“People look at you strange, say you changed. Like you worked that hard to stay the same.” – Jay Z
Among the many hip hop artists that are out right now, very few say anything that actually has some significance for their listeners.
Billionaire, Sean “Jay-z” Carter, in fact, does.
Born and raised in the Brooklyn projects, Jay-Z wasn’t raised with a picket fence, but he definitely made sure that his kids did. A good musician should grow as a person, and his music should be on par. With his most recent album releases, 4:44 and Everything Is Love with megastar and wife, Beyonce, Jay-Z has released hidden gems for his young listeners.
Behind the confident and sagacious lyrics by Jay-Z are clues for those looking to climb the financial ladder to meet up with him.
Here are a few from the aforementioned albums and a few from newer releases from other artists’ albums.
“I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo,
For like two million.
That same building today is worth twenty-five million,
Guess how I’m feelin’?
Dumbo.” – ‘Story of O.J.’ from 4:44
Jay-Z, here, exemplifies why real estate is one of the most powerful long-term investments that anyone can make. Majority of the wealthy started off with real estate or ensured that they put their money into real estate in order to preserve and grow their already built wealth. As long as human beings are bringing life into the world, there will need to be a place to house them. This ultimately increases the value of land and homes in growing economies. Maybe you can’t purchase a building yet, but potentially you can purchase a home, or small piece of land with other investors. The smallest piece of land may be worth ten times or more that – and faster than you think.
“I bought some artwork for one million.
Two years later, that s— worth two million.
Few years later, that s— worth eight million.
I can’t wait to give this s— to my children” – ‘Story of O.J.’ from 4:44
When you begin to amass some wealth, you become capable of putting your money into investments that not only grow overtime by public opinion, but also can be appealing visually. There are auctions held globally for some of the most sought after art pieces and other forms of tangible investments that collectors are buying for their hobbies or investors for their own taxable purposes. Once you can save up some change, look into the various tangible investments that you can purchase that will take your kids through college (and sometimes your kids’ kids).
“Over here we measure success by how many people successful next to you” – ‘Boss’ from Everything Is Love
We hear about it all the time. Someone wins the lottery and then abandons their family, or someone has a successful business but those close to them are poor. Of course we at Wealthy Fools do not condone unwarranted handouts, but everybody is good at something. Remember on your way up to bring some of those close friends and family that can not only keep you grounded but help you grow in your business – then pay them handsomely as well! Jay-Z did this himself. You hear their names in his music constantly. Some of his close friends help run his empire, and it hasn’t failed him yet.
“I made my own waves so now they’re anti-Tidal” – ‘Black Effect’ from Everything Is Love
As we may know, Jay-Z has his own steaming service, Tidal. There has been a lot of controversy in regard to how the business model works, as well as its exclusivity, but if Jay-Z were not an artist but solely a businessman from the beginning, those conversations would most likely not happen. What we should do is use him as an example of why we should work towards creating our own businesses and building those up, rather than solely working for businesses that are already making billions of dollars and paying you chump change. Expect those around you to either congratulate you or envy for this as well. Everyone congratulates the person who finds a good career, barely anyone praises the person starting their own venture.
“Man, we started with a mustard seed
Now we in the gray 911 with the mustard seats” – ‘Black Effect’ from Everything Is Love
When you are young, time is your greatest asset. This is the time to plant financial seeds in as many places as you can and water them constantly. A tree doesn’t grow strong by being planted and then uprooted the second a leaf is present. It must dig its roots deep and spread, in order to have a strong base. Only then will it bear fruit. Enjoy those fruits too!
“I’m 50% of D’USSÉ and it’s debt free,
100% of Ace of Spades, worth half a B,
Roc Nation, half of that, that’s my piece,
Hunnid percent of TIDAL to bust it up with my Gs” – ‘What’s Free ‘ from Championships
I will chant this until the day I die…OWNERSHIP, OWNERSHIP, OWNERSHIP! Become a part-owner of whatever you get into. Of course, depending on your venture, you may have to be a freelancer, but eventually, you will get to a place where your money does the talking for you. Many people have smart ideas but don’t have the funds. If they are lucky, you can be their blessing. This is the sweet spot – when you have the capital to own parts of people’s businesses and can take part in the profits as well. In the small game, buying stocks is essentially that, taking ownership of successful businesses – just don’t expect to be at board meetings (unless you are Warren Buffett or a 10% owner). Jay-Z didn’t build his wealth only with music…that rarely works. Business ownership is what gets you on the Forbes list.
“Enjoy your chains, what’s your employer name with the hairpiece?” – ‘What’s Free ‘ from Championships
Do not expect to be exceedingly successful if you are solely working under someone. When I say ‘successful’, I do not mean how much money you make from a salary, but by what you can pass on to your children. You cannot pass on a salary, and do not expect a pension to be any more reliable. Workers go on strike every year fighting for what they thought was theirs no matter what. In this line, Jay-Z is referring more so to musicians who think they are winning when they can afford jewelry and material things but are truly the losers when their managers and corporate investors are making a hundred times more than them. Like you always hear, ‘don’t go broke trying to look rich’. Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but you will succeed in the long-run. You don’t win by working for someone until retirement for a pension. You are basically paid a ‘thank you’ amount for spending all of your young days working while your manager is on vacation every month due to your productivity.
“My accountant’s so good, I’m practically livin’ tax free” – ‘What’s Free ‘ from Championships
When you are building your empire, you have to give your share of profits to the government. The amount you give depends on how good your accountant is. I am not referring to any illegal means of decreasing your taxes, we do not support that, but there are various tax write-offs that are available to those who have their own businesses, opposed to those who just work for others. Many wealthy individuals invest in certain areas due solely to the tax implications. Some of these investments have a low return, but you know that you will have your entire principal when needed, without the governments greedy hands taking half.
“My mom took her money, she bought me bonds
That was the sweetest thing of all time” – ‘Legacy’ from 4:44
What are you building wealth for if not for yourself to enjoy but also your family and heirs to the throne? Your parents may not have been wise enough to set you up financially from a young age, but you have access to information that they never did. It is your duty to take your families legacy to the next level. Everything you do should not be for today but for ten, twenty, thirty years ahead. This is how you create a legacy. Be wise with your money and where you put it. When you have children, figure out ways (by the assistance of a good accountant or accountants) to ensure that when you pass on, there is a family trust that has already been put in place so that your assets are now those of your children’s, tax free. Create the possibilities for your children that you never had.
That is the definition of true wealth.
Until next time,
Live Long and Prosperous.
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