7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Jay-Z

By Tim Lemke on 25 July 2017 0 comments
Photo: neomusicstore

Hip-hop artist Jay-Z recently dropped his latest release, 4:44, and is already getting praise for an album that's fresh, honest, and full of insightful commentary.

Any observer of Jay-Z's career can learn a thing or two about entrepreneurship and handling money, as the man is worth upward of $800 million according to recent estimates. But 4:44 has some great new insights on the value of saving and investing, supporting your community, and passing wealth on to the next generation.

1. Diversify your income

Jay-Z isn't just a rapper. He's a founder and owner of record companies. He has a clothing line and a sports bar. He's a part owner of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. He has involvement in the casino and real estate industries. He owns the majority of the music streaming service, Tidal. All of this has allowed him to amass a net worth of reportedly more than $800 million, far more than he could make from music alone. He's set for life even if he never raps another word, and if any one of his revenue streams falters, he has plenty of other streams coming in.

2. Get married

There are many benefits to being married, and it can often be great for your finances. Having a joint income can improve your buying and borrowing power, and boost the overall net worth of your family. In Jay-Z's case, he's married to Beyoncé, a hugely popular music artist with a net worth that rivals his own. In his new song, "Family Feud," Jay-Z asks, "What's better than one billionaire? Two."

3. Support your community

In his new album, Jay-Z raps at length about looking out for those in the black community, noting that "Nobody wins when the family feuds." He extends this advice to supporting black-owned businesses when he says, "Black-owned things, hundred percent, black-owned Champagne. And we merrily merrily eating off these streams."

4. Think about your heirs

Many ultrawealthy people got that way through their own business success, but many started out wealthy as money was passed on from their parents. In fact, what often separates wealthy and poorer communities is the amount of "generational wealth" and savings that remains in families over the course of decades.

Jay-Z raps about this very concept in the new song, "Legacy," saying "Generational wealth, that's the key/My parent's ain't have s**t, so that ship started with me/My mom took her money, she bought me bonds/That was the sweetest thing of all time."

Jay-Z also gives a small nod to estate planning by having his daughter Blue Ivy open "Legacy" by asking "Daddy, what's a will?"

5. Buy real estate on the cheap

Jay-Z has made good money on real estate deals, but also recognizes that he may have missed out on some bargains, too. In his song, "The Story of O.J.," he laments spending his money on frivolous items when he could have bought property in a once-troubled neighborhood.

"Wish I could take it back to the beginning/I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo/For like two million/That same building today is worth 25 million/Guess how I'm feeling? Dumbo."

6. Spend wisely and invest

In "The Story of O.J.," Jay-Z digs into the idea that young people should stop worrying about "living large" and instead plan for the future. He advocates buying and holding onto things that will increase in value.

"Financial freedom my only hope/F**k living rich and dying broke/I bought some artwork for one million/Two years later, that s**t worth two million/Few years later, that s**t worth eight million."

7. Control your image and products

It remains to be seen whether Jay-Z's purchase of streaming service Tidal will pay off in the long run, but the move did give him control over how his music — and its revenue — would be distributed. Jay-Z has released his latest album exclusively on Tidal, meaning that he will no longer be at the mercy of other competitors who may take a bigger cut of revenue. Jay-Z has noted that Tidal offers higher quality streaming than other services, making it more respectful of artists.

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