Thursday, February 11, 2016

Top 10 Richest Rappers

Heads want to know: Who is the richest rapper in the world? There are so many hip-hop millionaires around today than at any other time in history. With so many big spenders making moves, Forbes even has an annual list dedicated to rap's richest players: The Hip-Hop Cash Kings. While no rapper has ever reached the billion dollar mark, we're much closer to witnessing the first hip-hop billionaire. It's arguably a three-horse race with Dr. Dre, Jay Z and Diddy leading the competition. Here are the 10 richest rappers in the world.

10. 50 Cent

Net Worth: Unknown

"I took quarter water, sold it in bottle for two bucks and Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions," 50 Cent rapped on 2007's "I Get Money." Fif has that Vitamin Water deal to thank for a huge portion of his net worth.

As the pitchman for Vitamin Water's Formula 50, Two Quarters was entitled to $5 million and a 5% equity stake.

When Coca-Cola acquired Vitamin Water's parent company Glaceau for $4.1 billion, 50 Cent earned his biggest payday yet: a whopping $200 million before taxes.

9. Kanye West

Net Worth: $130 million

Rapper. Producer. Designer. Kanye West does it all. And with so many irons in the fire, Yeezy has multiple avenues to generate revenue. West earns a substantial amount from record sales, sold-out tours like his Yeezus experience, production work and GOOD Music projects. In 2013, the Louis Vuitton Don left severed ties with Nike and signed a multi-million dollar deal with Adidas for his Yeezy line of sneakers.

Yeezy has been known interrupt award speeches and give meme-ready interviews, but he's also a business-minded rapper.

8. Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion)

Net Worth: $135 million

Even if he never drops another album, Snoop Dogg will always be one of the coolest rappers around. Snoop's laid-back personality lends an attractive vibe to his marketing prospects. He's still an in-demand collaborator, and he continues to grow his fortune in and out of the studio. Snoop, who recently released a reggae album as Snoop Lion, has served as a pitchman for companies like Airbnb and Hot Pockets.

7. Lil Wayne

Net Worth: $140 million

Show off hands if you remember when Lil Wayne was just a prepubescent puppy running around with the big dogs? Through years of grind and maturation, he's evolved into a household name. Unlike many of the names on this list, Weezy's earnings stem primarily from his music. He charges a hefty performance fee (reportedly between $300,000 and $500,000), tours relentlessly and moves millions of record units.

6. Eminem

Net Worth: $170 million

Eminem doesn't have a ridiculously lucrative business venture like his mentor Dr. Dre. What Em has, though, is enough to guarantee an enviable bank account. Em's revenue stem largely from record sales, sold-out arena tours and performance fees. He also runs a moderately successful record label, Shady Records, which claims Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil and Yelawolf as part of its talent-heavy roster.

5. Birdman

Net Worth: $170 million

There's a huge legal battle brewing at Cash Money Records over unpaid royalties, but that hasn't stopped the label's co-founder from enriching his pockets. Bryan "Birdman" Williams co-founded Cash Money with his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams over two decades ago. The music empire that launched with Juvenile as its marquee artist has since expanded to include today's megastars Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj.

They've also added a YMCMB clothing line and GT Vodka to the mix. Birdman would be higher on this list if he didn't have to split his fortune with his brother. Family first, right? Still, $170 million is outstanding for a man with no recognizable job description.

4. Master P

Net Worth: $350 million

How is Master P one of the richest rappers in the world, despite not having released a relevant single in over a decade? That's because Master P is pretty much the godfather of the independent-label hustle. P built his No Limit empire in the 1990s, and a host of other labels would eventually follow his blueprint. But it wasn't just music. The No Limit emporium grew to include a clothing line, a film production company, a video game company and a luxurious travel agency.

P, a rapper himself, is still reaping the rewards of his business ventures and record sales.

3. Jay Z

Net Worth: $560 million

Jay Z's inclusion in the top 3 shouldn't surprise anyone. Jay has been one of the wealthiest rappers over the last decade or so. His list of business ventures include: Roc Nation, Roc Nation Sports and D'Usse Cognac. In 2013, Jay Z struck a deal with Samsung which saw the tech giant buy a million copies of Magna Carta...Holy Grail.
2. Diddy

Net Worth: $700 million

Diddy is a shrewd businessman with an impressive portfolio. His deal with Diageo's Ciroc Vodka drives most of his earnings. The Bad Boy founder has also added other ventures like DeLeon Tequila, Blue Flame and Revolt TV. And, believe it or not, Sean John clothing is still going strong.

1. Dr. Dre
Net Worth: $780 million

Dr. Dre shot straight to the top of the richest rappers list, thanks to Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronic. Forbes estimates that Dre earned $620 million from the sale. He also bagged the highest annual earnings of any musician ever.


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