I didn’t grow up poor, but I still wish I had a few nice things. Sean Carter, aka Jay-Z, grew up deliriously poor in the Marcy Projects and probably wanted nice things too. The biggest difference? He is definitely not very Brokelyn any more. How rich is he? After listening to his and Kanye’s Watch the Throne, I’m wondering if he’s the only one keeping the economy alive. For your reading pleasure/envy here’s a song-by-song breakdown of the $300 million worth of ridiculous crap he owns.
1. No Church In The Wild
“Rollin’ in the Rolls-Royce Corniche/ Only the doctors got this, I’m hidin from police/Cocaine seats/All white like I got the whole thing bleached”
3. Niggas In Paris
“Ball so hard, got a broke clock, Rolleys that don’t tick tock/Audemars that’s losing time, hidden behind all these big rocks”
Baller status: Any plebe can buy a Rolex. The cheapest Audemar watch I found was $3,000. There’s also a million dollar one made almost entirely of gold and diamonds. Wonder which one Hov has.
“If you escaped what I’ve escaped/You’d be in Paris getting fucked up too/Ball so hard, let’s get faded, Le Meurice for like six days”
Baller status: When in beautiful Paris, stay at the elegant Le Meurice, provided you even have the money for its 720 euro a night basic room. If you’re reading Brokelyn, you probably don’t.
“Gold bottles, scold models, spillin Ace on my Sick Js”
Baller status: Good news bargain hunters: a case of 15 Liter Ace of Spades champagne that normally goes for $19,487 can now be yours for merely $17,975! But unless you can see yourself fitting in in this most balling picture ever, maybe you should stick to the champagne of beers.
“Chi town’s D. Rose, I’m movin the Nets to BK”
Baller status: Perhaps you’ve heard Mr. Carter owns a basketball team? For the low, low price of $4.5 million (1.5 percent of the Nets $300 million sale price) you too can be part owner of a flailing, money losing joke of a team. Since the Nets are all wrapped up, might we suggest the Golden State Warriors?
“I guess I got my swagger back, truth/New watch alert, Hublot’s”
Baller status: You can’t put a price on Hov’s swag, but you can put a price on a Hublot. How about, say, a million dollars?
“Flee in the G450 I might surface/Political refugee, asylum can be purchased/Uh, everything for sale, I got 5 passports/I’m never going to jail”
Baller status: Well, I thought the G450 was a car until I looked it up and found it was a private jet that costs between $31 and $41 million. Just for the jet, you also need people to fly and staff it. I asked my local gun runner how much his passports were but he wasn’t answering, so we’ll have to speculate that Jay has paid out around $200 million for his extra identities
5. Gotta Have It
“Bueller had a Mueller, but I switched it for a Mille/Cause I’m richer, and prior to this shit was movin’ freebase”
You might think a watch that costs merely $229,000 is beneath Hov’s status, and it is. However, each of the merely 50 “RM027” watches floating in the world cost $500,000. I’ll bet my calculator watch Jay is referring to one of those.
9. Who Gon Stop Me?
“2 seats in the 911, no limit on the black card”
Baller status: Honestly, at only $112,900, a Porsche 911 seems like a downgrade from a Corniche. You could probably buy like three of them though with an American Express Centurion Card, provided you meet their ridiculous secret requirements.
10. Murder to Excellence
“It’s a celebration of black excellence/Black tie, black Maybachs”
Baller status: I don’t even know what one does with a $519,700 car. Mount machine guns to it?
“Tuxes next to the president, I’m present/I dress in Dries and other boutique stores in Paris”
Baller status: Dries shoes are expensive, ($560) but somehow still not more expensive than those sweet Air Jordans Jay rocked earlier in the album. More expensive than the shoes is owning a piece of the president, which you can do for a mere $35,800.
13. Illest Motherfucker Alive
“When I say it then you see it, it ain’t only in the music/Basquiats, Warhols serving as my muses/My house like a museum so I see ‘em when I’m peeing/Usually you have this much taste you European”
“Commes De Garcon, fuck your fresh head shots nigga, fuck your vests”
Baller status: Never in history has a man in an $890 blazer sounded so frightening.
“I hit the club, ordered some Grey Goose/Switched it for Ciroc to give Puff’s stock a boost”
Baller status: You too can help out struggling small-business owner Sean Combs by getting Ciroc bottle service for the low, low price of $600.
“New money, I found the fountain of youth/I’m headed to Miami to fuck up the Fontaine Bleu”
Baller status: If Le Meurice is too expensive for you (and it is), why not go with the bargain basement price of $349 a night at the Fontaine Bleu hotel?
$315,328,752 $305,843,399 worth of bling. And that’s just one album!
(Note: Oddly enough, a few of the tracks were free of conspicuous consumption. Lyrics are approximate.)
Follow David: @HerbertHarper.