Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z has admitted that he learnt how to plan and spend his money from his days as a drug dealer.
The hip-hop star grew up in Brooklyn and has previously admitted he dealt crack cocaine by the time he was 13. He looked up to the men who were in gangs in his neighbourhood and has now spoken about how his early life impacted his multi-million dollar music business.
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,’ he told Vanity Fair magazine.
“To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up.”
Even while ensconced in the criminal world the now 43-year-old knew it wasn’t what he wanted long term. He began to think about where life would take him, but didn’t expect to make it so big in rap music.
“If you want to start some sort of barbershop or carwash – those were the businesses back then,’ he explained to the publication’s November issue. ‘Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life.
“You have to have an exit strategy, because your window [for dealing drugs] is very small. You’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
Looking back, the star can’t believe he became caught up in the drugs world. He is upset to think he had a hand in peddling illicit substances and wishes he had spent more time considering his choices.
“Not until later, when I realised the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no,” he admitted.
“I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
Jay Z also touched upon his future plans. He is married to pop star Beyoncé Knowles and they have 20-month-old daughter Blue Ivy and being a father has brought him a great deal of joy.
The rapper previously claimed he would quit music by the age of 30 and laughs when he remembers the comments now. He claims that he loves his job far too much to give it up and will continue laying down tracks for as long as possible.