Is Nas On His Way to Becoming the First True Hip Hop Billionaire?

I know some people would be saying, 'Isn't Dr. Dre already a billionaire?' No, he isn't. He sold his Beats by Dre company to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion, but the company was not solely owned by Dre (Jimmy Iovine had equal ownership of the company with Dre), and when the money was split, and taxes were deducted, and other early investors were settled, Dre was left with $500 million after the sale. So, yea, Dre is not Hip Hop's first billionaire. But Nas might soon become Hip Hop's first billionaire.


 A few years ago, Nas started investing in start-up tech companies big-time. As a big fan of his, I have been pissed at the slow pace at which he has been dropping music lately, but when I looked into his QueensBridge Venture Partners portfolio, I was like, okay Nas, go do your money thing.










For the first ten years of his music career, he cared only about perfecting his rapping art, and giving his fans the best of himself. But, as most very creative people get sometimes, he got broke at some point, and had to start from scratch. But since he hooked up with his latest manager (and business partner), Anthony Saleh about 7 years ago, he has invested in dozens start-up companies (mostly tech companies), and he isn't stopping. According to Saleh, Nas invests anything between $100,000-$500,000 in new start-up companies monthly, and they have so far invested in about 100 companies in the last 6 years.


That's a picture of Nas and his manager/business partner, Anthony Saleh below.







He was recently presented with the Jimmy Iovine Icon Award at this year's Revolt Music Conference, and just before he was called up to collect the award, Puff Daddy spoke about his regrets of not going into the tech business early like Nas, and even joked about borrowing some money from Nas in the future. This statement from Puff (the richest man in Hip Hop) made me do some digging into Nas's investment portfolio, and what I found made me write this article. Nas might truly be on his way to becoming a Billionaire.


Below are some tech companies Nas heavily invested in very early in their start-up...


Genius.com (formerly Rapgenius.com)
Genius is a lyrics website that helps users understand the meaning of the lyrics of their favorite songs. It started out as just Rapgenius.com, but it is now known as Genius.com, and it has lyrics from other genres of music like Pop, Country, R&B, etc. Nas was one of the fist investors in the company around 2012. The company recently raised $40 million in funding 2 years ago. Genius.com is currently valued at about $500 million.


Dropbox
Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by American company, Dropbox Inc. This company is currently valued at $10 billion.


Lyft
Lyft is a privately held American transportation company. It is Uber's top competitor. This company is currently valued at $5.5 billion.


TILT
Tilt is a crowd funding company that allows for groups and communities to collect, fund-raise, or pool money online. This company is currently valued at $400 million.



Coinbase, Tradesy, LANDR, Bevel...The list is endless. He also invests in restaurants, and is currently heavily investing in the movie industry. It's like this man is making up for all his past failures. He is unstoppable right now. When some of those companies go public (like Dropbox for example), depending on the stake he has in them, he is most likely to become a billionaire eventually.









In closing, below is what Nas has to say about investing in start-up companies...

"I think anyone can be involved with investing if they have the means, but I'd advise anyone who wants to invest to be careful. You have to study it. It's not easy to find the projects that are going to generate a return, and you have to invest your time and energy — not just your money — into researching the companies that are going to do big things."

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