Jay-Z Says he Learnt Business Skills from Selling Crack



Jay Z is in the headlines this morning for comments he made in the new November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair, linking his success in the corporate world to the skills he acquired as a drug dealer.

The hip-hop mogul said he found it easy to set up his Roc Nation record label and build a musical empire because he already had years of experience slinging crack on the streets of Brooklyn.

“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up,” he told the magazine.

The 43-year-old reformed family man – who has 20-month-old daughter Blue Ivy with his wife Beyonce – wishes he had gotten out of the drug scene earlier and thought about the big picture instead of focusing on the instant cash.

“Not until later [did I have regrets], when I realized the effects on the community,” he said. “I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”

The music mogul is reported to have raked in $42 million in the past year, adding to a net worth of about $475 million, a far cry from his original ”exit strategy” of setting up a barbershop.

“If you want to start some sort of barbershop or carwash – those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life,” he said. “You have to have an exit strategy, because your window [for dealing drugs] is very small. You’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”