That’s MR Jay-Z to you!

So what’s up with Beyoncé’s hubby? You have to admire the man who came from nothing and built an empire in the Empire State.
Now in his 40s, with the musical world at his feet, Jay-Z is testimony to the power of hard work. He and the wife are musical royalty, and they have been instrumental in helping presidents come to power. It’s particularly interesting that Barack Obama’s strategy for becoming the head honcho of the United States cleverly and strategically involved invoking the power of America’s two largest and most important cities: New York and Los Angeles.

Obama was one of those Americans who never came from money – and you need a lot of money to become president. The advertising budgets alone are killer. So, aside from his amazing social media strategy to raise money by getting small donations from loads of ‘ordinary’ people, he also made sure that he raised his public profile and began to associate himself very strongly with the entertainment industry in NY and LA, so that he could gain power (I hear some people screaming, “Illuminati!”). Did you know that Barack Obama has won a Grammy? It was for best spoken word album, for one of the books that he had written, that he then narrated. A move like that is bound to connect you to a major player like Jay-Z. But by the same token, associating with Barack Obama hardly hurt Jay.

And then of course there is the very strategic alliance that comes with being Mr Knowles. The man ain’t pretty, but he snagged himself a real looker in his wife, and like the Kanye/Kim nuptials, further secured his enviable position. Working with Alicia Keys on the song about their beloved city and state also helped to bring him front and centre in the minds of the people. How will things look when he is in his 60s? Time will tell. But for now, there is no stopping the man.

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About the author


Blogger Rob Rodell is a singer-songwriter, performing music artist, music business lecturer and singing teacher. Rodell was nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMA) for his album A Cappella Christmas. Between 2009 and 2011 he was the head of music business education at the Soul Candi Institute of Music, which is linked to the Soul Candi record label. His hit House track Could This Be Love done in conjunction with DJ Shimza and Cuebur, received extensive airplay on both YFM and Metro FM, and was released through Soul Candi on various compilation albums, selling in excess of 10,000 copies and giving it ‘gold’ status as a single. Rodell completed his licentiate in singing through Rockschool and passed it with distinction, becoming the first person in the world to do the qualification. He is currently busy with his Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree.

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