Skip to content

Jay-Z will be a good agent because of his drug dealing past, he says

Oct 2, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

Jay-Z Robinson Cano Geno Smith AP

I think it’s cute how Jay-Z is being portrayed as an agent lately. Yes, he’s licensed now and certified by the leagues and all of that so it is proper to call him an agent. But his company, Roc Nation, is partnered with Creative Artists Agency to do Robinson Cano‘s contract negotiations, for example, and he is hiring people with sports experience to handle the day-to-day. Because, no matter what you think of Jay-Z, the guy is smart and savvy and probably knows his limitations. And he probably has more glamorous and exciting things to do than to play phone tag with Brian Cashman all November.

That said, he has some things going for him as an agent that his competitors don’t have. Such as unique life experience. Here he is explaining to Vanity Fair how his younger days will help him represent athletes in his new endeavors as an agent:

Jay’s checkered past taught him a few things that he says will come in handy in his new role as a sports agent: “I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” he tells Robinson. “To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”

That last point is probably most germane. Explaining to athletes that they have to plan for the future because an athlete’s future is pretty short too, relatively speaking. He probably can tell athletes, with more authority than anyone, how to take care of the present and plan for the future because of the small earning window they have. Sure, a lawyer could tell an athlete that, but the lawyer is probably making the most money in his life at age 55 or something and it may ring a bit hollow for that reason.

  1. dexterismyhero - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Geez, you would think that would chase people away from him. And I love the Necole Bitchie sign in the back!!!!

  2. chacochicken - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    He’s also great with the metric system and exchange rates. Despite Nancy’s war on drugs I doubt he’s killed as many hookers as Scott Boras.

  3. rickdobrydney - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Great agent because he was a drug dealer. Wonderful. Nice thing to admit . And another reason why I pay NO attention to clowns like him.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      I gonna go out on a limb and suggest that he doesn’t want to represent you anyway.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM


        Edit function!

      • cur68 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        Nah. Don’t edit that. “I gonna” is more faux-gansta. Represent!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        Yeah, cuz nothing says faux-gangsta than a history nerd from the Frying Pan.

  4. skids003 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Only in America. Build up the drug dealer, talk down the police, military, firefighters, etc the people we should be looking up to.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      How are they building him up? He’s saying that due to life experiences he feels he’ll be a good agent.

      And plenty of police/firefighters/military are praised, for when they do good acts. However, if you are killing innocent people, or murdering civilians, all the criticism that comes your way is justified.

    • chacochicken - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      Hey, police, military, and firefighters all buy drugs too. That is the American entrepreneurial spirit.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Typical strawman.

      Who the FUCK talks down firefighters, of all people?


      Oh, lemme guess…it’s THE LIBRULS!!! AIEEEEEE!! RUN AWAYYYY…

      • skids003 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        You hate everybody don’t you. The supposedly “most tolerant” seem to be the most intolerant.

      • clemente2 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        skids—you are just proving aces’ comment.

      • skids003 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        clemente, you’re just like him. You are proving my point.

    • seattlej - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      “Only in America…”

      Uh, have you ever been outside of America? Do you have any clue what the rest of the world is like? Do you watch the news?

      • skids003 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        Well, yes, actually, I have. I try to watch as little news as I have to lately because they don’t report news any more, they try to make news. To agenda driven.

  5. Francisco (FC) - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    That is a very unique perspective.

  6. ebrownwareagle - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    America was Built off Drugs. Research ya History.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:59 AM


      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        George Washington grew hemp, man. Ever see the back of a one dollar bill? Some crazy shit, man.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        Slavery is a helluva drug.

    • baseballici0us - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Really!? And here I was all these years thinking it was industrialization.

      *Perhaps with a sprinkle Kirk Gibson Grit

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      America is fueled BY drugs, you mean.

      Wall Street is almost entirely fueled by cocaine.

      • TheMorningStar - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        Believe me, its not…wish it was.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        I’ve seen Trading Places too many times to have my image shattered by your sense of reality, Mr. MorningStar.

