Jay-Z Biography Explains Success Of Rocawear & Failure Of 'Jay-Z Jeep'

Zack O'Malley Greenburg's unauthorized book "Empire State Of Mind" describes Jay-Z's successes as well as his lesser-known failures.

Jay-Z's evolution from street hustler to bankable businessman is chronicled in Zack O'Malley Greenburg's new book Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office. While Jay-Z declined to participate in adding to the content of the  book, the work does an interesting job of explaining how the rapper earned more than all but seven public CEOs in 2010.

The book specifically points at how a failed business venture birthed the idea for Rocawear. In the early '90s, Jay became aware of his knack for trendsetting after many of his fans showed up to his concerts wearing Iceberg Apparel clothing, a clothing line he'd referenced in his music. He later approach Iceberg about an endorsement deal when the clothing line saw a boost in sales, but was turned down. The failed prospect prompted him to start his own apparel line, Rocawear, and would pave the way for several other business endeavors.

Although much has been said about Jay-Z's successes, the book also highlights some of his failures. His deal with Chrysler to create the "Jay-Z Jeep" fell through as did a venture with GMC Yukon for a "Jay-Z blue" painted vehicle. Greenburg says that many of the rapper's failures are well-kept under wraps. "He doesn't want to be seen as anything other than victorious…Even Jay-Z fails, but that doesn't make him any less of a businessman."


  • ILL

    Jay-Z's failures in his career are still the biggest highlight in a lot of rappers lives fuck that everybody on here blogging including myself will love to accomplish wat he did just for five minutes. And as far as Ether nobody is thinking bout that song anymore. its 2011 knock it off

    • comachonvargas

      @ ILL... not sure about that since J said 'takeover was 100 times better than Ether' in a recent interview... damn J 10 years and you still can't let it go... I can't blame him though... that shit was so intense I probably would have went on vacation and 'retired' soon thereafter too... not to mention damn near BREAKING INTO TEARS in front of Angie on Hot97... I say there is a good chance J still thinks about it... LOL

  • Chris V

    When one of ya'll dudes make over 100 million dollars come on here and talk shit. Until then stfu.

  • Robbjay

    If we dont get a J. Cole or Jay Electronica album I'm done.

  • Anonymous

    Now his line on Jeezy's "Go Crazy" make sense: "I track money my worst color is light green. My favorite hue, is Jay-Z blue"

  • the_truth

    I don't think you'll know what " a failure" is. A product that doesn't reach the Market is not a failure....(i.e The Jay-Z Jeep.) It was just an idea that didn't take off. Examples of failures are :- RocBox, America Magazine and that Urban Social Network Dame had....

  • lowprofile

    here's another failure by jay-z "rocnation" 150 mil 3 years one album yes he's an artist but can he really get anywhere without dame. rocknation has nothin but a bunch of good artists with no albums

  • Camel Back Rider

    "Jay-Z doesn't want to be seen as anything other than victorious" Especially Post-Ether, The Camel is very self-conscious.

    • Tyrone

      You sound like a child, saying you hate someone you don't even know personally. You probably hate vegetables also.

    • H to the IZZO

      spoken like a true jay-z hater, i respect that cuz i myself hate jay-z as well. good job bro *thumbs up*

  • Wolfman

    Maybe it's all about how you define failure. All I saw was a couple ideas that didn't come to light.

  • Anonymous

    earned more then all but 7 CEO's! thats a retarded amount of money. Also I would say that Chrysler and GMC ventures failed because of Chrysler and GM, not Jay-Z

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