Jay-Z is one of the most successful hip-hop and rap artists of his generation but there’s more to the man than his bestselling albums. He’s a self-made millionaire and entrepreneur who has a knack for making profits out of everything he sets his sights on.
The 21-time Grammy award winner is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He also owns a host of multimillion businesses including Roc-A-Fella Records and Roc Nation. Not bad for a kid from the projects with big dreams. And just to inspire you to hold onto your dreams and continue fighting the good fight, here are the best Jay Z inspirational quotes about life, success, and hustling:
“I was forced to be an artist and a CEO from the beginning, so I was forced to be like a businessman because when I was trying to get a record deal, it was so hard to get a record deal on my own that it was either give up or create my own company.”
Trust Jay-Z to never balked at any challenge then and now. Living in poverty for most of his life, Jay-Z strived hard to make his dreams come true: to become a recording artist. And he was quite successful too!
“I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that’s from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.”
When the going gets tough, don’t give up! Just keep going until all your hard work pays off. Jay-Z was betting on his talent and persistence when he had nothing else. He’s always learning, discovering new ways to do business and make the most of his talents.
“As kids, we didn’t complain about being poor; we talked about how rich we were going to be and made moves to get the lifestyle we aspired to by any means we could. And as soon as we had a little money, we were eager to show it.”
Jay Z’s mindset is the same with others who are committed to finding success. Instead of focusing on negativity, Jay-Z took action. He went out there and took advantage of all opportunities to hone his skills and seal a record deal. Now his brand goes beyond music.
“You make your first album, you make some money, and you feel like you still have to show face, like ‘I still go to the projects.’ I’m like, why? Your job is to inspire people from your neighborhood to get out. You grew up there. What makes you think it’s so cool?”
Jay-Z never forgot where he came from and he’s always committed to giving back to the community, particularly in his old neighborhood. He’s also a great inspiration for aspiring artists, giving deserving artists the exposure they need to get a recording deal.
“I would run into the corner store, the bodega, and just grab a paper bag or buy juice – anything just to get a paper bag. And I’d write the words on the paper bag and stuff these ideas in my pocket until I got back. Then I would transfer them into the notebook.”
Jay-Z was 100% committed to his art. Despite the mounting odds stacked against him, his love for his craft and the music industry as a whole inspired him to create some of the best rap songs in history.
“One of the reasons inequality gets so deep in this country is that everyone wants to be rich. That’s the American ideal. Poor people don’t like talking about poverty because even though they might live in the projects surrounded by other poor people and have, like, ten dollars in the bank, they don’t like to think of themselves as poor.”
Instead of focusing on the bad, Jay-Z was always thinking ahead, of all the amazing things that are to come thanks to his hard work. When the odds are against you, don’t give up. Instead, take these roadblocks as a learning experience.
“My brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM, where there’s no emotional attachment.”
Managing multiple businesses is a struggle but only if you’re not fully committed to making each venture a success. Jay-Z owns a variety of businesses, most of which are successful. His secret? He doesn’t do things halfheartedly. Everything he does, he gives his 100%.
“The burden of poverty isn’t just that you don’t always have the things you need, it’s the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you’d do anything to lift that burden.”
Everyone has a shot at success, it’s just a matter of fighting for your dreams regardless if you have limited resources. Jay-Z grew up in the projects and his humble beginnings set the stage for his successful music career, along with his businesses. He did not let poverty or hopelessness bring him down.
“Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action. Those who aren’t submit to their fears and live with regret.”
Fortune befriends the bold. If you have what it takes to make it big, you will. Through hard work and persistence, anyone can become a success. Do not let self-doubt keep you from achieving your dreams.
“All I got is dreams. Nobody else believes. Nobody else can see. Nobody else but me.”
Even when nobody believed he could be the successful artist and entrepreneur that he is today, Jay-Z never stopped dreaming. He didn’t let other people’s perception of him dampen his resolve. He worked hard and believed in himself when nobody did.
“We hustle out of a sense of hopelessness. Sort of a desperation. Through that desperation, we become addicted. But we feel we have nothing to list. So we offer you, well, we offer our lives. What do you bring to the table?”
Despite being one of the wealthiest artists of his generation, Jay-Z is no stranger to hopelessness and desperation. But he didn’t let negativity bring him down. Instead, he took action because he wanted a better life for himself and his family.
Featured image from i am guilty on Flickr.