Jay-Z Named Hip-Hop's First Billionaire


He’s got 99 problems but the ability to pay his bills isn’t one of them.

Forbes has named Jay-Z the first hip-hop artist to become billionaire. The estimate is based upon the 49-year-old’s earnings from music, booze, art, real estate and other business ventures.

“It's clear that Jay-Z has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion (all figures U.S.), making him one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire—and the first hip-hop artist to do so," Zack O'Malley Greenburg wrote.

Jay-Z, who grew up in a Brooklyn housing project, owns a $100 million music streaming service, the Roc Nation sports management company (worth $75 million) and $220 million in cash and investments (including a $70 million stake in Uber). His Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Ussé cognac are valued at an estimated $410 million.

Jay-Z sold his Rocawear fashion company for $204 million more than a decade ago.

Forbes figures Jay-Z’s art collection is worth $70 million, his real estate is worth $50 million and his music catalogue is valued at $75 million.

The rapper is also married to Beyoncé, who is worth an estimated $355 million.

In 2014, Dr. Dre declared himself the first hip-hop billionaire after he sold Beasts Music to Apple – but Forbes reported that after taxes he came up a bit short of $1 billion.