JZ.jpg

Jay Z, born Shawn Corey Carter, is a prolific American rapper, record producer, as well as serial entrepreneur. As of 2015, Jay Z’s Net Worth was said to be $550 Million, according to Forbes Magazine. Since 1996 when he released his first album, Reasonable doubt, Carter has sold over 100 million records. Jay Z, as he is popularly known by his music fans grew up at Marcy Houses, which are on the tough streets of a housing project in Brooklyn, New York.

Life on Marcy House

JZ 2.jpg

Life on Marcy was as tough as you would imagine. Marcy is a public housing complex located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. It is a very dangerous place to live, where there is a lot of drugs activity, and extremely high rates of crime. It is therefore no surprise that Carter himself got involved in selling drugs as a young man. He also claims to have been involved in gun activity, saying he has been shot three time in his life.

Music Career

Jay Z quickly realized as a young man that in order to survive the tough life on the streets of the Marcy Houses, he needed to find another way of earning a living. It so happens that he had developed a keen interest in music at an early age, and so he began writing lyrics and free styling with friends. In the early 90s, in order to further develop his rap music skills, the young Carter soon got involved in community rap battles which included the likes of LL Cool J.

However when he tried to get a deal with a recording company, none of the big record labels were prepared to risk on an unknown. Undeterred, Jay Z, began selling his CDs out of his car and that became the brainchild of a record label. He later teamed up with Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs, to form their own independent label, Roc-A-Fella in 1995. Jay Z soon struck a distribution deal with Priority Records and released his first album, Reasonable Doubt. The album was a critical successful reaching number 23 on billboard 200. Reasonable doubt has also made it onto the Rolling Stone’s “5oo Greatest Albums of All Time”.

Over the years Jay Z has been involved in collaborations with a number of Top music artists.

Foxy Brown — Ain’t No Nigga (1996 Album, Reasonable Doubt)

Mary J. Blige — Can’t Knock the Hustle (1996 Album, Reasonable Doubt)

Notorious B.I.G. — Brooklyn’s Finest (1996 Album, Reasonable Doubt)

Jaz-O — Nigga What, Nigga Who? (1998 Volume 2: Album Hard Knock Life)

UGK — Big Pimpin (1999’s Volume 3: Album, The Life and Times of S. Carter)

Eminem — Renegade (2001 Album, the Blueprint)

Pharrell Williams — I Just Wanna Love U (2000 Album, the Dynasty: Roc La Familia)

Beyoncé — ’03 Bonnie & Clyde (2002 Album, Blueprint II: The Gift & the Curse

Gloria Carter — December 4th (off of 2003’s Black Album

Alicia Keys — Empire State of Mind (off of 2009’s Blueprint 3)

Jay Z has also worked with Timbaland, Kanye West, and Rihanna.

 

Jay Z, The Entrepreneur.

Jay Z soon extended his conquests to the business world. He has invested in a number of business projects. He partnered with Damon Dash and founded urban clothing brand Roca-Wear which has clothing lines and accessories for men, women, and children. Jay Z later sold his rights to the Roca-wear brand to Iconix Brand Group for over $200 million. Some of his long list of business activities include,

-Co-ownership of the 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar that has branches New York City, Atlantic City, and Chicago.

-Jay Z invested in Carol’s Daughter, a line of beauty products, which include products for hair, skin, and hands.

-In 2013, Jay Z sold his stake in Barclays Center  for a cool $1.5 million.

– Jay Z was also part-owner of NBA team, the Brooklyn Nets before selling his ownership in 2013.

– Jay Z recently dipped his toes into real estate when he acquired a $66 million mid-block parcel in Chelsea, New York.

-In 2011, he was said to have acquire independent record label Block Starz Music.

Jay Z also owns sports agency, Roc Nation Sports.

-Jay Z also owns Tidal, a subscription-based music streaming service.

Jay Z has said of his business ventures, “My brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM, where there’s no emotional attachment.”

So what can we learn from Jay Z`s mind-blowing success story?

