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Jay-Z's Pull with Big Business (including the Brooklyn Nets) is a Win for the Devil

By Sarah Wilson    12/2/12

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When it comes to influence and power in the music industry, Shawn Carter (best known as the rapper Jay-Z) is considered one of the most persuasive celebrity figures in the entertainment world. Over the course of his more than 20-year career, Carter has skyrocketed from an articulate street hustler to rubbing elbows with the elite movers and shakers of the business world. Jay-Z's road to success has been paved with nefarious and questionable acts, yet he still rises in the public's eye – wielding a powerful hand that touches a wide range of industries.

The latest headlines regarding his part-ownership stake in the Brooklyn Nets professional basketball team further proves that Jay-Z is still free to influence big business… and that he can easily promote his messages in many different ways. It cost the rapper a reported $4.5 million to become part-owner of the NBA team. He was also instrumental in having the team relocated from New Jersey to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

While not all of Jay-Z's impact is highly publicized, the media constantly reports that the multi-million dollar mogul has spent a great deal of money to solidify his authority in the following areas of business:

Video Games – As the executive producer of the basketball video game NBA 2K13, Jay-Z has the influence to shape the look and feel of the game, as well as choose what goes onto the soundtrack. This form of media allows him to send chosen messages to both the youths and adults.

Alcoholic Beverages – After becoming co-brand director for Budweiser Select, Jay-Z plays a role in developing strategic marketing programs and creative ads. His message and influence can reach the public through ads that appear on television, in print, over the airwaves, and featured at high-profile events.

Real Estate – With plans to construct a high-end hotel or an art gallery building, Jay-Z has invested in a real estate development venture called J Hotels, which now owns a $66 million mid-block parcel in Chelsea, New York.

Beauty Products – In 2005, Jay-Z became an investor in Carol's Daughter – a line of beauty products for the hair, skin and hands.

Nightlife Entertainment – As co-owner of the 40/40 Club, the upscale sport bar has a presence in New York City, Atlantic City, Chicago and Las Vegas with future plans to build in Tokyo and Singapore.

Politics – Jay-Z also took an interest in politics during the 2008 presidential campaign, where he pushed for increased voter participation, and has met with the President on more than one occasion. His involvement in politics may have impressed some, but not everyone. In August 2012, musician Harry Belefonte openly criticized Jay-Z in a Hollywood Reporter interview for his relatively safe political stances and accused the rapper of turning his back on social responsibility.

Today, Jay-Z is using the home of the Brooklyn Nets' (the Barclays Center) as his personal playground – programming his listeners to further absorb his word. He's headlined eight sold-out shows so far, and is scheduled to bring in the New Year with a concert on December 31, 2012.

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