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Jay-Z: Profiles in Business Excellence

List Of The Day

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With Jay-Z and Kanye West releasing their much anticipated collaboration album, Watch The Throne, where they battle one another in an effort to not be the Garfunkel or Sonny Bono in the equation, I thought it would be, well, neat to tip the scales in Jay-Z's favor by giving him his very own List of the Day list!

Such is the power vested in me!

But rather than write about all the My-T-Fine work Jay-Z has done over the years, I decided it would be more interesting to look at his many business ventures. It turns out, Jay-Z owns much of the earth and rents it back to us.

While I know the insanely great Billy Johnson Jr. has written incredibly deep insights in his extremely fabulous Hip-Hop Media Training blog about Jay-Z & Kanye, it's up to me to write something completely stupid. Everyone has their role at Y! Music. Call me dumb-O!

10) Roc-A-Fella Records: Founded the record label with two buddies and began his rise to making more money than Elvis, The Beatles and Slim Whitman combined.

9) Live Nation / Roc Nation: Jay-Z signed a ten-year deal with this corporate monolith and took home $150 million. He partnered with Live Nation to create Roc Nation, a management, publishing and entertainment company. Did I ever tell you the story about how outraged the underground rock community was over the Long Ryders doing a beer commercial? It's really funny.

8) New Jersey Nets: Professional basketball team that plays in Newark, NJ. The Nets are supposed to move to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season, since Jay-Z, a member of the ownership group, doesn't feel like driving to New Jersey. No one in New Jersey cares, since the team stinks.

7) Gain Global Investments Network, LLC: Rich folks always have companies with the blandest names possible in order to make sure you're too bored to ever look into what they might do. This company was involved in some sort of casino thing at Aqueduct Racetrack that drew "scrutiny" and Jay-Z backed out. I'm too sleepy to find out what happened.

6) J Hotels: The crappy economy affects everyone. You can't buy food. Jay-Z can't get his hotel development off the ground. How people with money have any idea about what's going on in their lives is a constant source of puzzlement to me. Balancing my checkbook is hard enough. You think I want to get a group of people to manage my money!

5) Arsenal F.C.: Jay-Z has so much money he wants to buy into North London's Arsenal FC, a football club in England, which means to us here in the States, it's actually soccer. Which means we don't actually care. The normalcy of this is killing me.

4) Budweiser Select: Jay-Z as co-brand director of Budweiser Select? Why not? Who better understands how to get people to buy stuff better than Jay-Z? The entire music industry is turning into a "loss leader" and Jay-Z still makes serious money. Of course, you really have to twist people's arms to get them to buy booze.

3) 40/40: Nightclubs! Now this makes sense. People surely want to go where celebrities walk the earth and those stars want to go to places that have a certain cache. Imagine the difference between being spotted hanging out at a bar owned by Milli Vanilli or Jay-Z? Personally, I'd stay home and brood.

2) Rocawear: It makes sense that a hip-hop star would start a clothing line. Music and fashion often go hand in hand. Fans have to wear something! Even better, Jay-Z sells the rights to the company for $204 million and retains a stake in the company. I want to do this!

1) Cleveland Cavaliers: While the New Jersey Nets are a turnaround situation, the Cleveland Cavaliers, another professional basketball team, are, it turns out, also pretty bad and in transition since losing LeBron James to free agency. However, Cleveland fans can take solace in the fact that James was bad enough in the NBA Finals to hold the record for the largest drop off in points from regular season to Finals in NBA history. And that, try as he might, Jay-Z is unlikely to move the team to Brooklyn, or even Staten Island.

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