First, you need to learn to become a facilitator of your own success. No one in this world will create the right environment for you to achieve your dreams. When there seems to be no chance for you, when the world seems to be offering you no chance, that is when you need to use your own savvy, and create your own opportunities. Having been refused a record deal by all the labels, Jay Z did not cry foul, or blame everyone else. Instead he remained focused and determined, and created his own chance to have his music heard. Yes it was the harder way of doing it. But whoever said achieving success was easy? Be creative and develop ways of facilitating your own positive results. I can guarantee you here now, no one else will do it for you. It`s all up to you.

Secondly, be prepared to forge strategic partnerships. Find out who you can work with in whatever projects that you are involved in. As you can see from Jay Z`s story, throughout his career, be it in music or business, he has always worked and collaborated with strategic individuals. Find those people who will add value into what you are doing and create ways of roping them in, to help you achieve your own goals.

Jay Z story also shows us that there is power in diversification. Broadening your business scope will help you identify opportunities that are out there which you could exploit in order to bring success into your own life. Yes it is good to specialise when you start, but at certain levels of success you need to step out and see how else you can expand your empire, and grow immensely rich in the process.

You must also learn to use your life skills and past experiences to your advantage. Every experience that you have had in your life and the skills that you gain from them, can give your an edge when trying to navigate past some of life`s challenges. Jay Z`s tough, early childhood, and also the short period he spent selling drugs on the streets provided him with the early selling strategies and skills for his new music career, when he was selling CDs out of his car. Selling drugs taught him how to sell, and also helped him understand his customer base and how to reach them. His is also a classic example of how you can use a negative part of your life to bring positive results.

These are just some of the points that I think you can use to generate inspiration for your own life success. Life is what you make it, so go out there with a new zeal, a new motivation, and just like Jay Z did, create your own luck.

Previous articleDelegation: When Business workload becomes too large.
Next articleHow To Get Rich
We, at the 18yard, are an organisation whose primary objective is to provide both, aspiring and existing, entrepreneurs with essential business tools. Our contributors are fully qualified and experienced experts, in different specialty fields. Our discussions at the yard cover a number of carefully selected categories. Currently our classifications are as follows; Entrepreneurship Our core business is the provision of well researched, high quality, helpful business information. We want to give both aspiring and existing business people, essential business information that they can actually use to achieve their operational goals. We endeavour to forge valuable relationships with our readers through posting useful and highly informative, entrepreneurial articles. Our content is written by experts who have wide knowledge and experience in the business world. All we want to achieve here at the Yard is to be able to give you critical tools that will add value to your business. We also publish interviews and videos of well-known business experts that will inspire you to attain that next level of achievement in both your business and personal life. Health & Fitness What value is business success to an individual if they do not have matching good health? For people to be able to setup and run businesses successfully, they need to be of good health. That is why we have this category where we provide expert health and fitness information to our readers. Part of our objective is to combat obesity among business people, and to promote, good nutrition and healthy lifestyle, fitness and exercising, and overall individual wellbeing. We sincerely hope that our readers will effectively use this critical resource to live long, healthy, and fulfilling lives. News Feeds In this section of the Yard, we bring our readers interesting news from all over the world for their enjoyment. This section could be global politics, funny news, or just anything we may feel is of value to our readers. Celebrity & Entertainment Entrepreneurs do not live in a vacuum. They need leisure& entertainment as much as the next guy. Who doesn’t want to hear about, the latest celebrity gossip, or news about which celebrity has gone broke, or information about that new movie that’s coming out? We all want to hear about celebrity scandals. It could also be news about the hottest holiday deals that our reader may require. Whatever information we may feel our readers need, we at the Yard take the responsibility to research and provide such news and information. Sport We all love sport and Entrepreneurs are no different. They too love sport and hence we at the yard also cover different sports for our readers to enjoy. We do cover all kinds of sport but we deliberately have a bias towards football. Our Content Our content is a combination of curated news and original expert content.

Leave a Reply