Why Jay-Z Keeps On Winning!
Why Jay-Z Keeps On Winning!
By Matthew Shack
As Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter says, He’s not a business man – he’s a business, man.
This quote is overused and quite commonplace in ‘Jay-Z vernacular’, but what does it actually mean?
Let’s start with the facts which the 43-year-old music magnate calls: #newrules
Jay-Z will give his new album to 1 million users of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones on July 4, only three days before the album’s official release date. Carter broke the news about his twelfth album in a three-minute commercial during Game 6 of The NBA Finals featuring hit makers Timbaland, Pharrell, Swizz Beatz and Rick Rubin.
I repeat, he will give away 1 million albums… or will he?
Jay reportedly received $5.00 per unit in advance from Samsung on the unreleased album.
$5.00 x 1,000,000= $5 million, upfront. Basic elementary math: #newrules.
Things heated up when he announced that his album will be platinum before it even goes on sale. Billboard, who oversees charting and record sales accreditations has refused to accept these downloads, and the million albums will not count toward platinum status.
Jay-Z who personally sends out very few tweets per year, made his position ‘clear as crystal’ in the following message.
Jay-Z’s sports agency, 'Roc Nation Sport' whose client list includes New York Yankee Robinson Canó, NASCAR Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NY Jets quarterback Geno Smith just added NBA Superstar Kevin Durant, on as its newest client.
According to TMZ.com, the 24-year-old OKC forward posted a pic on Instagram that showed the two endorsing the contracts.
Isn’t Jay a minority owner of an NBA Team? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? How in the world did a rapper become a licensed NBA, NFL, and MLB sports agent?
Jay-Z gave up his less than 1% ownership in the Brooklyn Nets franchise and joined forces with one of the top talent recruitment centers in the world, the Creative Arts Agency (CAA) and is now a definitive threat to all other agencies in professional sports.
In addition, he passed a licensing exam to become a certified sports agent and will be able to scout professional baseball and basketball talent for his new sports management team.
Furthermore, Jay-Z still has his Rocawear store and his 40/40 Club inside of Barclays Arena, so he will continue to profit from the Nets franchise without partial ownership: #newrules
Forbes' Zack O'Malley Greenburg famously wrote a piece of the successful brand that is Jay-Z back in 2011.
Here are his Jay–Z Business Commandments with new commentary from The Flow Online, applied for 2013.
1. Focus on the most realistic chance to make the most money at all times.
Jay-Z has amassed a $500 million fortune by using leverage. This is something that everyone has in some capacity. He applied his knowlege of pushing narcotics to selling records. He then leveraged selling records, to clothes, liquor, nightclubs, cellphones and now sports. Find your leverage and use it.
2. Attach yourself to other successful brands.
On Empire State of Mind, Jay’s lyrics state that he “made the Yankee cap more famous than a Yankee can.” Herein lies the rub, he doesn't even play for baseball but he is known for wearing that iconic cap. Now, he represents a New York Yankee as a client.
3. Keep business and pleasure separate.
Jay-Z doesn't commonly speak on Beyoncé or his daughter Blue Ivy. Most people do not know much about his immediate family. Jay-Z does a great job of controlling his public persona by keeping you focused on what he wants you to pay attention to. Most of the time, it's products and services.
4. Don’t give free advertising to other brands unless there’s a good reason.
In the past, Jay-Z has named dropped products such as Cristal and Iceberg clothing in his rhymes and those brands made money, hand-over-fist. But when he attempted to secure endorsement deals, those same companies declined. He learned that it was best to create your own brands—Rocawear, and Ace Of Spades Champagne soon followed. Now, he’s paid endorser of GM, Hewlett-Packard, Budweiser. Don't work for free unless there is something in it for you.
5. Never publicize anything less than a victory.
When things don't work out for Jay, you may hear about it, but you won't hear about it from him. His 40/40 Clubs closing down, lackluster Armadale Vodka sales and other shortcomings are miniscule compared to mammoth deals like Samsung. Did Bruce Lee ever lose a fight? Probably so. But he never once said he did. Always remember, image is everything.
6. Don’t split profits with others if you can avoid it.
The infamous Roc-A-Fella breakup with Damon Dash —due to creative differences helped mold Jay's business acumen to this day. Jay always calls his own shots and is controlled by no one. He also bought out the remainder of his contract with Island Def Jam, negotiated for a reported fee of $5 million with a coin-toss with CEO Doug Morris, that he lost. Pay your debts and play to win.
7. Cross-promote your products at all times.
Jay-Z always uses the juice from one thing to gas up another. From the Watch the Throne album with Kanye West to his S. Carter sneakerline with Reebok, to American Gangster and The Great Gatsby soundtracks to NBA 2k13, Jay cross-promotes everything through songs and other mediums. Find something that is working for you and put it together with something else to boost its appeal.
8. Attack any threat to your business, but don’t take it too far.
Look at how Jay has handled the Billboard anti-platinum status situation. He doesn't fight, insult or argue, he just raises Reasonable Doubt. If someone attacks you or your brand, attack back but don't get 'outta pocket'. People are always watching and forming their opinions accordingly.
9. Ask lots of questions, never stop learning.
Jay-Z is isn't just a rapper or a recording artist, he is a Mega-Mogul. How did that happen in such dramatic fashion? By being an active seeker of knowledge and expertise. He is personal friends of two of the richest men on the planet Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. He even had Buffett throwing up 'the diamond sign' at the launch party of his 40/40 Club in New York. Find mentors and seek knowledge.
10. Don’t get stuck in conventional ways of thinking
After losing a $5 million bet with Def Jam, Jay-Z signs a 10-year, $150 million with concert-promotions giant Live Nation. The hip-hop kingpin scored one of the biggest music contracts ever awarded compiling a $145 million profit by betting on himself. Believe in yourself and put your money where you mouth is.
Ultimately, #newrules means... do you. Not them. Jay-Z is showing you how to win and stay there. The Blueprint has already been laid out for you to follow.
Never be satisfied with settling for the crumbs from someone else’s loaf of bread!
People may doubt what you say but they will believe what you actually do.
Go out there. Change the game and keep it hustle!
***Editor’s Update: July-1, 2013: Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” Will Be Certified Platinum On Release Day After RIAA Rule Change http://bit.ly/1b2DeNo
[Now that’s power!] #newrules