It appears that Jay Z’s experience with being a drug dealer is a prerequisite for him being a sports agent, at least according to a recent article for Vanity Fair magazine.
From Vanity Fair :
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” he tells Robinson. “To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
Being a sports agent or a drug dealer are two totally different things. Being a sports agent is more than just budgets, and has to do with taxes, insurance, deadlines, some of these things drug dealers don’t have to worry about on a daily basis. But that's why he hired people with law degrees to work for him.
What will really be helpful are the negotiation tactics used on the streets. I'd hate to be Brian Cashman right about now.