Jay Z Gets Candid About Drug Dealing Past

Jay Z reveals startling details of his past as a crack dealer in the new issue of Vanity Fair. INSIDE EDITION takes a look.

Entertainment mogul Jay Z—who is said to be worth $500 million— said he learned about business by being a crack dealer.

In a cover story in the November issue of Vanity Fair, Beyonce's husband said, "I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to 're-up.'"   

He said rap music was his exit strategy, "At some point you have to have an exit strategy because you're going to get locked up or you're going to die."

Jay Z grew up in a housing project in Brooklyn, New York when it was one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.

He returned there with a crew from 60 Minutes and talked about crack.

"It was either, you was doing it, or you was moving it," said Jay Z.

"And you was moving it?" asked Bob Simon.

"Yes, I was what you consider a hustler, yes," replied Jay Z.

"A drug dealer," replied Simon.

"That's a harsh word. Yes."

On The View, Barbara Walters quoted a mom who was ourtraged by Jay Z's revelations.

The mother said, "I dont want my kids to see this. I don't want my kids to know that he made his money selling crack."

Sherri Shepherd defended Jay Z, saying, "He said he regretted it. When he looked back on it, he absolutely regretted it and what he did to the community."

Jay Z said, "Crack was everywhere. That putrid smell—it's still in my mind."