JAY-Z Is Officially the First Billionaire Rapper

Forbes has valued the rapper's assets in music, real estate, and art at $1 billion.
Queens, US
June 3, 2019, 3:52pm
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for City of Hope

It's that time of year again when Forbes makes the average person feel like crap for not being a "self-made millionaire," as they considered last year's cover star Kylie Jenner. This year, however, the lifestyle magazine is crowning someone who is actually self-made: JAY-Z. In a new cover story, Forbes claims JAY-Z "has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion," making him the first rapper to hit that benchmark. The title of "first rap billionaire" may be confusing to anyone who remembers Dr. Dre's $3 billion Beats deal with Apple, but the Compton rapper's personal net worth hadn't met the threshold. To estimate JAY-Z's net worth, Forbes took a look at the Brooklyn rapper's multiple streams of income, which is enough to make you feel like you're not working hard enough.


Jay isn't particularly new to getting money. Aside from his music catalog, which Forbes values at $75 million, the rapper sold his streetwear line in 2007 for a reported $204 million. His stakes in Uber and art collection are both valued at $70 million, followed by his involvement with Roc Nation, which is worth $75 million. The Brooklyn rapper isn't only popping bottles, he's heavily invested in major liquor brands like Armand de Brignac (valued at $310 million) and D'usse (valued at $100 million). After four years, Tidal is valued at $100 million, while his cash investments and real estate bring a combined total of $270 million.

This is what you call a self-made billionaire. Rap fans have been following Jay's journey since Marcy Projects, and this is a win we can all enjoy.

Correction [6/3/2019]: An earlier version of this story described Dr. Dre's Beats deal as $3 million. The correct figure is $3 billion.

Kristin Corry is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter.