Music News

Jay-Z has recently been pegged hip-hop’s first billionaire. 

Forbes recently claimed that the Brooklyn rapper is the first hip-hop artist that “has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion.”

The “99 Problems” rapper has a steadily growing empire comprised of liquor, art, real estate, and stakes in companies like the ride share company Uber.

The rapper’s homes are located in Los Angeles, the Hamptons, and Tribeca (New York City).

Jay-Z, a former NYC drug dealer, started his own record label Roc-A-Fella Records in 1996, on which he released his classic debut album, Reasonable Doubt.

Since then Hov, a father of three, has amassed 14 No. 1 albums, 22 Grammy awards and over $500 million in pretax earnings in a decade.

“It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture. A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us,” said Swizz Beatz, a producer behind some of Jay’s biggest hits like “On To The Next One.” “If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be, because he’s only just starting.”

Scroll below to check out photos of the billionaire rapper through the years.

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter.