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commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Jay-Z…..The man the Company…The Brand….The Ups and some downs……

FIRST COUPLE: Jay-Z, with wife Beyonce, has extended his brand far from his music and apparel base.

[ Jay-Z……Shawn Carter and his wife Beyonce……. ]

Shawn Carter……Jay-Z to most of us…..The 40 year old, Businessman and Yes, Rappper…The Husband of Mega Female Star Beyonce……is a very RICH MAN…

He has moved from a street hustler of drugs and his music ….to a Multi-Millionaire….

He has had a lot success in his music, clothing lines, music production, real estate. night club

He has not done so good in a Broadway play investment, Two Real Estate investment projects and a part of a upcoming basketball team……

All together……..Not bad for a guy from the projects in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn…..

While his music and apparel businesses appear to be humming along, ringing up mega-profits, Brooklyn’s Jay-Z — not just a businessman but a business, man — has suffered a few financial bumps of late.

For example:

* Two Manhattan hotel development projects, one in Chelsea and the other in the Meatpacking District, fizzled out this year, costing Jay-Z and a company he controls about $50 million.

* His almost 7-year-old 40/40 Club franchise, while still successful overall, has taken a few lumps as the 80,000-square-foot Las Vegas edition, with its 80-plus plasma TVs, was closed in late 2008 after just eight months in business — a victim of low attendance. Plus, a Chicago club, first expected to debut in 2009, is still not open.

JAY-Z, born Shawn Carter, co-founded the uber-successful Rocawear business in 1999 and, through his hands-on management style, grew it into a $700 million juggernaut. After he bought out partner Damon Dash’s 25 percent stake in the company for $30 million in 2005, he sold it for $204 million in 2007 to publicly traded Iconix Brands. JAY-Z remains the CEO of the brand and is in line to pocket an additional $35 million in stock if sales hit certain plateaus.

Sources say the brand is a top seller this spring, thanks to Jay-Z’s decision two years ago to minimize the logos on the clothes and streamline the baggy pants that once defined hip-hop fashion — but that are now passé.

He knew that would be a trend before everyone else did,” Iconix chief executive Neil Cole tells The Post.

“Jay-Z has earned street cred and business cred,” says Tim Bess, men’s and children’s fashion analyst at Doneger Group. “He’s one of the very few involved in hip-hop able to cross that line.”

IN 2009, Jay-Z, who has more No. 1 albums than any artist except the Beatles and Elvis and has sold about 26.3 million CDs over his career, inked a $150 million deal with Live Nation — and then put together one of the most successful tours of the 2009-10 season. The tour came on the heels of his earning $35 million in 2008-09 and $82 million the previous year, according to Forbes.

Just last week, Jay-Z, showing his masterful marketer touch, sent fans into a frenzy by announcing he and fellow rapper Eminem will perform the first concert in the new Yankee Stadium — after joining together for a concert in Comerica Park in Detroit, Eminem’s adopted hometown.

Jay-Z can market just about everything but a breakfast cereal because he’s got huge talent and a savvy business manager, John Meneilly, a former Provident Financial executive.

Some smaller investments in Jay-Z’s portfolio have also come up winners. In 2005, in his first investment alongside Will Smith and his wife, Jay-Z bought a piece of a small cosmetics company, called Carol’s Daughter. He has helped the privately held company grow sales to about $35 million, an eight-fold increase, co-CEO Steve Stoute told The Post.

Stoute said Jay-Z and the ownership team are looking at other beauty acquisitions.

The rap star is also sitting pretty with his investment in the Greenwich Village building that houses the popular eatery, The Spotted Pig. He’s an investor in the restaurant, too, and has often been seen there with his wife Beyonce……..

More……..

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Family, Media, Men, Music, PoliticalDog Calls, Updates, Women | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jay-Z on the New “We are the World ” Video…..

Story photo: Jay-Z:

Jay-Z wasn’t a big fan of the “We Are the World” remake, which debuted at the Olympic opening ceremonies Friday to benefit Haiti earthquake relief.

“I know everybody is gonna take this wrong: ‘We Are the World,’ I love it, and I understand the point and think it’s great. But I think ‘We Are the World’ is like [Michael Jackson‘s] ‘Thriller’ to me. I don’t ever wanna see it touched,” Jay-Z told MTVNews.com Saturday night at the 2 Kings dinner in Dallas.

Critics agree with the rapper. Sniped The Washington Post of the song, which featured Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, “The updated take was horribly oversung… save for the 21st-century rap verses added toward the end of the track.” Wrote the New York Times, “Lil Wayne, you’re no Bob Dylan…. as a piece of work, [the song] has all the pitfalls of a Hollywood remake.”

Continued Jay-Z, 40, “I’m a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts: [Millions have been raised] through text [donations] to Haiti. So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but ‘We Are The World’ is [musically] untouchable like ‘Thriller’ is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.

His suggestion?

“I think it’s time for us to make a new [song],” Jay-Z said. “I tried to do that with ‘Stranded,’ [the tune Jay Z, Rihanna and U2’s Bono and The Edge premiered at the ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ telethon]. I didn’t try to make ‘We Are the World,’ but I tried to make our take on how we felt.”

Maybe they should have YOUR song…huh?

At least he isn’t REALLY dissing the song……if fact….. he’s actually praising it…..

February 17, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Entertainment, Media, Men, Music, Other Things, Updates, Women | , | Leave a comment

Jay-Z on the New "We are the World " Video…..

Story photo: Jay-Z:

Jay-Z wasn’t a big fan of the “We Are the World” remake, which debuted at the Olympic opening ceremonies Friday to benefit Haiti earthquake relief.

“I know everybody is gonna take this wrong: ‘We Are the World,’ I love it, and I understand the point and think it’s great. But I think ‘We Are the World’ is like [Michael Jackson‘s] ‘Thriller’ to me. I don’t ever wanna see it touched,” Jay-Z told MTVNews.com Saturday night at the 2 Kings dinner in Dallas.

Critics agree with the rapper. Sniped The Washington Post of the song, which featured Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, “The updated take was horribly oversung… save for the 21st-century rap verses added toward the end of the track.” Wrote the New York Times, “Lil Wayne, you’re no Bob Dylan…. as a piece of work, [the song] has all the pitfalls of a Hollywood remake.”

Continued Jay-Z, 40, “I’m a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts: [Millions have been raised] through text [donations] to Haiti. So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but ‘We Are The World’ is [musically] untouchable like ‘Thriller’ is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.

His suggestion?

“I think it’s time for us to make a new [song],” Jay-Z said. “I tried to do that with ‘Stranded,’ [the tune Jay Z, Rihanna and U2’s Bono and The Edge premiered at the ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ telethon]. I didn’t try to make ‘We Are the World,’ but I tried to make our take on how we felt.”

Maybe they should have YOUR song…huh?

At least he isn’t REALLY dissing the song……if fact….. he’s actually praising it…..

February 17, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Entertainment, Media, Men, Music, Other Things, Updates, Women | , | Leave a comment

Rapper’s and Conservative Talk Show hosts….Two of a kind?

While checking on something in the library today I came  upon a piece by David Segal in the New York Times Weekend Review from September 20……

The piece was on Rappers and Conservative talk show hosts and how they may appear to be 180 degree’s from each other, but seem upon closer inspection to be VERY similar……

Oh, Yea?

As you read the piece you begin smile and shake your head……here’s the author’s main points….

On EGO…..We know that rappers have HUGE ego’s…….cited is Jay-Z\’s lyrics which exult him as a god (one with a wife that at times could light a fire)….then Rush Limbaugh is mentioned……( he isn’t married)…who pushes himself as a ‘weapon of mass instruction’ and the author of the piece reminds us that both guys refer to themselves as ‘living legends’, which is of course in their own minds………

on Haters and Feuds…..Rapper’s thrive on feuds…..well, true that David…..50 Cent/Ja Rule, Lil’ Kim/Foxy Brown……Jay Z/Nas…….yep, and well ALL know this does sell records right?!…..on the other side we have Limbaugh/O’Reilly…….Levin/O’Reilly…..and Oberman/O’Reilly……..and of course Sean Hannity who’ll pick a fight with anybody………and yes ALL of these Haters and Feuders cry all the way to the bank……..

On Verbal Skills.…..All of the above mentioned people can ‘throw the bull’……in a song on stage, or in the studio……in a radio station, or a cable news channel..it doesn’t matter……spontaneously and relentlessly……..he, he,… Segal ‘s line is priceless…’these people share the same DNA’…….

The piece ends on this note from a right leaning rapper named DJClayvis………“The differences between Ludacris and Rush Limbaugh are not that great,” he said. “Both have a huge egos, both bring a lot of bravado, both are sort of playing characters when they perform. And at the end of the day, they’re both entertainers.”

To tell you the truth, I never saw the connection….But in hindsight…..it’s there

And they all get over….

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Entertainment, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rapper's and Conservative Talk Show hosts….Two of a kind?

While checking on something in the library today I came  upon a piece by David Segal in the New York Times Weekend Review from September 20……

The piece was on Rappers and Conservative talk show hosts and how they may appear to be 180 degree’s from each other, but seem upon closer inspection to be VERY similar……

Oh, Yea?

As you read the piece you begin smile and shake your head……here’s the author’s main points….

On EGO…..We know that rappers have HUGE ego’s…….cited is Jay-Z\’s lyrics which exult him as a god (one with a wife that at times could light a fire)….then Rush Limbaugh is mentioned……( he isn’t married)…who pushes himself as a ‘weapon of mass instruction’ and the author of the piece reminds us that both guys refer to themselves as ‘living legends’, which is of course in their own minds………

on Haters and Feuds…..Rapper’s thrive on feuds…..well, true that David…..50 Cent/Ja Rule, Lil’ Kim/Foxy Brown……Jay Z/Nas…….yep, and well ALL know this does sell records right?!…..on the other side we have Limbaugh/O’Reilly…….Levin/O’Reilly…..and Oberman/O’Reilly……..and of course Sean Hannity who’ll pick a fight with anybody………and yes ALL of these Haters and Feuders cry all the way to the bank……..

On Verbal Skills.…..All of the above mentioned people can ‘throw the bull’……in a song on stage, or in the studio……in a radio station, or a cable news channel..it doesn’t matter……spontaneously and relentlessly……..he, he,… Segal ‘s line is priceless…’these people share the same DNA’…….

The piece ends on this note from a right leaning rapper named DJClayvis………“The differences between Ludacris and Rush Limbaugh are not that great,” he said. “Both have a huge egos, both bring a lot of bravado, both are sort of playing characters when they perform. And at the end of the day, they’re both entertainers.”

To tell you the truth, I never saw the connection….But in hindsight…..it’s there

And they all get over….

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Entertainment, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment