Hip hop mogul Jay Z, one of the richest men in the music industry, has admitted he got his business skills from drug dealing
He said selling crack cocaine on the streets of New York during the 1980s gave him the skills to succeed later in life.
'I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,' said the 43 year old who is married to singer Beyonce. 'To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up.'
Jay Z has never hidden his past as a drug dealer before he found fame and fortune as a music producer.
He told Vanity Fair magazine he was part of the crack cocaine epidemic that blighted the streets of New York and was responsible for hundreds of deaths.
Jay Z said he now regrets being part of the drug problem but said at the time he was only thinking about the money.
'Not until later, when I realised the effects on the community,' he said. 'I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning no.
'I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.'
Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, started his career as a rapper before becoming one of the most influential forces in hip hop music.
In 2008 he married Beyonce and the couple have an 18-month-old child Blue Ivy.
The pair are the richest couple in the music business with an estimated fortune of more than $750million between them.
Jay Z told the November issue of the magazine that the most important plan a drug dealer can have is to get out of the business.
'You have to have an exit strategy, because your window(for dealing drugs) is very small. You're going to get locked up or you're going to die.'
On a happier note, Jay revealed his daughter has become his biggest cheerleader after hearing his latest album Magna Carta... Holy Grail.
'She loves all the songs. She plays a song and she goes, "More, Daddy, more... Daddy song." She’s my biggest fan,' he said. 'If no one bought the Magna Carta [album], the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy.
'And that’s not like a cliché. I’m really serious. She’s genuine, she’s honest, because she doesn’t know it makes me happy. She just wants to hear it.'
Admitting 'of course' he pursued Beyonce, Jay maintains he would have charmed her even if he had been working a 'normal job' and not been a famous hip hop star.
'If I’m as cool as I am, yes. But she’s a charming Southern girl, you know, she’s not impressed... But I would have definitely had to be this cool.'
He also confirms that the line on his latest album: 'She was a good girl ’til she knew me' is about his wife.
When quizzed if she is no longer a 'good girl', Jay-Z responds: 'Nah. She’s gangsta now.'