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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 12, Number 1 (2012)

Music Entrepreneurs in the Twenty-First Century: A Case Study on the Career of Jay-Z

Leanne Perice
Indiana University (Undergraduate Student Paper)


Decades of technological advancements have transformed the music industry to the point where an artist's art is no longer the only measure of success. This is epitomized by the career of Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z. By believing in his own talents and by cultivating relationships with mentors, Jay-Z has created some of rap music’s most iconic works. This article considers how Jay-Z adapted to new trends to have the staying power that he has shown throughout his career. It considers his move away from gangsta rap when its popularity declined, and how he increased his fan base by integrating 'pop-rap' into his musical palette. When overall recorded music sales declined, he turned to brand partnerships to make up the loss in revenue. With his own line of clothing and nightclubs, Jay-Z has become more than an artist, he may arguably be said to define a lifestyle, rather than being identified with any single event or album release. Jay-Z sets the bar high for a new artist/entrepreneur model for the entertainment industry.

Keywords: Shawn Carter, Jay-Z, artist development, branding, marketing, music promotions, record labels, 360 deals, music technology, entrepreneurship, music business

Perice, Leanne. “Music Entrepreneurs in the Twenty-First Century: A Case Study on the Career of Jay-Z.” Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 12, no. 1 (2012): 221-238. https://doi.org/10.25101/12.10

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