Jay-Z is officially the first-ever rapper to become a billionaire

Jay-Z is officially the first-ever rapper to become a billionaire

It's been speculated for years, but today the world got full confirmation. What you've heard on the streets is absolutely true: Jay-Z is officially a billionaire.

The rapper's fortune makes him one of a handful of entertainers to hit the billion mark, and the first-ever hip-hop artist to do so.

The news was revealed by Forbes today, with the American business magazine going into detail about exactly how the 49-year-old achieved billionaire status.

He may be a billionaire, but things haven't always been great for Jay-Z. Remember when Beyoncé's sister Solange attacked him in an elevator?

Forbes names his "steadily growing kingdom" as an "expansive" one that encompasses liquor, art, real estate (homes in Los Angeles, the Hamptons, Tribeca) and stakes in companies like Uber.

The father-of-three, who used to be a drug dealer, started his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records to release his debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996.

Since then he's amassed 14 No. 1 albums, 22 Grammy awards and over $500 million in pre-tax earnings in a decade.

Jay-Z and Beyonce Credit: Getty

Forbes claims he owes much of his success to his early realisation that he should build his own brands, rather than promote someone else's.

The 99 Problems rapper, who has been married to Beyoncé for 11 years, sold his clothing line, Rocawear, for $204 million to Iconix in 2007, owns cognac D’Ussé with Barardi and also boasts Tidal, a subscription-based music, podcast and video streaming service.

To calculate his net worth, Forbes looked at the Empire State Of Mind star's stakes in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne.

They then applied their "customary discount" to private firms, added up his income, subtracted a healthy amount to account for a "superstar lifestyle" and spoke to a roster of outside experts to check their estimations were fair and conservative.

Jay-Z Credit: Getty

Commenting on the news, Kasseem 'Swizz Beatz' Dean - the producer behind some of Jay-Z's hits, including On To The Next One and Girl's Best Friends - claimed this was only the beginning for the star.

"It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture," he told Forbes. "A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us."

He added: "If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be. Because he’s only just starting."