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Jay Z: From drug dealer to wheeler dealer
The world changed for Jay Z on June 25, 1996.
That’s the day his debut album “Reasonable Doubt” was released, dropping the needle on the start of what has been one of the most epic careers in the music industry.
But he didn’t stop there.
In the past 20 years the man who was born Shawn Corey Carter and who grew up in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects at a time when they were plagued by crime and drugs has gone from slinging drugs to taking over corporations. In May, Forbes estimated his net worth at $610 million, placing him at number three behind Sean”Diddy” Combs ($750 million) and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young ($710 million) on the list of Hip Hop’s Wealthiest Artists 2016. And now there are reports that Apple is in talks to buy his streaming service Tidal.
He’s a hustler, baby, we just want you to know.
Here are just some of the many hats the man who once famously rapped “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business… man” has worn, all the while building on what he learned in the hood.
The Jigga man has been very open about his past as an illegal pharmaceutical entrepreneur, both rapping about it and discussing it in interviews.
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” he told Vanity Fair in 2013. “To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life.”
It helped prepare him for the cutthroat music industry, he has said. Though if you think it’s tough out here on the charts, it’s nothing compared to what Jay saw on the streets.
“At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small,” he said about drug dealing. “You’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
Start a debate about the best rap artists in history and three names will always appear on the list: Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G. and Jay Z. (Sorry, Nas.)
Jay has sold millions upon millions of records and was one of the pioneers who helped to define urban music in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
He’s won multiple awards including 21 Grammys and a Sports Emmy for outstanding music composition/direction/lyrics in recognition of his Super Bowl XLIV opener of his song “Run This Town” featuring singer Rihanna.
In 2013 he broke a Spotify record whern his “Magna Carta Holy Grail” album was streamed 14 million times.
This from a man who once famously “retired” from rap.
Every successful dealer knows the key is controlling your product.
In 1996 Jay Z formed Roc-A-Fella Records with friends Damon “Dame” Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke specifically to market the rapper‘s music.
Over the years their artist roster grew to include such names as Kanye West, Memphis Bleek and Beanie Sigel.
Jay Z and his partners sold Roc-A-Fella to Island Def Jam and he was appointed to a new role as president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings in 2004.
In 2008 the rapper founded an entertainment company, Roc Nation, which includes a record label that is home to artists like Drake, and Rihanna.
A strong crew is everything in the game.
Before there was ever any talk of a potential deal between Apple and Tidal, Jay was all about streaming music.
In 2013 he strategically partnered with Samsung to make his “Magna Carta Holy Grail” album available first via download on specific Samsung phones over the July 4th weekend.
It was consistent with other high profile partnerships he’s made throughout his career: His Roc Nation label came about in part thanks to a $150 million profit sharing deal with entertainment giant Live Nation.
In 2015 Roc Nation announced it would be teaming with Philymack, the management firm that oversees pop stars Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato.
“We sat down and dreamt about what the future could hold if we partnered,” the rapper said at the time. “Our views aligned on nurturing, growth and allowing creatives to stay true to their voice. That dream we are living today and it’s been amazing for all parties. We look forward to what tomorrow brings.”
Who could ever forget that the rapper once owned a small part of the New Jersey Nets, and helped make them the Brooklyn Nets?
He is credited with – or blamed for – the creation of last year’s “Jay Z rule” which said teams can only have 25 or fewer individual owners with each owning at least a one percent stake. According to Grantland, Jay Z only owned 0.15 percent of the team before he sold his stake to Jason Kidd and an unidentified investor in 2013.
That same year Jay Z formed Roc Nation Sports, which manages professional athletes.
He’s also been savvy enough to get pieces of various businesses over the years including the 40/40 Club sports-bar chain. And he’s an investor in several other restaurants, starting with New York hotspot The Spotted Pig.
“I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can” he rapped in his 2009 hit “Empire State of Mind” – and he’s not wrong.
His early understanding that the street style of hip hop was one fans wanted to emulate led him and Dash to establish the urban apparel line Rocawear early on. He cashed in on it when he reportedly sold the rights to Iconix Brand Group in 2007 for $204 million.
What is success if you don’t have anyone to share it with?
Jay Z blessed us all with his lessons learned and reflections in his 2010 memoir “Decoded.”
Of course, since it’s Jay, the biography debuted in the top five of the New York Times bestseller list.
People with the chronic autoimmune disease need to modify their lifestyles to manage the condition— which Gomez did amid rehab rumors last year. (Photo: Getty Images)
Selena Gomez made a startling revelation in a new interview: She has lupus.
