July 25 2012
I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can -Jay Z
Some people think Jay-Z is just another rapper. Others see him as just another celebrity/mega-star. The reality is, no matter what you think Jay-Z is, he is first and foremost a business.
You can slip into his Rocawear clothing - official sponsor of the New York Yankees - wake up to the local radio station playing Jay-Z's latest hit, spritz yourself with his 9IX cologne, lace up your Reebok S. Carter sneakers, catch a Nets basketball game in the afternoon, and grab dinner at The Spotted Pig before heading to an evening performance of the Jay-Z-backed Broadway musical “Fela!” and a nightcap at his 40/40 Club. He'll profit at every turn of your day.
But despite Jay-Z's success, there are still many Americans whose impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect. Surprisingly to many, he honed his business philosophy not at a fancy B school, but on the streets of Brooklyn and beyond as a drug dealer in the 1980s.
“Empire State of Mind” tells the story behind Jay-Z's rise to the top as told by the people who lived it with him. This book explains just how Jay-Z propelled himself from the bleak streets of Brooklyn to the heights of the business world. Join Zack O'Malley Greenberg, live from the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse...
Zack O'Malley Greenburg is a Forbes staff writer and author of the Jay-Z biography Empire State of Mind. He pens The Beat Report at Forbes, where he's covered finance and music since 2005, profiling the likes of Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, Richard Branson and 50 Cent. Along the way, Zack's stories have taken him from Omaha's rail yards to the diamond mines of Sierra Leone. He has also written for The Washington Post, Vibe, McSweeney's, Sports Illustrated and others. He has served as a guest lecturer at Yale, Berklee School of Music, Georgetown and Harvard, and has appeared as an expert source for BBC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, E!, MTV, Reuters and other outlets.