So how did Jay Z build the business skills that have made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs in hip-hop history? By peddling crack, of course.

Jay makes the claim in the cover story in the new issue of Vanity Fair, where he says that slinging rock was his version of business school. He says, "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."

Jay says the crack game also taught him the value of planning ahead. “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.”

To his credit, Jay now says that he regrets contributing to the damage crack did, but he didn't always feel that way. "Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community. 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.”


  • No wonder those parents in Mississippi didn't want their son studying Jay Z. This isn't the best lesson for kids.
  • By saying it made him a better businessman, is Jay promoting drug dealing? Or just being honest? 
  • Wonder if some kid who's dealing drugs now will be feel justified after seeing this article.
  • This still won't help him get licensed as a sports agent.
  • And then he shades Mike Tyson for taking "$30 mil for one fight"?