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A speech from the guy who took the dinner with Jay-Z

You're crazy, they said. You have a mortgage to pay off, a car, student loan debt. A family to provide for. My wife, as I'm getting ready tonight, goes, "Who on earth could you be having dinner with that is worth destroying our marriage over? You are absolutely insane if you take that dinner over five hundred thousands dollars in cash."

Allow me to reintroduce myself. I stand in front of you now a man not richer in tangible wealth, but flush in the cash of knowledge. My stomach is filled with a meal of insight and experience. For I was a fortunate soul tonight to share a dinner table with the rapper, the entrepreneur, and the creative visionary known as Jay-Z. And yes, I took this dinner instead of $500,000.

To those of you uninitiated in this crowd on Jay, I've got a question for you: How did you get in here? Hahaha. I jest. But let's just say you weren't able to sit at our table. Me and Jay-Z, I mean, when I say our table.

Rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, record executive, media proprietor. Named the Greatest Rapper of All Time by Billboard. Fourteen number-one albums. Twenty-four Grammy awards. To you, this might sound like I went to Jay's Wikipedia page and copied some facts down. But to me, I see a networking opportunity. A blueprint, if you will. A blueprint for success. Tell me you wouldn't want to sit down for a dinner with this man.

In his song "The Story of OJ," Jay went, "I'm tryin' to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99." Here Jay explains his conversion rate: a single album, worth 9.99, imparts $1,000,000 worth of game. At this scale, a dinner worth $500,000 is like getting $50 billion in game from Jay. 50 billion. Whistle. I only wonder how large our waitress's tip will be!! Well, thanks to the generosity of HOV, I got 99 problems but the tip ain't one.

Now, I know what you're thinking. What could you have possibly learned from Jay-Z that was worth the price of a competently-sized home? After all, 500,000 is 500,000. Scoff! Well my friend, if you have to ask that question, then you don't know Jay. Not like I do.

You see, we're friends now. I asked Jay if he wanted to be my friend and he said yes. He also gave me valuable insight into philanthropy, the rap industry, New York City, and making money. Insight that will prove invaluable when I eventually make $500,000 on my own accord.

But enough about dollar signs and market share and lyric quotes. That means a lot to me, but it's not why I'm here. I'm here because I made a friend. And money can't buy you those.

Thirteen years ago, the Hov himself asked, "What would you rather be, underpaid or overrated?" Tonight I ask myself, 'what would you rather be, underpaid or well fed?" Well folks, I think you know my answer. And my belt sure does too.

Let us toast

To the restaurant, whose good spirits flow freely like wine, and whose delicacies fill our gullets.

To Jay Z himself, for allowing me the opportunity to sit down with him for a beautiful dinner.

And to my lovely wife: while I might not have the funds to get us a vacation to Europe... the leftovers will be delicious!