Apr 13, 2013

Beyond Gold Chains: Hip Hop Cash Kings

Forbes has released a new list of Hip Hop's richest rappers. Looking at the list, you'll find that those at the top took their super lyrics and diversified. Now record and film producers, fashion designers, and media moguls, the new Hip Hop stars are applying their talents to a variety of enterprises and walking away with cash money. Let's take a look at the net worth of the five top twenty empire builders in the Hip Hop game.

No.1     $580 million-P. Diddy aka Sean Combs

Combs has won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards, and is the producer of MTV's Making the Band. His non-music business ventures include the clothing lines Sean John and "Sean by Sean Combs" – for which he earned a Council of Fashion Designers of America award – a movie production company, and two restaurants.  His work with Ciroc vodka nets him an eight-figure salary plus a nine-figure windfall if the liquor brand is ever sold.

No. 2     $500 million-Jay Z aka  Shawn Carter

Like Diddy, much of Jay Z’s wealth revolves around non-music ventures. His selling of Rocawear in 2007, for $204 million and his $150 million partnership with Live Nation in 2008, is still holding him down. In addition, Jay-Z holds stakes in Roc Nation, Carol’s Daughter, the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center, along with partnership deals with Duracell and Bacardi’s D’ussé Cognac.

No. 3     $360 million-Dr. Dre aka Andre Romelle Young

A rapper, actor, and producer, Dr. Dre completes the trifecta  thanks solely to his ubiquitous headphones Beats by Dre. The audio accessory is eating up 65 percent of the market share in sales of premium headphones ($99 and up). Dre is still keeping those heads ringing.

No. 4    $350 million-Master P

A rap mogul, entrepreneur and film producer, Master P can thank his number four spot on the richest rapper list to his Cash Money/Young Money empire. Master P pulled himself out of one of the roughest and poorest ghettos in New Orleans by launching a hugely successful business empire that earned him hundreds of millions of dollars. And it all started with a $10,000 life insurance settlement check.

No. 5     $325 million-Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons is an American business magnate. He and Rick Rubin founded the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam. He also created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and American Classics. Def Jam became just one piece in Simmons' corporation, Rush Communications, Inc., which included a management company, a clothing company called Phat Farm, a movie production house, television shows such as Def Comedy Jam, a magazine and an advertising agency.[

No. 6     $260 million-50 Cent aka Curtis James Jackson III

He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) and The Massacre (2005). Get Rich or Die Tryin' has been certified eight times platinum by the RIAA and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. His album The Massacre has been certified five times platinum by the RIAA and has sold 11 million copies worldwide. 50 cent is an actor and entrepreneur with mega record sales.

No. 7     $160 million-Notorious BIG aka Christopher Wallace

Biggie Smalls, also known as Biggie, is an American rapper who is as infamous for his death as his music. Four bullets ended his life in the early a.m. on March 9, 1997. Sixteen days after his death, his double-disc second album was released as planned with the shortened title of Life After Death and hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts.  It gained strong reviews and in 2000 was certified Diamond, the highest RIAA certification awarded to a solo hip hop album.  
No. 8     $150 million-Birdman aka Bryan Williams
Bryan Williams, better known by his stage name Birdman, is the co-founder of Cash Money Records. Baby started his career as a rapper with Mannie Fresh in the hip-hop duo Big Tymers but is now known for being the record executive for all the artists signed to CMR.
No. 9     $140 million-Eminem aka Marshall Bruce Mathers III
Also known by his alter ego Slim Shaddy, Eminem is a multi platinum selling rapper, record producer, songwriter and actor. Eminem has opened other ventures, including his own record label Shady Records with his manager Paul Rosenberg.  Eminem began an acting career in 2002, when he starred in the hip hop drama film 8 Mile. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, becoming the first rap artist ever to win the award.
No. 10     $140 million-Snoop Dogg aka Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr.
Snoop Dogg is one of the wealthiest and most successful rappers to come out of the 1990s rap scene, and one of the few still recording today. Snoop has released ten albums on four labels; with his 2009 release Malice n Wonderland, he was appointed an executive at Priority Records. In addition to his music, Snoop has directed several adult films under pseudonyms (Michael J. Corleone and Snoop Scorcese) and has appeared on television and in films, both as himself and in fictional roles. Snoop also has a number of commercial endorsements and lends his name to a variety of products and clothing lines.



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