Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Listen to Interview About How Jay-Z Built His Business Empire

Posted by Hopeton on April 25, 2011

I interviewed Zack O’Malley Greenburg, author of Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office, on a special edition of KAZI Book Review this morning on KAZI 88.7 FM.  To listen to the 25 minute interview with Greenburg click here: Zack Greenburg.

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–from classmates at Brooklyn’s George Westinghouse High School; to the childhood friend who got him into the drug trade; to the DJ who convinced him to stop dealing and focus on music. This book explains just how Jay-Z propelled himself from the bleak streets of Brooklyn to the heights of the business world.

Greenburg draws on his one-on-one interviews with hip-hop luminaries such as DJ Clark Kent, Questlove of  The Roots, Damon Dash, Fred “Fab 5 Freddy” Brathwaite, MC Serch; NBA stars Jamal Crawford and Sebastian Telfair; and recording industry executives including Craig Kallman, CEO of Atlantic Records, to paint a tantalizing portrait of a very private mogul. Greenburg also reveals new information on Jay-Z’s various business dealings, such as:

  • The feature movie about Jay-Z and his first basketball team that was filmed by Fab 5 Freddy in 2003 but never released.
  • The Jay-Z branded Jeep that was scrapped just before going into production.
  • The real story behind his association with Armand de Brignac champagne.
  • The financial ramifications of his marriage to Beyonce.

Jay-Z’s tale is compelling not just because of his celebrity, but because it embodies the rags-to-riches American dream and is a model for any entrepreneur looking to build a commercial empire.

Zack O’Malley Greenburg is a staff writer at Forbes, where he’s covered music and finance since 2005 and now writes a column called The Beat Report. Along the way he’s profiled the likes of Akon, 50 Cent and Afrika Bambaataa.

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