  7. indaburg - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Jay-Z is a great businessman. Growing up in the impoverished circumstances that he did with few if any role models, he likely didn’t see other options initially. He brilliantly developed an exit strategy, and now, look at him. That knowledge will serve him well as an agent.

    Those who judge him for his earlier life choices, when I’m giving Ativan to a patient into her veins to relax her, how am I different than a drug dealer? Oh, yeah. The drug companies are getting their cut. I have a great deal of respect for police but our drug policies are crazy.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Drug dealer apologist!

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Yeah. I’m gonna get a million thumbs down probably, but that’s my opinion.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        Well, if you want to make yourself feel better, you could always wander over to the Dallas Latos post…..


      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        I did. Interesting sociological microcosm. (In other words, big mistake.)

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        Did you really? One look at the pic and I knew to skip that post. I bet it was a bunch of anti-vagina talk. Don’t got time for that.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Yes, I knew better. It was early, no ATH. I blame Craig.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Yes, let’s…although, I kinda thought it was a nice heads-up that he put that picture with it, so I’d know to stay away. FYI, I didn’t even know who she was.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      It’s different because (right or wrong)…you are doing so legally Inda.

    • drunknbflo - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      He didnt have an exit strategy. He was just lucky he was good at rap or he would be dead or in jail right now.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        He is not “good at rap.”

      • cur68 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        Jay Z is not the worst rapper I ever heard. But, there are caucasians that rap better than Jay Z. Many, many caucasians. He is NOT a good rapper. To be a good rapper you have to at least meet the Vanilla Ice Litmus Test. Jay Z does not.

        So how did he get out of drug dealing and make it to where he is? It sure the hell aint his pretty face carrying him.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Lots of people are very good at something who never make it. He had to have a plan in addition to talent. Sure, there was some luck. Meeting the right people and so forth, but there’s an element of luck in all of our lives.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        FYI, I hate the word “Caucasian.” It’s so wrong.

    • eightyraw - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      He’s not a businessman. He’s a business, man.

      • eightyraw - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Let him handle his business. Damn.

  8. rickdobrydney - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    So “growing up in impoverished circumstances” automatically steers you to a life of drug dealing? No other options ?? Really ?? And you are going to compare giving a legal drug to a patient to the kind of crap that Jay-Z was dealing ? What am I missing here ?

    • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      The “reply” button.

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    I’m not judging (maybe a little internally, but I will keep it there). I have to ask though: aren’t there usually legal implications to admitting to crimes? If Robert Wagner came out and said, “Killing Natalie Wood has given me the emotional tools I needed to succeed as an actor” wouldn’t some people show up at his door to ask him to elaborate?

    • chacochicken - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Damn police, never doing their jobs.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      aren’t there usually legal implications to admitting to crimes

      statute of limitations

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        Also, just because he says it in an article doesn’t make it true — he can claim later that it was PR for his image. They’d need corroborating evidence, and unless the crime was big enough to warrant the time and cost of an investigation, they won’t bother.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Have you ever seen Robert Wagner “act”?

      No one would believe him if he said that.

      Besides, we all know Christopher Walken murdered Natalie Wood.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        Wait just a minute Aces. As a kid I loved “Hart to Hart.” Take it back!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        I loved Hart to Hart!

    • smartz128 - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      As church said, the statute of limitations would exclude him being charged. For most crimes it’s like 3-5 years. Other more serious offenses can go up to 25 years. It can be tolled in various circumstances, but that’s more in-depth than necessary. I did want to point out that the example you used of murder would not apply, as murder is generally the only crime for which there is no SoL. The only exception to that would be if he had been tried and acquitted, thereby running afoul of the Double Jeopardy rule. So OJ could come out and say “I slit her throat and loved it” and nothing could be done because prosecutor’s had their chance at him.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        Oh, you mean this?

  10. aceshigh11 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    No one’s made a “guilt by association” slam against Obama yet?

    I’m amazed. You right-wing psychopaths are slipping.

    Or maybe they’ve all lost access to the internet with the government shutdown.

    • skids003 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      I was waiting on you to blame Bush.

      • chacochicken - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        I’m curious, do you actually know the things he did and did not do?

