How did Jay Z develop the business acumen he needed to become a music mogul? By dealing crack, of course.
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” the hip-hop titan boasted to Vanity Fair magazine, referring to his days on Brooklyn’s mean streets.
“To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up.”
Can you put that on a resumé?
Speaking in the mag’s November issue, which also features him on the cover, the 43-year-old rapper explains that the most important plan any drug dealer can make is how to get out of the business.
“If you want to start some sort of barbershop or carwash — those were the businesses back then,” Jay-Z said, recalling the careers he once considered. “Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life.”
While cutting hair and washing cars might not have been sexy options, they beat the alternative — death or prison.
“You have to have an exit strategy, because your window [for dealing drugs] is very small,” Jay Z said. “You’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
Looking back, Jay Z said he regrets having played a role in the city’s 1980s crack epidemic. He admitted that, at the time, he was thinking only about the money.
“Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no,” he said.
“I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
Jay helps tell the story of so many young Black men like him.
From his beginnings in Bed-Stuy’s Marcy Houses, Jay Z has gone on to become one of hip-hop’s biggest names — not to mention the hubby of one of pop’s hottest singers, Beyoncé.
He raked in $42 million in the past year, adding to a net worth of about $475 million, according to Forbes.
He has been performing since the ’80s despite having once pledged to quit by age 30.
“I know I said I wouldn’t be doing it when I was 30,” he said, “so that’s how I know I love it. Thirty years old was my cutoff, but I’m still here, 43 years old.”
Nice to know that selling drugs in the black community can lead you to a life of wealth, prosperity, and a big booty wife…..not so bad.