Big Pimpin: The Hard-Knocked History of Jay-Z Becoming Hip-Hop’s First Billionaire

Photo: Kevin Mazur  (Getty Images)

The hard-knock life isn’t as hard when you’re rolling in cash.

To say that Jay-Z is “just a rapper” would be like saying Drake is “just annoying,” even though he is very annoying. The newly-minted billionaire said it best on Kanye West’s “Diamonds Are Forever” when he rapped “I’m not a businessman / I’m a business, man.In a world of hip-hop where perception rarely meets reality, Jay-Z is “Big Pimpin'” for real.

Shawn Carter has risen from the Brooklyn housing projects to the 1 percent’s corporate high-rises, establishing himself as a global brand while also building an investment portfolio that would make his mentor Warren Buffet proud. Here are some of the entrepreneurial endeavors that have made Jay-Z a rich man.

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