Who’s richer Jay Z or Diddy?

A couple bucks for the ‘Kiss the Girls’ video and a few more bucks

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It’s the beginning of the end for the Roc-A-Fella family.

For a man who’s become a superstar and world superstar in the last decade, Jay Z has been a good businessman, a big-time music producer – and, it was suggested yesterday, a man who’s very good at hiding his personal finances.

Yesterday, TMZ reported, he paid his recording engineer $500,000 in an arrangement “that allowed [Jay Z] to have complete control of his recording studio, including hiring managers, artists, and engineers.”

The implication: Jay Z didn’t have to share it – nor did he expect to.

“Jay Z, as a businessman is taking all the risk, he has the business acumen to see why it’s good for this business,” says a source. It was not the idea that “it’s like buying and owning an album,” but rather “the fact that he was taking the risk and paying. It’s not going to be him, it’s going to be other business people.”

It could be a case of him not knowing what other business people did – or didn’t do. The way he’s paid his recording engineer, his record company, and other people was to pay them in cash, the source says. And that money was then invested in his company, Roc Nation. He wanted to keep the records in-house so he could do the deals with labels, and sell the songs in person.

However, by paying his engineer, Jay Z has created a little risk for him. He might be a producer-producer, but his record company is more like a music company. He would have to hire a record company manager and engineer. He might even pay their salaries. (At the moment he seems to be holding off on paying them.)

In short, there’s a lot of speculation and no real evidence that Jay Z’s been a bad businessman.

“It’s a business and he’s making money,” says a source.

What is not clear, however, is how any of this played out. In April 2014, while RCA was in bankruptcy court, Jay Z was reportedly in talks with Diddy to buy back control of his record company. It seems that, at least for now, Jay’s not interested in that. RCA’s stock is down a lot since RCA went public, and