Who would think that a rapper, or any artist for that matter, would have a keen business sense? World renowned rapper Jay-Z has spent the last 15+ years not only churning out hit after hit topping the music charts, but also delving into a variety of successful business ventures. Whatever the hit rapper does, whether music or business-related, he does with passion and vigor.
Roc-A-Fella Records Formation and Expansion
One of the founders of Roc-A-Fella Records in 1996, Jay-Z was the label’s first act, and over the years, at times the only act making hits. At the turn of the new millennium, while the rapper remained the label’s most prominent artist, other hit makers were signed expanding the popularity and success of Roc-A-Fella Records. The label was eventually purchased by Def Jam Recordings which named Jay-Z President and CEO of the label. Further expanding his business ventures, he was instrumental in Def Jam’s formation of ROC Films which has been making movies since 2002 as well as the purchased that same year of Armadale Vodka from its Scottish owners William Grant and Sons.
Rocawear Clothing Line Development and Sale
The gifted rapper is also the co-founder, along with fellow rapper Damon Dash, of the popular urban clothing line Rocawear. Jay-Z has said of his line, “My brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM where there’s no emotional attachment.” Rocawear designs, manufactures and sells clothing lines and accessories for men, women and children. In 2006, Jay-Z took over sole control of Rocawear boosting the line’s success and selling it the next year to the Iconix Brand Group for a whopping $204 million. The rapper maintains his stake in the clothing line and oversees the product development, licensing and marketing areas.
40/40 Club Celebrates Sports
Jay-Z is the co- owner, with his friend Juan Perez, of the upscale New York City sports bar, the 40/40 Club which opened in 2003. The glamorous, lavishly decorated club is massive at 12,000 square feet and recently underwent a $10 million renovation. The 40/40 Club has also expanded to Atlantic City with plans for further expansion to Chicago, Tokyo and Singapore. Negotiations are currently underway to expand the popular sports bar into 20 airports around the country too. The famous club is not only one of the best places in New York City to meet friends and watch sporting events, it also serves a wide variety of sports-type food like wings, sliders and nachos as well as top quality beer, wine and liquor.
Other Business Ventures
Ever the entrepreneur looking for the next great idea to leverage into a successful business, Jay-Z also owns a line of beauty essentials called Carol’s Daughter which includes high quality products for hair, skin and hands. A huge sports fan, Jay-Z is part owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team, and was instrumental in the team’s move last year from New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center. He is also executive producer of the basketball video game NBA 2K13. Delving into real estate, Jay-Z has invested in a development called J Hotels which recently acquired a $66 million piece of land in Chelsea, New York for construction of a high end hotel.
Jay-Z details his fascinating life experiences thus far as a world famous rapper and highly successful entrepreneur in his memoir entitled Decoded published in 2010. Another success, the book has been on the New York Times Bestsellers List further demonstrating the gifted rapper’s capacity for honing his multiple talents.