Decoded: The Business Lessons of Hip-Hop Powerhouse Jay-Z

Hip-hop entrepreneur Shawn Carter releases book about his life and lyrics


“…We came out of a generation of black people who finally got the point: No one’s going to help us. So we went for self, for family, for block, for crew–which sounds selfish… The competition wasn’t about greed—or not just about greed. It was about survival.”

  • LESSON: When no major label would give him a record deal, Carter decided to start Rocafella Records in 1998 with friends Kareem Biggs and Damon Dash [ pictured above]. Under that label, he released his first album, Reasonable Doubt, which has been listed among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and is considered by many to be a hip hop classic. He went on to sell more than 50 million albums worldwide.
  • In striving for wealth for life and with black buying power at $836 billion, the support of Black businesses can, in turn help build Black communities, thus promoting job creation and self-sufficiency. For more on the Wealth For Life principles, see Using Wealth for Life as a Way of Life.
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