Jay-Z ranked as first billionaire rapper by Forbes

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"He was a drug dealer before becoming a musician, starting his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records, to release his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt".

In order to calculate JAY-Z's net worth, Forbes says they first looked at his stakes in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne (which he owns 100% of) and applied their customary discount to private firms.

The rapper and entrepreneur has now joined the ranks of the very few entertainers who have become billionaires, according to Forbes.

American rapper Jay-Z has become the first hip-hop artiste to amass a US$1 billion fortune, according to Forbes magazine.

NY rap icon JAY-Z is much more than a businessman.

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When JAY-Z rapped "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man" on Kanye West's 2005 track "Diamonds From Sierra Leone", he really meant it. TIDAL is now valued at $100 million, Roc Nation and his catalog at $75 million a piece, and more ventures to amass his fortune. Apparently, the business magnate walked away from the conversation impressed with the rapper's work, saying, "Jay is teaching in a lot bigger classroom than I'll ever teach in".

He said: "It's the blueprint for our culture".

In 2010 Forbes also featured Jay-Z in the magazine along with investor Warren Buffet. "For a young person growing up, he's the guy to learn from", he shared.

There's $100 million in both D'Ussé cognac and Tidal, $75 million in Roc Nation and his music catalogue, $70 million in his art collection and $50 million in real estate.

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