  11. Walk - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    I cannot wait to see what happens when jayz gets dropped for another agent or he does not get paid on time.

  12. 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Does Jay Z have any white clients yet? I think he only has black ones. Where’s the outcry? C’mon libs say something!

    • chacochicken - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      You’ll be happy to know that Roc Nation currently represents several white musicians of many styles. They only have 5 sports clients at the moment but I suspect they’ll be getting more and you can guarantee that he won’t be turning down white clients so put your fears to rest.

    • cur68 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      Have you tried using the new “google search” thing? You could answer YOUR OWN QUESTIONS EASILY…unless your point was to shout at people and start an argument, that is. If the latter, carry on. There are plenty of people on this board would love to tear you a new one for being obstreperous a-hole.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        I always wanna ask: do you think that 950002cups registered before him and he was 950003?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      White Athletes Discriminate Against Black Agent. Film at 11.

  13. chip56 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Hey mom, I want to grow up to be a drug dealer like Jay-Z was!!!

    • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      I submit that kids who grow up in poverty do aspire to the money and respect they think they will get from drug dealing. If they are smart, however, they will aspire to be like Jay-Z in finding a way out to a better life.

      And, now I feel dirty for saying something nice about Jay-Z.

      /plays Renegade to feel less dirty

      • chip56 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        It’s a sad commentary that we glorify him as a success story because he used drugs to get himself into “legitimate” business.

        Anyone who doesn’t think that at some level Jay-Z is still in the drug trade or in some other illegal venture is fooling themselves.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Are you still mad at the Kennedy family too? If you have evidence that Jay-Z is still in the drug trade, you should notify the police. If not, you don’t have anything more than supposition, and that won’t get you anywhere. I’m not a Jay-Z fan, but you are just too invested in this. Have a nice day.

      • chip56 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        I’m not invested in this – persay – I have a problem with glorifying criminals in general (Godfather, Goodfellas, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, etc…)

      • chip56 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        What makes Jay-Z worse than those movies I mentioned is that his story is true not a work of fiction.

      • HFS Richard - Oct 3, 2013 at 10:58 AM


        there’s a big difference between “being mad at the kennedys” and not liking a former drug dealer who is semi glorifying his old life. Joe kennedys past indiscretions was in the 30s. 80+ years and 3-4 generations ago.

        Jay-Zs indiscretions are his and at a time point in which most of us were alive.

        I would never hold Blue Ivy responsible for her dads indiscretions, this isn’t dc comics where if your dad was a criminal you’ll be a criminal….(although so many Kennedy’s became politicians most would say there’s not much of a difference).
        my main point is its an apples and oranges comparison unless your only point is “the past happened get over it”

  14. whitdog23 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    you say he’s licensed as agent…while florio says he never will be. hmmm…who’s correct here?

    • chip56 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      Both are correct. He’s licensed by MLB as an agent but not the NFL.

  15. rickdobrydney - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    EXACTLY, chip56

    • chip56 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      I would be curious to ask a player who is signed with Roc Nation if by doing business with Jay-Z he feels he is tacitly endorsing drug culture. For a rapper a “thug life” persona is a good thing and a benefit in terms of your earning power, not so for a baseball or football player. I would be interested in seeing if putting that notion out there would make his client base shrink.

      Frankly I think the guy is probably still a criminal.

  16. savior72 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Don’t drug dealers negotiate with guns? Wonder how that’ll work out.

  17. eightyraw - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    He sold kilos of coke, I’m guessing he can sell FAs

  18. mannyicey - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Dang, maybe I should start being an agent, too! I think I’ll be better than Jay-Z. I mean, he was a drug dealer. Me? I was a pimp. At least I’m used to booking folks for gigs, right?

    (J/K! Just to show the flawed logic.)

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (2819)
  2. D. Span (2385)
  3. G. Stanton (2292)
  4. J. Fernandez (2282)
  5. F. Rodney (2128)
  1. G. Springer (2052)
  2. M. Teixeira (1996)
  3. Y. Puig (1931)
  4. G. Perkins (1924)
  5. C. Sabathia (1820)