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Continued: Rating Jay Z's portfolio before he hits the X

Greatest hit: He was smart enough to let Ron Howard’s company, Imagine, handle production of the excellent new festival documentary “Made in America.”

Grade: D-minus



Budweiser, Samsung, Bing, Reebok and Hewlett-Packard have used him to sell their products. It seems to have worked out fine for those companies, but it also worked well for Jay. The Samsung deal led to an automatic million downloads of his new album this year, and the Budweiser ads also greatly promoted his music.

Greatest hit: The 2009 TV/web ad for Rhapsody in which he re-created all his album covers (and hyped that year’s “The Blueprint 3”).

Grade: A-plus



His stake in the Brooklyn Nets was only 1/15th of one percent, but he played a big role in moving the team from New Jersey to his native borough, getting a new arena built and branding the franchise. Alas, he had to sell off his stake to make way for his next big venture — sports agent, which is a conflict of interest for NBA owners.

Greatest hit: He must’ve had a role in getting music-savvy ex-Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett to sign with the Nets.

Grade: C-plus



With help from mega-agency CAA and his own experience in making guys in suits pony up for guys and gals with talent, Jay launched Roc Nation Sports this year and has signed such hotshots as the New York Yankees’ Robinson Canó, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant and the New York Giants’ Victor Cruz.

Greatest hit: Jay's mere presence at a dinner meeting with New York Mets reps last week was enough to spark speculation that Canó might defect crosstown.

Grade: Too early to call, but his roster is A-list.


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  • Jay Z

  • Jay Z the NBA fan and wife Beyoncé greeted Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul before the start of a recent game in Oklahoma City.

  • JAY Z

    When: 8 p.m. Sat.

    Where: Xcel Energy Center, W. 7th St. & Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.

    Tickets: $32.50-$125, or 1-800-745-3000.

    With: No opener advertised.

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