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I’m A Business, Man! Jay-Z’s 10 Smartest Business Decisions

The Decision: Creating Roc-A-Fella Records

The Year: 1996

The Bottom Line: What do you do when no one wants to take a chance on your debut album? You create your own record label (along with your partners Dame Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke), seek a distributor (in Jay’s case, Priority Records) and hold on to the rights to your masters. And when your album eventually sells more than a million copies? Well, let’s just say you’re getting paid in full. From the start, Jay’s been about his paper.

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