The secret to Jay Z’s multi-bajillion dollar empire Roc Nation? Drugs. Well, inadvertently, anyway.
Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine, Jay said that everything he learned about business was a self-taught enterprise, rooted in his early days dealing drugs. (Before Jay made it as a rapper, he trafficked crack in Brooklyn, New York.)
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up,” Jay Z explained, but in retrospect, he saw the error in his ways.
“Not until later [did I have regrets], when I realized the effects on the community,” he reflected. “I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no.”
Because of his young age and limited foresight, for Jay it was all about just getting by.
“I was thinking about surviving,” he said. “I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
This year, Jay and his wife Beyoncé found themselves at the top of Forbes magazine’s highest-earning celebrity couples list; Jay pulled in $42 million within the past year alone, adding to his individual net worth of $475 million.