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What Jay-Z Taught Us About Investing?

I started DJ’ing two years ago, and with my newfound love for mixing music came a love for late 90’s and early 2000’s hip hop and rap music. What struck a chord with me was the financial wisdom in the music; especially in Jay-Z lyrics. I think Professor Jay-Z taught Intro to Financial Planning 1301 with his latest album “4:44.” For Lesson 1, we’ll be talking about verse two of “The Story of O.J.”.

“Financial freedom my only hope

F*ck livin' rich and dyin' broke.”

Jay-Z is teaching us that money is important, but not in and of itself. He’s referring to financial freedom, and he hopes it will allow us to see that money is a tool; and the way we manage that tool has implications on our lifestyle. Earlier in the song, Jay speaks about his unnecessary spending on exotic vehicles, and wishes he could take those purchases back. This line foreshadows what is to come later in the verse regarding investment planning.

“I bought some artwork for one million

Two years later, that sh*t worth two million

Few years later, that sh*t worth eight million”

Jay-Z is teaching us how to be a diligent investor, and that the greatest gift an investor can have is time. Whenever you have more time, it allows your investment to realize the effects of compounding. As time progressed, we see his investment doubled in size.

I can't wait to give this sh*t to my children

Wow, there is a lot to unpack here. Whenever it comes to investing we must recognize the importance of two things:

1. When did you buy the asset?

2. When did you sell the asset?

These two questions hold a lot of value whenever we consider investment decisions. What is the purpose of money? Many think it is only about how can they’ll get the highest return, but in reality, they are fixated on what the money will do for them. For Jay, his focus is the generational impact that his money will have. Even though he has seen a large return on his investment, he closes out his thought by mentioning what is important for him, and that’s gifting it to his children.

Y'all think it's bougie, I'm like, it's fine

But I'm tryin' to give you a million dollars’ worth of game for $9.99

Album prices on release dates are usually around $9.99. It’s fair to say that Jay-Z is putting a lot of us on “game” with his stories and examples on life throughout his album. Jay is taking a parenthetical pause to insinuate that some might miss out on information that can lead to millions because of the $9.99 price tag.

This is what I worry about, that some might see the price tag of financial advice and pause. When in reality, the return on investment in regards to paying for financial advice is immeasurable. Don’t miss out on a million dollars’ worth of game for the price of advice.


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