“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy,” she told Billboard magazine. The 23-year-old recently took a break from the spotlight, which she says happened so that she could seek medical care for her condition.
“That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke,” she continued.
At the time — in late 2013 and early 2014 — Gomez canceled the Asian and Australian legs of her Stars Dance tour to take some time for herself. This break fueled media rumors that she was battling addiction.
Gomez on the cover of this week’s Billboard magazine, on stands Thursday, Oct. 8. (Photo: Billboard magazine)
“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes,’” she said. “I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”
Gomez credits her close friend Taylor Swift with helping her through the tough time. “Taylor makes me feel empowered, like I can trust new people,” she told Billboard. “The way she cares about women is so adamant. It’s pulling me out of my shell.”
Gomez and Swift pose with their squad at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards in late August. (Photo: Getty Images)
An estimated 1.5 million Americans have lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. The disease can impact anyone, but 90 percent of the people diagnosed with lupus are women — and most develop it between the ages of 15 and 44.
Nick Cannon, Seal, and Toni Braxton also suffer from lupus. But what is it, exactly?
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of a person’s body, Howard R. Smith, MD, director of the Lupus Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Yahoo Health.
With lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system. The immune system of a lupus sufferer can’t differentiate between bacteria, viruses, germs, and the person’s healthy tissue, Smith explains. As a result, the immune system attacks and destroys that healthy tissue.
While lupus has many manifestations (it can involve the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, muscles, blood vessels, and more), Smith says about three out of four people experience issues with their skin and joints.
Korin Miller Writer
Good mood? Coming right up!
1. Give your pet a lil’ love.
You don’t need science to explain why pets make you feel irrationally euphoric. Just by looking at them, it’s hard not to smile.
2. Eat a clementine.
The scent of this fruit is one of the most positive and arousing things you can smell, according to a study conducted in the journal Chemical Senses.
3. Light a vanilla-scented candle.
In the same Chemical Senses study, participants ranked the smell of vanilla bean right up there with clementine as a super-uplifting scent that’s even more relaxing.
4. Do your happy walk.
Instead of slumping over and walking around with a frown, stand up straight, roll your shoulders back, and put a little hop in your step. Imitating a “happy walk” can actually make you happier, according to a recent study.
5. Make your desktop or phone background green.
The calming color is associated with happiness, comfort, peace, hope, and excitement. Which means it will improve your mood even more than the sight of your latest selfie.
6. Clear your desk.
Because clutter elevates stress levels, organizing your stuff can be the perfect anecdote to a bad mood: It literally clears the way for better vibes.
7. Call your mom.
The sound of her voice can mitigate stress and muster up the feel-good hormone oxytocin — two things that pave the way for happy feelings, according to an experiment in which researchers purposely stressed out a group of girls, then let them call or see their moms. Afterward, the daughters who called their moms felt just as good as the ones who got to hug it out in person.
8. Say thank you.
Your mom was right about this. While researchers know that materialism can make people miserable, gratitude can curb the effects, according to recent research. So jot down a quick thank-you note — even if it’s just a “thank you for being you.” You’ll feel way better about buying that new bag for yourself.
9. Swap mopey music for upbeat tunes.
People who listen to positive music while trying to be happier are more successful than people who listen to any old playlist, according to a research conducted at University of Missouri.
10. Buy an experience instead of stuff.
Not to throw shade at your shoe collection, but science says buying material things doesn’t breed happiness. When you spend money on experiential things, though, like tickets for a concert or a trip, you benefit from the anticipation, which provides instant happiness that lasts throughout your countdown. The same goes for buying things that provide an experience, like a new song, book, or podcast, according to a recent study. The ideal purchase should reflect your true values, like a book on a topic that genuinely interests you — not some self-help book that’s just going to stress you out.
11. Give up your favorite food for a bit.
Saving your favorite foods for special occasions can help condition your response when you eat them. One study found that people who ate chocolate after they’d given it up for a week were significantly happier than people served the same stuff without any previous food restrictions. If the thought of living a whole week without chocolate is enough to send you spiraling, save your after-lunch chocolate for a post-dinner dessert. The anticipation should brighten your mood instantly, with benefits that peak when you get to dig in.
12. Bask in the daylight.
Everyone knows that blue skies and fresh air can be a total blessing, even when you’re in the world’s worst mood. When you can’t get outside, open the blinds or turn on some lights: In a study where older adults suffering from depression were exposed to either one hour of pale blue light or one hour of dim red light (the placebo) every morning for three weeks, the blue light improved people’s moods and reduced their stress more than the dim red light, with results that lasted into the evening. White light will do the trick too — the brighter, the better.
