After building an empire based on music, fashion, luxury real estate, and some very wise investments, Jay-Z became the world’s first billionaire rapper. From humble beginnings in Brooklyn’s notorious Marcy housing projects, the artist born as Shawn Carter knew about the important of building a brand early in his career — starting his own music label, Roc-A-Fella Records, to release his 1996 debut album. Jay-Z’s vast investing portfolio includes stakes in ride-share company Uber, streaming service Tidal, and D’usse, a joint venture with Bacardi that sells affordable cognac. Adding to the rapper’s fortune are priceless works of art from artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat as well as stunning properties in the world’s most competitive real estate markets.
“Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow.” —