Plenty of rappers brag about their riches, but a few have true wealth. With the latest installment of their annual “The Forbes Five: Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artists,” Forbes highlighted hip-hop’s top earners — and the cream of the crop may not surprise you.
The five names on the list — Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Birdman and 50 Cent — are widely recognized as rap’s most successful businessmen.
Diddy scored the top slot this year, with a reported fortune of $700 million. He earned $120 million of that this year, much of which came from business ventures like Revolt TV and Ciroc. But Diddy is back to the music, too, with his “Big Homie” single out now and his album, Money Making Mitch, on the way.
Fellow producer/rapper/label head Dr. Dre trails Puff by a healthy $150 million. A large amount of the Compton native’s $550 million is owed to the success of Beats by Dr. Dre, which he co-founded in 2008 and is now valued at almost $2 billion.
The gap between Dre and Jay Z is $30 million, with much of the growth on Hov’s current $520 million fortune attributed to the expansion of Roc Nation. With Roc Nation Sports, the rapper and his company are helping to broker deals for some of the biggest names in the pros, including Robinson Cano (who signed a $240 million contract this year) and Kevin Durant. Touring doesn’t hurt, either, and if rumors are true, Jigga may be headed out on the road with wife Beyoncé this summer.
Birdman’s $160 million places him fourth. Unlike the top three, much of Baby’s wealth comes from the music, it seems. It helps that Cash Money, which he co-founded in the early 1990s, is home to some of rap’s most popular stars, including Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Drake.
50 Cent is bringing up the rear, though that’s not such a bad place to be when it means you’ve got $140 million. Most of that chunk of change reportedly comes from the $100 million deal that he struck with Vitamin Water in 2007. 50 is back in the booth these days, though. Following weekly single and video releases, Fif’s new album, Animal Ambition, will hit stores June 3.
Last year’s list actually featured the same five names. The only difference is that, in 2013, Jay Z secured the second slot, while Dr. Dre sat in third.