The Evolution of Jay-Z

Def Jam President and CEO Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is redesigning his business empire. The hip-hop mogul recently announced the sale of his Rocawear clothing company to Iconix Brand Group Inc. for $204 million in cash and $35 million in stock. Carter will continue to oversee product development, marketing, and licensing for Rocawear, whose annual sales top more than $700 million.

Further, Iconix and Carter will enter into a separate equal joint venture to establish a new brand management and licensing company that will acquire and develop a broad spectrum of consumer products. The first brand will be a luxury brand called “Shawn Carter Collection,” which will debut in 2008. “This will be black-owned and allow him to hire more African Americans,” says Jameel Spencer, chief marketing officer of Rocawear.

And Carter’s Q-rating will only continue to climb as he serves as the public face of the Nets and partner of Forest City Ratner Cos., the investor group responsible for constructing the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project that will house the NBA franchise.
Atlantic Yards will include an arena, a hotel, retail establishments, and “much-needed housing, including 2,250 units that will be set aside as affordable units,” says Forest City spokesperson Bruce Bender.