13. Speak up when someone is pissing you off.
Instead of being passive aggressive to your husband or complaining about him constantly to anyone who’ll listen, just say, “Babe, it bothers me when we leave the bed unmade. When you’re the last one to get out of it, can you please make it?” Expressing succinct complaints to the person who can fix them can help you resolve the issue ASAP, which paves the way for happiness that’s here to stay, according to a study recently published in The Journal of Social Psychology.
14. Think about what you are doing right this second.
Letting your mind wander makes you substantially less happy than focusing on the task at hand, according to over 650,000 real-time reports collected by the Track Your Happiness iPhone app, which monitors people’s happiness in real time. So remind yourself you are reading this article — hello, and welcome!
15. Think a mile a minute.
Research shows that quick, varied thinking can lead to elation. So, quick! Who are the 10 people in your life you’re most grateful for? What are the 12 best gifts you’ve ever received? What are your first five teachers’ names?
16. Just try!
In one study, people who listened to music with the intention of improving their moods made more headway on the happiness scale than people simply who listened without making any effort. You have to want it to win it, people!
Was it planned?
Does it really matter if she took an ovulation test, had sexy time with her husband, and then shot her legs up in the air—or if she got drunk and busy with her boyfriend? It doesn’t at this point. If she’s telling you she’s pregnant, it’s because she wants you to know and be excited! She’s not trying to be interrogated by the pregnancy police, so just say, “Congratulations!”
Are you sure you’re not having twins?
You might as well say, “Wow, you sure look fat!” when you ask this rude question. Some women’s bellies get huge during pregnancy, some do not, but conjecturing about multiples will only get you in hot water. Besides, with all the advances in prenatal monitoring, multiple births are not a surprise for most women these days. So yes, she’s most likely sure she’s not having twins!
Are you gaining enough weight?
While many of the most clueless comments come from people subtly judging you for packing on pregnancy pounds, the naturally slender are not immune. You may think you’re paying a mama-to-be a compliment when you say, “You’re so small” or “I can barely see your belly!” but you may only be stoking her worries about the growth of her baby. Everyone carries differently; let her OB/GYN worry about her weight gain. If you want to make her feel good about her pregnancy appearance, simply tell her that she looks great.
I think you’re having a…
One Parenting reader shared a snarky story about how her co-worker “knew” she was having a girl on our Facebook page. “After he told me the sex of my baby at the water cooler, I overheard him telling someone else his trick to knowing the baby’s gender: ‘Carrying a boy makes you glow and look pretty. Carrying a girl makes you look tired and ugly.’” Ouch!
Can I touch your belly?
While asking first is certainly better than lunging in for a Buddha belly rub, it still puts a pregnant woman in an uncomfortable position if she’d rather keep her bump to herself. If her baby is kicking and she wants you to have a feel, she’ll ask you if you want to feel the baby move.
Confession #8: She Judges Other Moms
Ever felt judged by another mom? Well, you weren’t just imagining it. A scant 12% of moms claimed to not give a hoot what other moms do, but the other 88% admitted they let the judgments fly. Top among the behaviors most likely to garner dirty looks? Sixty-six percent of moms said a bratty kid. Weight and eating issues also hit a nerve for many moms. Almost 37% judge a mom with an overweight child, and 34% look down on kids eating junk food.
You’re breastfeeding, right?
I wish people would ask, “Will you feed your child?” It’s a bizarre question—who would ask such a thing? But that’s how I felt when people constantly asked me if I was going to breastfeed my son, including the cashier at a mega baby store who sized up my purchases and made assumptions about my decision. It’s no one’s business how a mother feeds her baby and asking only adds to the immense amount of pressure and guilt women already feel when it comes to this topic
Will you work after the baby comes?
This is the epitome of loaded questions. No matter what your motive in asking, most women will answer defensively. For nine months, everyone asked me if I was going back to my full-time magazine job after my baby was born. The answer seemed so obvious to me—of course! Babies are expensive! Who would give up a job in such an unsteady economy? Well, the exact same reaction is true for a woman who absolutely plans to stop working after the baby is born. How could I leave my baby? Why would I pay someone else to raise my child?
It’s natural to ask about a woman’s plans after childbirth, just be sure to ask with an open mind: Don’t assume a mom who goes back to work is selfish and that a SAHM is so lucky to afford it (maybe she can’t afford the child care, ya know?)
You’re hoping for a girl, right?
