Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #3 JAY-Z


The purpose of this blog is to inform the class of America’s “Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012” and the various business ventures in different industries that contributed to their individual successes.

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #3 JAY-Z

Name: Sean Corey Carter

Stage Name(s): Jay-Z

Age: 42

Forbes Hip Hop’s Top Earners List: #3 of 9

How Much??? $38 Million


Ok, moving on.

Jay-Z.  I’m pretty sure we all know what he’s been up to as a musician/CEO of Roc-Nation, but do we (really) know what he’s been up to lately as an entrepreneur? I took some time to research his recent ventures, and let’s just say, this man is ALL business. It’s amazing how he’s constantly involved in large projects that end up being lucrative beyond belief; he should literally be on the cover of Forbe’s magazine on every single issue!

Here are some RECENT business ventures he’s been on the past couple years:

  1. In 2003, Jay-Z first opened his 40-40 restaurant & bar night club chain. He has one in New York City, Atlantic City and now in Barclay’s Center (2012), where the new Brooklyn Net’s basketball team play. Link to the new 40-40 location in Brooklyn:
  2. In April 2012, Jay-Z’s clothing company, Rocawear, landed a partnership deal with the New York Yankees. Here in the link:
  3. Jay-Z plans to open another 40-40 restaurant and bar chain in London, partnering up with famous footballer Ashley Cole. Link:
  4. In June 2012, Jay-Z invested in Duracell Powermat – Proctor and Gamble’s Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies partnered together to create wireless mats that charge smartphones and other electronics by just laying them on these mats. Here is the link to Duracell’s Powermat commerical where “B” aka Beyonce is calling Jay-Z in the commerical: Here is the link to the venture:
  5. In April 2012, Jay-Z joined forces with Will Smith to invest in Viddy, a new app similar to instagram, let’s iPhone users create short videos for friends. Here is the link to the venture between the two: Will Smith and Jay-Z also made previous venture together a year ago involving Will’s daughter, Willow Smith, who is signed under Roc-Nation (Jay-Z’s label), to make a movie called “Annie.” Here is the link:
  6. Put out his second book, “Empire State of Mind: Jay-Z’s Journey from Street Corner to Corner Office” in 2011.
  7. Part ownership of the Brooklyn Nets (help relocate and build a new stadium in Brooklyn). Rumor has it that he only owns 1/15th of 1% (about 0.067%) of the New Jersey Nets, but he will be earning millions from it. Inside Barclay’s Center includes Jay-Z’s 40-40 restaurant, a Rocawear store and many other interesting arrangements that cater to Jay-Z’s interests, not to mention, eight sold out concerts in the arena. Here is the link for more information:
  8. In 2012, Jay-Z executive produces NBA 2K13, basketball video game from 2K Sports. More specifically, he oversaw the soundtrack of the game. Here is the trailer for the video game:
  9. In 2008, Live Nation made a 360-degree deal contract for $150 million with Jay-Z for the next decade. Here is the link: (This is more old news, but I couldn’t leave it out because we’ve been talking about it a lot in our classes.)

Here is a link to an awesome video I found that wraps up Jay-Z’s business ventures in six minutes: Jay-Z’s Successes and Failures Video in 6 Minutes!

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a wife that makes a ridiculous amount annually also. Beyoncé and Jay-Z together is the highest paid star couple of 2012. Here is the link to the exact amounts they both earned the past year:

As you can see, Jay-Z’s not going anywhere. I am really interested to see which industry Jay-Z decides to dominate next.

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!” Jay-Z

Jay-Z is the 3rd most successful and influential hip hop entrepreneur of 2012.

(We’re so close! Please stay tuned, and let’s count down to #1 together!)

By: Aaron Kim (Duke)

Extra sources:

*Sources are provided within the post.