World-famous rapper Jay Z said dealing crack cocaine helped him develop the necessary business skills to become a successful entrepreneur.
“I know about budgets,” Jay Z told Vanity Fair in its October issue. “I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up.”
Jay Z, born Shawn Carter, is widely considered one of the most successful rappers of all time, with a net-worth of roughly $500 million and having sold over 30 million albums domestically.
“Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die,” the rapper turned businessman continued.
Jay Z said when he was growing up “crack was everywhere” and “inescapable.” He told Vanity Fair he never used the drug himself, but sold it.
Years later, he said, he came to regret that decision.
“Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community,” he said. “I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
Jay Z stirred controversy in June when he and wife Beyonce Knowles visited Cuba for their anniversary vacation. Travel to the communist country is generally restricted by the U.S. government.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter