110 Jay-Z Quotes on His Success in Career, Life, and Love

If you need a little push to pursue your passion and do things you never thought you could do, these Jay-Z quotes might be just what you need.

Jay-Z is a rapper and entrepreneur from Brooklyn, New York. He is a successful businessman, and he is married to former Destiny’s Child frontwoman, Beyoncé Knowles.

He is an inspiration to many aspiring rappers worldwide. Music is a source of inspiration for him and is a platform to share his advocacies and beliefs.

If you want to know more about him, check these quotes to inspire you to overcome adversity to pursue his passion.

Start reading here.

And don’t forget to check out these Drake quotes.

Best Jay-Z Quotes

1. “I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not trying.”

2. “Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action. Those who aren’t submit to their fears and live with regrets.”

3. “You can pay for school, but you can’t buy class.”

4. “Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself.”

5. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

6. “Only God can judge me so I’m gone, either love me or leave me alone.”

7. “Belief in oneself and knowing who you are, I mean, that’s the foundation for everything great.”

8. “You learn more in failure than you ever do in success.”

9. “We change people through conversation, not through censorship.”

10. “Life is all there is. And if that’s true, then we have to really live it—we have to take it for everything it has.”

11. “I will not lose, for even in defeat, there’s a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me.”

12. “I believe everyone in the world is born with genius-level talent. Apply yourself to whatever you’re a genius at, and you can do anything in the world.”

13. “I’m a mirror. If you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don’t like what you see, then you’ve done something. If I’m standoffish, that’s because you are.”

14. “Excellence is being able to perform at a high level over and over again. You can hit a half-court shot once. That’s just the luck of the draw. If you consistently do it—that’s excellence.”

15. “Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow.”

Famous Jay-Z Quotes

16. “Everyone needs a chance to evolve.”

17. “Only two things can get you through this—that’s patience and persistence.”

18. “A wise man told me don’t argue with fools, ‘cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who.”

19. “Whenever inspiration won’t find you, you have to find it.”

20. “I’d rather die enormous than live dormant.”

21. “You can want success all you want, but to get it, you can’t falter. You can’t slip, you can’t sleep. One eye open, for real, and forever.”

22. “I love what I do, and when you love what you do, you want to be the best at it.”

23. “By far, for me, the most important thing is inspiration.”

24. “Life is for living, not living uptight. See ya somewhere up in the sky.”

25. “Difficult takes a day; impossible takes a week.”

26. “All I got is dreams. Nobody else believes. Nobody else can see. Nobody else but me.”

27. “Don’t tell me what was said about me. Tell me why they were so comfortable to say it to you.”

28. “We all have the same fear—the fear of failure. We all have the fear of failure. As someone successful, the weight of all that you’ve done is on you.”

29. “I believe that the energy you put out in the world; you get back.”

30. “Hip hop is more about attaining wealth. People respect success. They respect big. They don’t even have to like your music. If you’re big enough, people are drawn to you.”

Also read: Eminem Quotes, J. Cole Quotes

Inspirational Jay-Z Quotes to Keep You Going

31. “I’m inspired by life and all sorts of things. You could say something right now and it would inspire me to write a song.”

32. “The genius thing that we did, was we didn’t give up.”

33. “I’m feeling like the worlds against me Lord, call me crazy, ‘cuz strangely I love the odds—they gunning for me, they want to see me fall, they know my story, I been through it all, nights I felt like dying, but I ain’t crying, what didn’t kill me, made me strong as I am. I am. I am.”

34. “Be fluid. Treat each project differently. Be water, man. The best style is no style. Because styles can be figured out. And when you have no style they can’t figure you out.”

35. “In the end, you can’t censor the truth, especially when it comes packaged in hot music.”

36. “Successful people have a bigger fear of failure than people who’ve never done anything because if you haven’t been successful, then you don’t know how it feels to lose it all.”

37. “Some said, ‘How’d you fly?’ I said, ‘From not being afraid of trying to fly.’”

38. “Artists can have greater access to reality; they can see patterns and details and connections that other people, distracted by the blur of life, might miss. Just sharing that truth can be a very powerful thing.”

39. “Primarily, I see myself as so much more than a rapper. I really believe I am the voice for a lot of people who don’t have that microphone or who can’t rap.”

40. “Do things that are true to you. Most things that I’m involved with are being creative and things that I like. Get involved with things that you love and be sure to have a standard and integrity with what you’re doing.”

41. “The burden of poverty isn’t just that you don’t always have the things you need, it’s the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you’d do anything to lift that burden.”

42. “If y’all can’t already see, I ain’t worried about ya’ll, ‘cause I’m already me.”

43. “Shakespeare was a man who wrote poetry. I’m a man who writes poetry. Why not compare yourself to the best?”

44. “Wherever I go, I bring the culture with me, so that they can understand that it’s attainable. I didn’t do it any other way than through hip hop.”

Jay-Z Quotes About Life 

45. “I got mouths to feed til they put flowers on me.”

46. “I’m like a dog. I never speak, but I understand.”

47. “I went through hell, I’m expecting heaven.”

48. “I believe you can speak things into existence.”

49. “I collect art, and I drink wine—things that I like that I had never been exposed to. But I never said, ‘I’m going to buy art to impress this crowd.’ That’s just ridiculous to me. I don’t live my life like that, because how could you be happy with yourself?”

50. “If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow.”

51. “I couldn’t even think about wanting to be something else: I wouldn’t let myself visualize another life. But I wrote because I couldn’t stop. It was a release, a mental exercise, a way of keeping sane.”

52. “Life is about balance, you have to have time for work, and time for play. If you don’t allow these two things to co-exist, you have an imbalance.”

Also read: Tupac Quotes, Nas Quotes

Motivational Jay-Z Quotes That’ll Drive You Pursue Your Passion in Life

53. “May the best of your today’s be the worst of your tomorrow’s.”

54. “Leave a mark they can’t erase, neither space nor time.”

55. “Everything evens up, you just wait. Even a garage can get a steak. You are not even a garbage can, you have faith!”

56. “I come from a place where you had to keep your word, where people would stick with you no matter what—I just tried to be a man of my word.”

57. “I’m far from being God, but I work God damn hard.”

58. “They talk. We live. Who cares what they say?”

59. “It just got to a point where it was, like, ‘Make this decision, because this is something you really love, and you love to do. It’s time to really focus on and then get serious about it, give it your all.’ And once I did that, it was no looking back from there.”

60. “Truth is you don’t need some external demon to take control of you to turn you into a raging, money-obsessed sociopath, you only need to let loose the demons you already have inside of you.”

61. “A wise man once told me luck isn’t some mystical energy that dances around the universe randomly bestowing people with satisfaction and joy, you create your own luck.”

62. “The truth about talent is first, that it’s God-given. When you want to unleash that talent, your mind lets it go. Because it’s there. You have to have that belief that when you draw from that well of talent that it’s going to be there.”

63. “If people don’t hate you, you’re probably not doing very big things.”

64. “You have to find your genius-level talent, and then apply it in a way that supports that genius-level talent.”

65. “Do me a favor. Don’t do me no favors. I handle mine.”

66. “They say you put the right artist with the right track in the studio, leave the door cracked, and let God in.”

Also read: 50 Cent Quotes

Interesting Jay-Z Quotes on Money and His Thoughts on Wealth

67. “Money and power don’t change you; they just further expose your true self.”

68. “I have a lot of happiness, but that doesn’t mean that the two, ‘money and happiness’ equate to each other—they’re not tied to each other.”

69. “As kids, we didn’t complain about being poor; we talked about how rich we were going to be and made moves to get the lifestyle we aspired to by any means we could. And as soon as we had a little money, we were eager to show it.”

70. “One of the reasons inequality gets so deep in this country is that everyone wants to be rich. That’s the American ideal. Poor people don’t like talking about poverty because even though they might live in the projects surrounded by other poor people and have, like, ten dollars in the bank, they don’t like to think of themselves as poor.”

Also read: Biggie Smalls Quotes

Insightful Jay-Z Quotes About Business and Success 

71. “I’m not a ‘businessman!’ I’m a business, man! Let me handle my business, damn!”

72. “There are a lot of things that I lived in the street that helped me in the music business. I knew what characters not to have around me.”

73. “People look at you strange, say you changed. Like you worked that hard to stay the same.”

74. “It’s hilarious a lot of times. You have a conversation with someone, and he’s like, ‘You speak so well!’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean? Do you understand that’s an insult?”

75. “Instincts are really important in business. I didn’t go to any business school 101 or anything like that, I pretty much just followed my instincts.”

76. “Most people that were successful growing up where I was from never came back. So there was never a dialogue on ‘how did you do it’ ‘what happened’ there was no mentoring program—no going back teaching a person a trade or what you do—so that’s why I figured I’d started the school because education is the answer.”

Jay-Z Quotes That Zoom in on Love and Relationships

77. “If it’s you and me against the world, then so be it.”

78. “Jealousy’s a weak emotion.”

79. “When you’re truly in love. You will never have anything to hide.”

80. “I think relationships are broken up because of the media.”

81. “Males shouldn’t be jealous. That’s a female trait.”

Jay-Z Quotes About Hustling

82. “I’m a hustler baby; I sell water to a well.”

83. “We hustle out of a sense of hopelessness. Sort of a desperation. Through that desperation, we become addicted. But we feel we have nothing to list. So, we offer you, well, we offer our lives. What do you bring to the table?”

