Jay Z: Hip Hop's 2 Billion Dollar Man

By Derrick Martin | Business Editor


A series of deals by rapper Jay-Z has seen his net worth increased by 40 percent, according to the latest valuation of his assets. Last week, the musician-turned-business mogul sold more than half of his stake in Tidal video and audio streaming services to Square, a digital payment platform run by Jack Dorsey. Square will pay a mix of cash and stock at the value of $297 million and Tidal’s superstar shareholders, including Beyoncé, Madonna, and Rihanna will remain in place, making them the second-largest co-owners. Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors. Prior to that, he sold half of his Champagne brand Armand de Brignac to Moët Hennessy, the luxury wines and spirits division of luxury giant LVMH. The acquisition was through a partnership with the rap legend which is anchored on equal stake and a global distribution agreement. “The 50%-50% structure is an essential element of this alliance and ensures that each of the two partners wants to bring its strengths and expertise,” Moet Hennessy announced in a statement. Neither side disclosed the amount involved in the deal, but Jay-Z intimated on a rap verse on What’s Free by Meek Mill that Armand de Brignac was valued in 2018 at $250 million. According to Forbes, the two deals increased Jay-Z’s fortune to $1.4 billion, up from $1 billion. Meanwhile, the billionaire rapper still has a 50% stake in Armand de Brignac, D’Usse cognac insurance startup Ethos, and salad chain Sweetgreen, Forbes adds.

Rapper Jay-Z's net worth has surged by 40% following a series of recent transactions, based on the newest evaluation of his assets. Last week, the artist-turned-entrepreneur divested more than half of his ownership in Tidal, an audio and video streaming platform, to Square, a digital payment company led by Jack Dorsey.

In exchange for the stake, Square will provide a combination of cash and stock amounting to $297 million, while Tidal's high-profile shareholders, such as Beyoncé, Madonna, and Rihanna, will retain their positions, becoming the second-largest co-owners. Jay-Z is set to join Square's board of directors.

Before this transaction, Jay-Z sold 50% of his Armand de Brignac Champagne brand to Moët Hennessy, the high-end wine and spirits subsidiary of luxury behemoth LVMH. The joint venture, based on equal stakes and a global distribution arrangement, was not publicly disclosed. However, Jay-Z suggested a $250 million valuation for Armand de Brignac in a 2018 rap verse on Meek Mill's "What's Free."

Forbes reports that these two deals have boosted Jay-Z's wealth to $1.4 billion, up from $1 billion. The billionaire musician continues to hold a 50% interest in Armand de Brignac, as well as stakes in D'Usse cognac, insurance startup Ethos, and salad chain Sweetgreen, according to Forbes.

Jay-Z also has holdings in Uber, SpaceX, and now Square. He also has shares in Oatmilk company Oatly which is expected to IPO this year for a $10 billion evaluation. Jay-Z, who became the first hip-hop billionaire in 2019, makes money from different empires. His assets range from the entertainment company Roc Nation to a fine art collection including works by Jean-Michel Basquiat. According to Forbes, Jay-Z’s music catalog, which has some 300 songs, is worth $20 million. Also, his fine art collection is valued at $70 million and features works by Damian Hirst, David Hammons, and Richard Prince. He sees the collection as an investment. In addition, Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé jointly own homes that are valued at $50 million while his Roc Nation venture is valued at $140 million. Jay-Z also has a stake in French audio tech firm Devialet. The tech firm recently launched wireless earbuds called Gemini to rival Apple and Samsung’s dominance in the wireless earphones market. The rapper’s most recent big-money moves also include venturing into the marijuana industry which is estimated to pomp up to $130 billion on an annual basis into the U.S. economy by 2024, according to Marijuana Business Factbook.