Shawn “Jay Z” Carter tells Vanity Fair that he learned all about being an entrepreneur during his days of drug dealing. He told Lisa Robinson, during his Vanity Fair interview, that making deals on the street taught him how to master his finances. Jay Z says to be a drug dealer it’s important to know what can be spent verses what needs to be saved for more supply.
He said even though he was good at dealing drugs he knew that it was important to have an exit strategy in place. Back when he was big in the drug industry the only start up businesses that a dealer could have embarked upon were barbershops or car washes. Those were easiest methods of transitioning from that life. You had to have a strategy in place because your window of opportunity was so small. Without a strategy you would either end up in jail or dead.
Jay Z says as a child his family did the best they could but things were tough. Somehow his mother managed. He said she had to juggle things a lot. Sometimes they would pay the light bill, other times; the phone bill would get paid. There were even times when the gas was turned off but they survived. His mother always made sure there was something to eat in between all of her juggling.
Mr. Carter says he got into the drug game because he wanted to help his mother but primarily he hated being embarrassed when he went to school. He hated having to wear dirty sneakers or the same dingy clothes over and over again.
Growing up crack was everywhere, says Jay Z. He said there was no way to escape its putrid smell; and nowhere you could go and not be affected by it. Crack vials were littered all over the streets and crack addicts were in every hallway.
He admits to selling and making a lot of money off of it but says he never used it. Jay says he didn’t begin to feel guilty about what he was doing until much later. Initially, he was too busy trying to survive and buy clothes to think about how drugs were affecting his community. It took some time before he finally realized that he was fueling the problem of his community.
Jay Z said that his mother knew he was a drug dealer but they never talked about it. They just ignored it. He said everyone’s mother knew when their kid was doing it. It sounds horrible that a mother would allow her son to deal drugs but it was normal in his neighborhood.
Jay said his days of dealing are the foundation for the man he is today. He learned the art of making the deal and how to budget once the deal was made. He learned vital principles of being a successful mogul on the streets of Brooklyn back in the 80s. As a result he’ll have no problem being a sports agent.
The master mogul previously told Forbes his estimated net worth is around $500 million but he actually knows exactly how much money he has but has no plans to divulge that information. He says he talks trash about his money on his records but the money he has doesn’t motivate him and he never sits around with friends talking about money.
Jay said that he still loves to spit lyrics after all these years. Originally he said 30-years-old would be his cutoff for being an active rap artist but he loves doing it. That’s why at 43 he’s still in the rap game; it’s his passion. He says his daughter, Blue Ivy, is his biggest fan.
Jay Z says that even though his drug dealing days groomed him to be the mogul he is today, once he realized how he was helping damage his community he knew it was time to implement an exit strategy. This was the journey that he had to take to get to where he is but he wants others to know they have don’t have to do that; that was all he knew.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)