Know a mom with four energetic boys who think they’re superheroes, or one that’s OD’ing on pink and princesses? They must want the opposite sex next time around, right? Wrong. “I hate that everyone assumed that I wanted a girl since I have a two-year-old boy,” confesses a Facebook fan. “I was thrilled to be having another boy.” The question assumes that the expectant parents are not satisfied with what they already have.
It’s about time!
Face it, getting pregnant isn’t always easy-breezy and sometimes the woman actually wants to wait, build her career, spend time with her husband or travel the world. One Facebook fan shares that her friend congratulated her by saying: “You sure did wait a looooong time to get started. I had 3 by the time I was your age.” (For the record, our reader was 29!) Whenever it first happens for a woman or couple is the right time.
Are you craving pickles and ice cream?
Warning: Asking a pregnant woman if she’s craving pickles and ice cream can actually make her vomit. My friend once hurled at the sight of mayo and I couldn’t even look at a piece of red meat for nine whole months. If you must know, perhaps, just ask what she’s craving instead of assuming it’s a salty-and-sweet-crunchy-and-creamy combo—yuck!
You can’t eat/drink that!
I drank one cup of coffee every single day of my pregnancy, sometimes ate tuna fish, deli sandwiches, and had an occasional sip of red wine while pregnant. Nothing happened. Never tell a pregnant woman what she can and can’t eat. The “bad food and drink” list is one of the first things our OB/GYN goes over with us. We’re well aware of what we are and aren’t putting into our bodies—and how often. So, if you see a pregnant woman eating tuna salad, don’t assume she’s OD’ing on mercury. And don’t be the coffee police in the Starbucks line. For all you know, she’s ordering decaf—or, like me, having her once-a-day caffeine fix.
Will you have more kids?
“I hadn’t even popped out my first baby, when a stranger on the grocery checkout line asked me if I planned to have more,” says a Parenting magazine reader. While some couples plan to have big families, there are people out there that legitimately want one child. In fact, the percentage of U.S. women having only one child rose from roughly 10 percent to 23 percent between 1980 and 2000. And if a woman or couple want more kids but are unable to have another child, this seemingly harmless question only reopens the wound
Fox News host Chris Wallace is the latest person who has thrown out negative comments toward Kelly Clarkson‘s weight. And his colleague Greta Van Susteren has called him out and insisted he apologize to the pop singer.
When Wallace appeared on The Mike Gallagher Show on Friday (April 3), he and host Mike Gallagher started talking about Little Caesars pizza. Then Gallagher told Wallace to stop fat-shaming him. “Listen, don’t fat shame me. You do a lot of fat shaming,” Gallagher said, according to a transcript of the radio show posted by Media Matters. “That’s the new phrase now, ‘fat shaming.’ Have you seen Kelly Clarkson? You know the singer, Kelly Clarkson? Holy cow, did she blow up.”
Although Wallace didn’t say anything at first, he commented on how good her voice was. And as he started talking, Wallace then agreed with Gallagher by saying, “She could stay off the deep dish pizza for a little while.”
After the show aired, Van Susteren shared her reaction and blogged, “This ‘guy snickering’ about her weight is obnoxious. He should apologize.”
Clarkson and Wallace have not commented on the incident. However, this has really been a common occurrence for the “Heartbeat Song” artist lately. British TV personality Katie Hopkins not only made “chubster” comments on Twitter but also continued to insult Clarkson further on Access Hollywood.
Despite the criticism, Kelly continues to keep her head up high and recently addressed fat-shaming on Ellen.
“I think what hurts my feelings is that I’ll have a meet-and-greet after the show and a girl who’s bigger than me will be in the meet-and-greet and be like, ‘Wow, if they think you’re big, I must be so fat to them,’” Clarkson expressed to Ellen Degeneres. ”We just are who we are. You are who you are,” she said, to an applauding audience. “Whatever size you are — it doesn’t mean you’re going to be like that forever.”
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Authorities say a Pennsylvania woman made jury duty even worse than usual for nine people by stealing their money while they were hearing a different case.
The Allegheny County sheriff on Thursday charged 38-year-old Jawanda Tench, of Swissvale, with stealing $520 from the jurors’ purses.
Deputies reviewed surveillance video and saw a woman who appeared to have court papers sticking out of her pocket enter the jury room on Tuesday around the time the money went missing.
After reviewing records of recent arrests, investigators determined Tench had been in the courthouse that day after being arraigned and released on unrelated retail theft charges that morning.
Tench has been jailed. Online court records don’t list an attorney for her. She faces a preliminary hearing Oct. 21.