84. “I try to work with brands that have some sort of partnerships there. I don’t do one-off deals but try to work on partnerships as opposed to one-off endorsement deals.”

85. “The responsibility is to keep pushing it forward, and not relying on the same old gimmicks. You have to push it forward.”

86. “The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler is like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart.”

Jay-Z Quotes That Highlight His Music and Career

87. “Rap has been a path between cultures in the best tradition of popular music.”

88. “Hip hop gave a generation a common ground that didn’t require either race to lose anything; everyone gained.”

89. “Everyone who makes music is a good collaborator at their foundation because in order to make music, you have to connect to it in a way that other people can’t.”

90. “Told me don’t wait on nobody, go get your own, so it’s me, myself, and my Microphone.”

91. “They say a midget standing on a giant’s shoulders can see much further than the giant. So I got the whole rap world on my shoulders, they trying to see further than I am.”

92. “You have to realize what’s behind it, because I don’t know these guys, but I know it’s more of a competitive thing, and it just comes with the job.”

93. “Hip hop is a perfect mix between poetry and boxing.”

94. “Rap, for me, is like making movies, telling stories, and getting the emotions of the songs through in just as deep a way. And I grew up in rap and movies the same way.”

95. “That’s why this generation is the least racist generation ever. You see it all the time. Go to any club. People are intermingling, hanging out, having fun, enjoying the same music. Hip hop is not just in the Bronx anymore. It’s worldwide. Everywhere you go, people are listening to hip hop and partying together. Hip hop has done that.”

96. “You make your first album, you make some money, and you feel like you still have to show face, like ‘I still go to the projects.’ I’m like, why? Your job is to inspire people from your neighborhood to get out. You grew up there. What makes you think it’s so cool?”

97. “My thing is related to who I am as a person. The clothes are an extension of me. The music is an extension of me. All my businesses are part of the culture, so I have to stay true to whatever I’m feeling at the time, whatever direction I’m heading in. And hopefully, everyone follows.”

98. “A poet’s mission is to make words do more work than they normally do, to make them work on more than one level.”

99. “The art of rap is deceptive. It seems so straightforward and personal and real that people read it completely literally, as raw testimony or autobiography.”

100. “It’s always been most important for me to figure out ‘my space’ rather than trying to check out what everyone else is up to, minute by minute. Technology is making it easier to connect to other people, but maybe harder to keep connected to yourself—and that’s essential for any artist, I think.”

More Jay-Z Quotes to Ponder On

101. “They say you can’t turn a bad girl good but once a good girl’s gone bad, she’s gone forever.”

102. “Only thing that’s on my mind is who’s gonna run this town tonight.”

103. “I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.”

104. “I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that’s from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.”

105. “Racism is taught in the home. We agree on that? Well, it’s very hard to teach racism to a teenager who’s listening to rap music and who idolizes, say, Snoop Dogg. It’s hard to say, ‘That guy is less than you.’ The kid is like, ‘I like that guy, he’s cool. How is he less than me?”

106. “When you’re growing up, your dad is your superhero. Once you’ve let yourself fall that in love with someone, once you put him on such a high pedestal and he lets you down, you never want to experience that pain again.”

107. “I would run into the corner store, the bodega, and just grab a paper bag or buy juice—anything just to get a paper bag. And I’d write the words on the paper bag and stuff these ideas in my pocket until I got back. Then I would transfer them into the notebook.”

108. “Hip hop has done so much for racial relations, and I don’t think it’s given the proper credit. It has changed America immensely. I’m going to make a very bold statement: hip hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations.”

109. “When the TV version of Annie came on, I was drawn to it. It was the struggle of this poor kid in this environment and how her life changed. It immediately resonated.”

110. “I was forced to be an artist and a CEO from the beginning, so I was forced to be like a businessman because when I was trying to get a record deal, it was so hard to get a record deal on my own that it was either give up or create my own company.”

What Do You Like Best About Jay-Z’s Rapping Style?

Jay-Z, born Shawn Corey Carter, rose to the top of the rap industry and business by working hard and never giving up on his dreams. He is now one of America’s most financially successful artists and entrepreneurs.

Jay-Z’s childhood was not easy; he even dropped out of school despite being a brilliant student. His life was in disarray until he discovered rapping and decided to pursue a music career. It is clear that through rap, he was able to open new doors and find success in life.

Life will continue to put you to the test, but don’t let it get to you. Never forget to believe in yourself, and keep hustling and grinding towards your life goals. We hope you’ve been inspired by the Jay-Z quotes we’ve compiled for you.

Which of these Jay-Z quotes motivated you to pursue your goals in life? Please, let us know in the comments section below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.