company

    Roc Nation is a full-service entertainment company founded by Jay-Z. They specialize in artist and athlete management under Roc Nation Sports. They also service labels, publishing, touring, and film / TV ventures and keep an open mind to other areas it has not yet explored.

  • Roc-A-Wear - Clothing

    Jay started Roc-A-Wear with Dame Dash in 1999. In 2007, Jay-Z sold the rights to the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group for $204 million. However, in 2019, the rapper bought back the intellectual property rights to the brand for $15 million as part of the settlement between him and the Iconix Brand Group. The company is known for its iconic streetwear, including jeans, jerseys, footwear, outerwear, headwear, and more.

  • D’USSE Cognac - Alcohol

    Jay-Z launched D’USSE Cognac in 2012 with a partnership with Bacardi. After a long legal battle, Bacardi acquired a majority interest in the multibillion-dollar brand earlier this year. Jay still remains to have a “significant ownership stake.”According to Complex, Jay confirmed that he owned 50% of the liquor company and Bacardi owned the other half. It is unknown how much of Jay’s stake Bacardi currently has.

  • Armand de Brignac - Alcohol

    In addition to cognac, Jay also expressed interest in the champagne brand Armand de Brignac. Armand de Brignac, also known as Ace of Spades, started its relationship with the rapper in 2006 when the champagne bottle premiered in his “Show Me What You Got” music video before officially launching later that year. They also sell Brut Rosé, Demi-Sec, and premier Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs. The high-end champagne brand was just one of the ventures Jay set out in his long line of business affairs as he sold a 50% stake in his Armand de Brignac champagne to LVMH in 2021.

  • 40/40 Club - Sports bar

    The first 40/40 Club opened in New York City in 2003. The rap mogul then opened locations in Atlantic City (2005), Las Vegas (2007), in his home city at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2012, with its last opening at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2014. The Atlantic City location closed in 2013 in preparation for Hurricane Sandy but never reopened. The Vegas location closed in 2008. According to its site, a new 40/40 club location is set to reopen in 2024. The exact location has not been announced at this time.

    The 40/40 Club was created due to Jay-Z’s avid love of professional sports. “I love sports,” co-owner and mega music mogul Jay-Z has said per Flatiron Nomad, “and wanted to create an environment that is conducive to match my lifestyle while watching the games at the same time.” The name is derived from players who hit 40 home runs and stole 40 bases in one season.

  • Tidal - Music streaming platform

    Jay-Z bought Tidal in 2015. The streaming service debuted Jay’s Grammy-nominated album 4:44, in 2017 and his collaborative album with his wife Beyoncé, Everything Is Love, in 2018. In March 2021, Jay Z sold 80% of Tidal for $302 million to co-founder and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Jay still owns the other 20% of the company.

  • Uber - Ride share app

    Jay-Z invested in Uber in 2013 for $2 million. The ride-sharing app company is now worth nearly $60 billion, according to Forbes. Jay’s stake in the company is now valued at around $70 million.

  • Monogram - Canabis Company

    Jay-Z launched Monogram, a canabis company in 2020 in partnership with Caliva where he is also the brand’s chief brand strategist. Monogram sells the flower and pre-rolled joints. Along with having his own brand, Jay invested $19 million in the cannabis payment company Flowhub. He joined forces with Headline (venture capital firm) and Poseidon (investor company) in the investment.

  • Savage X Fenty - Lingerie

    Jay believes in Rihanna beyond the recording booth. He signed the Bajan pop star back in 2005 and she is now a billionaire herself. Rihanna stepped down as CEO of her lingerie brand this year. However, it is still co-owned by the “Diamonds” singer and a group of investors that includes luxury goods giant LVMH and Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners. The brand is valued at $3 billion.

  • Brooklyn Nets

    In 2004, Jay bought a stake in the Brooklyn Nets when they were still the New Jersey Nets. The NBA team moved to the rap mogul’s home city in 2012. Jay invested $1 million into the sports team in 2004 which now the team is valued at $3.5 billion. Jay sold his stake in the team 2013 after he announced he was creating Roc Nation Sports, the sports division of his entertainment company. Jay registered as a sports agent so he would not be able to have a stake in an NBA team.

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