According to Forbes, Jay earned $38 million last year, and at the top of 2012 was worth a reported $460 million. These days when people joke about lifestyles of the rich and famous, they are explicitly referring to him. His worth and notoriety, of course, exponentially increase when one considers that he is married to one of the only working music stars who is more famous than he: Beyoncé. Together, they are unfairly beautiful, unfairly rich, and unfairly famous, but so goshdarned flawless that most people only harbor faint pangs of jealousy.
In January, the couple welcomed their first child, Blue Ivy. Mass hysteria ensued. It was as if the messiah had returned; in fact, multiple news outlets referred to the child as the messiah, and, really, only half-jokingly. A Twitter record (please, you must have heard about the Twitter by now) for most tweets-per-second was set when the birth was announced, breaking the previous record set when the pregnancy was announced. This baby was a Big Deal. The frenzy surrounding the royal pregnancy is pathetic by comparison. Blue Ivy is our princess. Your princess.
Also, Beyoncé and Jay are BFFs—that stands for Best Friends Forever—with the Obamas. When the couple was expecting Blue Ivy, the president gave him advice on how to be a good dad. The internet went wild when that happened. It was everywhere. Obama even cracked once that he was just like Jay-Z: “We both have daughters and our wives are more popular than we are.” Shortcut guide to Jay-Z: he and Barack Obama are the same.
Oh yeah, he makes music, too. A lot of music. Sure, it’s the kind of music a lot of you call “noise” and “trash” and think is reserved for “whippersnappers” and “hooligans,” but using that as an excuse not to recognize one of the century’s most influential artists—yep, I said it!—is kind of as tragic as a teen these days not recognizing a photo of Elvis Presley, or knowing who Mozart is. Since recording his first record in 1995, the Brooklyn native has released 16 albums, sold 50 million copies, and won 14 Grammy awards. He’s kind of a big deal.