How Jay-Z Took the Crown as Wealthiest Rapper of 2018
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Forbes released a sneak peek of its list of the wealthiest in hip-hop March 1, and one Brooklyn-bred mogul was able to take the crown from one of Harlem’s finest. According to the publication, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter boosted his net worth from $810 million to $900 million, landing the top spot—a first for the star since the 2011 inception of the hip-hop list.

What’s behind the killer bankability? Major money moves.

Jay-Z has maintained a lucrative stake in Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Ussé cognac.

He holds nine-figure ownership in Roc Nation and Tidal streaming service.

He saw wins with slow-ticket strategy. Late last year, his 32-show 4:44 tour—which held a record for the highest-grossing solo tour—raked in more than $48 million.

He re-upped on his business with Live Nation for 10 more years—in a deal that mainly covers tour business and has reportedly moved away from the 360-model initially agreed upon.

He’s also a cut above the rest with a good eye for investment in innovation; reflective of his early investments in Uber and beauty brand Julep. He took it further with venture capital firm, Arrive, which partners with select early-stage startups by providing them with brand services, business development, advisory, and capital to drive growth in their organizations. Arrive recently, according to Complex, will be investing in Robinhood, a free stock trading app. Robinhood has reportedly generated more than three million users and is valued at $1.3 billion. The firm has also invested in audio tech innovator Devialet and a location-sharing platform InSite Applications, both set to launch this year.

Sean “Diddy” Combs came in second with a net worth of $820 million bolstered by his multimillion-dollar interests in Cîroc and Revolt and growth in the success of DeLeón tequila, a joint venture with beverage brand Diageo. Dips in the cable and vodka markets have impacted his wealth despite financial gains for the original Bad Boy.

Andre “Dr. Dre” Young ranks third with $770 million; his wealth strengthened by Apple’s $3 billion buyout of Beats in 2014. Forbes further reports that the producer is set to get Apple stock this summer “worth well over $100 million; depending on the tech giant’s share price at the time, he could leapfrog Diddy and Jay-Z when that happens.”

Next on the list are Drake and Eminem who are currently tied at a net worth of $100 million. Drake’s wealth portfolio includes an equity stake in Virginia Black whiskey and ritzy real estate investments in Canada and California.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is a digital media journalist, speaker, editor, and consultant who has worked for media powerhouses including The New York Times, Black Enterprise, and Conde Nast. The Hampton University graduate's work and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, E!Online, Ebony.com, CBS News and Brazen Careerist. She's fluent in women's issues, career advancement, guilty (TV) pleasures and Trini patois.


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