Jay-Z Used to Keep a Nightstand Full of $100 Bills At His Infamous 560 State Street Brooklyn ‘Stash Spot’
It’s no secret that Jay-Z is one of the most successful musicians and entrepreneurs on the planet. With highly publicized marriage to Beyoncé and a net worth of over $1 billion, nobody can deny that the boy from Marcy Projects in Brooklyn made something out of himself. Many of us can only dream to attain the level of success that he’s reached.
Yet, despite how far he’s come, hood stories of his hustler past continue to come forward, even to this day. Countless producers, artists, and industry executives have told stories about Jay-Z’s earlier days as a rapper when he was transitioning from a street-smart gangster to a polished businessman. One of his childhood friends, Memphis Bleek, continued the trend by telling a crazy story about how Jay-Z kept a nightstand full of cash in his bedroom at all times.
Jay-Z came from humble beginnings in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects
Jay-Z has never been shy about where he comes from. Throughout his career, he’s never hesitated to shout out his hometown of Bedstuy, Brooklyn. However, the Bedstuy of today is far different from the neighborhood Jay-Z grew up in. He was raised in Bedstuy’s infamous Marcy Projects, which was one of New York’s most dangerous neighborhoods at the time. Drug dealing and violence were rampant, and children died every day, Jay-Z told NPR.
“Suddenly it would turn just violent and there would be shootings at 12 in the afternoon on any given day. It was a weird mix of emotions,” he said. “One day, your best friend could be killed. The day before, you could be celebrating him getting a brand-new bike.”
The harsh environment Jay-Z grew up in forced him to mature at a young age, and he quickly turned to street life. After dropping out of high school he rose in the ranks as a drug dealer but sought to change his lifestyle and began to take rapping more seriously. In the mid-90s, after narrowly escaping an indictment, he partnered up with Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke to launch Roc-A-Fella Records, and the rest is history.
Jay-Z was wealthy long before he found success as a rapper
Although Jay-Z is currently worth more than $1 billion, he apparently has always had a knack for making money (whether it was done legally or not). Jay-Z has frequently referenced his drug-dealing past on numerous records, as well as the large sums of money he was able to accumulate at a young age due to his illicit activities.
In the 90s, Jay-Z still had one foot in the streets as he was trying to transition into the music business. During this time, he hung his hat in his infamous “stash spot” at 560 State Street, a duplex that’s now located across from the Barclays Center, according to Zillow. Jay-Z has referenced this apartment in several records, most notably his chart-topping hit single, “Empire State of Mind.” Apparently, at this point in his life, he still had an enormous amount of cash on hand.
Jay-Z kept stacks of cash at in his nightstand drawer at 560 State Street
According to his childhood friend and protege Memphis Bleek, Jay-Z was a millionaire before his recording career ever took off. In an interview with Drink Champs, Bleak explained how he discovered Jay-Z was rolling in dough that nobody knew about.
One day, Bleak was at the apartment while Jay-Z was out of town, and asked the rapper if he could get $100 because he was running low on money. Jay-Z obliged, but told him to “only take $100”. Bleak goes up to Jay’s bedroom and opens the nightstand, finding a drawer full of $100 bills. He takes the hundred, but his curiosity gets the best of him and he returns to the room to see how much money is in the stand. According to Bleek:
“Suddenly my mind [was] like, ‘Check the other drawers.’ So I go up there and check. Hundreds. [Opens the next drawer] Hundreds. [Opens the next drawer] Fifties. Every drawer, stacked to the top. Hundreds and fifties. Then you get to the drawer that just had twenties. And then it was like, ‘Bleek again. Why did you ask for a hundred?’”
Clearly, Jay-Z has always known how to make a dollar, and his hustler’s mentality has played a huge role in him getting to where he is today.