The wildly acclaimed music style known as rap has continued to grow and expand as upcoming artists step into the limelight and already established rappers break set new milestones. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most recent release by Forbes magazine on the top grossing earners in the rap industry.
The most ironic aspect about all this is the fact that behind their enormous achievements RAP isn’t what has elevated them to the status they are presently.
The top 5 richest rappers in the world are:
5. Bryan “Birdman” Williams — $150 million
The number 4 on the 2014 list ranks 5th this year with a $10 million drop. Birdman is still doing exceptionally well and his rise to fame can be attributed to the success of his record label Cash Money Records, which helped boost up his earnings in the early days.
His drop can be attributed to the recent legal battles and departure of big names such as Lil Wayne. Ever the businessman, the founder and owner of Bronald Oil and Gas, LLC is still waxing strong.
4. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson — $155 million
Although his music career is suddenly declining with his 2014 album, Animal Ambition, only selling 124,000 units as opposed to 12,000,000 copies sold from his 2000 major debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. While relatively new on the top 5 list, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has continued to be on the up thanks to his sale of VitaminWater to Coca-Cola in 2007 which netted him $100 million. He also owns G-Unit Records, has stakes in Effen vodka and SMS headphones, he of late invested in Frigo, an underwear company.
3. Sean “Jay Z” Carter — $550 million
Although he is one of the most influential rappers till date, Jay Z with his exceptionally good eye for business has invested in a lot of startups and established businesses.
After selling Rocawear, his clothing line in 2007 for $204 million and signing a $150 million collaboration with Live Nation in 2008. He also has his ‘Roc Nation’ and ‘Armand de Brignac’ champagne to thank for his increasing wealth. He recently re-launched ‘Tidal’ a Scandinavian streaming service and has a minority stake in NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
2. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young — $700 million
He takes the number 2 slot much thanks to the sale of his thriving Beats by Dr. Dre headphones to Apple for $3 billion. The largest single pay check ever in hip-hop record. Moving on from his enormous success, the Beats Electronic Company has established Beats Music, which is an online-streaming service to contend with Spotify’s control over the market. He is currently worth $700 million.
1. Sean “Diddy” Combs — $735 million
Currently the richest rapper on earth. He started out with his label Bad Boy Records in the ’90s making his name off production and rap work with the likes of Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans. Sean “Diddy” Combs with his intelligent business deals owes much of his success to Sean John and Enyce, his clothing lines.
He has a 50% stake in the Ciroc vodka brand, owns alkaline bottled water brand ‘Aquahydrate’ with popular actor Mark Wahlberg and tequila brand ‘DeLeon’. His recent major equity stake in the multi-platform TV network, Revolt TV could eventually see him rise to be the first billionaire recording artist in hip-hop history.