As an artist Shawn Corey Carter, better known as Jay-Z has taken hip-hop music to a new level. Since the release of his first album “Reasonable Doubt” in 1996 Jay-Z has produced hit after hit in the world of hip-hop. With millions of adoring fans hanging on his every verse and rhyme Jay-Z holds the current record for most number one albums on the Billboard 200. He has also sold over 50 million albums worldwide and has received 10 Grammy awards. There’s no question Jay-Z has made his mark on not just hip-hop music but he entire music industry.
Music might have been Jay-Z’s calling in life and there’s no doubt he has made a hefty amount of money from his vast record sales and sold out concerts but there’s another side of the hip-hop legend that definitely deserves a lot of recognition. Jay-Z’s passion and talent for making music has given him an opportunity to explore his other passion, business. From a clothing line to restaurants Jay-Z’s entrepreneurial skills and ability to develop a great brand have become very evident.
Jay-Z co-founded the urban clothing, footwear, fragrance, and accessory company Rocawear in 1999 along with Damon Dash. Headquartered in New York Rocawear has been a hit with the urban hip-hop community with annual sales of $700 million. With lines for both adults and children Rocawear has a very large selection of urban style clothing and accessories that have very high appeal to hip-hop fans all over the world.
In March 2007 Jay-Z sold the rights of the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group for $206 million. Jay-Z will retain his stake in the company and still overseas marketing, licensing, and product development of the company. In March 2009 Rocawear developed its own social networking site that offers new styling news, music, fashion, and cultural connections.
The 40/40 Club
The 40/40 Club is a chain of All-American sports bars and lounges owned by Jay-Z along with partners Desiree Gonzalez, and Juan Perez. The 40/40 club name is borrowed from the major league baseball term which commemorates the rare feat of a player that hits 40 homeruns and steals 40 bases in a single season.
The first 40/40 Club was opened in New York City on June 8, 2003. Locations also opened in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The 40/40 Club is known for their live music, celebrity patrons, and sports memorabilia. Jay-Z was also sure to do some of his own marketing by mentioning the club in his 2003 hit song “Dirt off Your Shoulder” which caused a buzz of new business for the club.
Future plans for the club will see openings in Tokyo and Singapore.
New Jersey Nets
In August 2004 Jay-Z officially became a part owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA franchise, paying a reported $4.5 million. Jay-Z is a known sports fanatic so it’s really no wonder he was interested in partial ownership of the team.
Since Jay-Z’s partial acquisition of the team he, along with minority owner Bruce Ratner have been working on a project to move the Nets from New Jersey to the rappers hometown of Brooklyn New York. The two have headed a project to build a 19,000 seat arena for the expected move for the 2012-2013 NBA season.
Jay-Z has become a well known business mogul who understands how to be an entrepreneur and build a quality brand. He has taken numerous investments and turned a great profit. He has made a great transition from the music industry to the business world. Jay-Z is worth over $450 million today and the sky seems to be the limit for the Grammy award winner.
On his personal tastes: “I’ve always wanted to stay true to myself, and I’ve managed to do that. People have to accept that. I collect art, and I drink wine…things that I like that I had never been exposed to. But I never said, ‘I’m going to buy art to impress this crowd.’ That’s just ridiculous to me. I don’t live my life like that, because how could you be happy with yourself?”
• Investor in Carol’s Daughter-a line of beauty products
• Serves as co-brand director for Budweiser Select
• Invested in a real estate development venture called J Hotels