When it comes to making money in the music industry, rap artists are a force to be reckoned with. With determination, raw talent and a little business savvy many of the biggest household names have amassed fortunes worth several hundred million dollars. Here we look at who has made the the enviable list of “Top 10 Richest Rappers in the World”.
10. Dwayne Michael Carter (also known as Lil Wayne) – Net Worth: $110 million
Dwayne Michael Carter’s first ever album set him on an early path to fame and riches beyond most people’s wildest dreams. The album – “Tha Block is Hot” – was an instant hit and sales reached platinum status.
The diminutive rhymester had his most lucrative year yet, thanks in part to new album Carter IV, which sold nearly 1 million copies in its opening week last summer. But the bulk of his earnings came from playing over 50 shows in the past 12 months, grossing upwards of $600,000 per night. Expect Lil Wayne to keep getting bigger; he also launched a clothing line, Trukfit, and inked his first big endorsement deal, a multimillion dollar pact with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew
9. O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson – Net Worth: $120 million
O’Shea Jackson is most commonly called by his stage persona, “Ice Cube”. This man is an absolute legend in the world of gangsta rappers, and counts celebrity superstars Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre among his closest friends.His astronomical success as a rap star has also led him into a lucrative movie career, including the 1990 film ‘Boys N The Hood’.
Ice Cube’s cop film Ride Along with Kevin Hart was a box-office hit, as it garnered $100 million from theatre ticket sales.
The rapper had high hopes for the movie, but Ice, real name O’Shea Jackson, confesses he was completely shocked by how well it did with audiences.
8. Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr (also known as Snoop Dogg) – Net Worth: $130 million
It may surprise many rap fans that Snoop Dogg does not feature much higher in the “Top 10 Richest Rappers 2013″. He is one of the most successful rappers in the world and there are very few countries where people do not know his name. This is partly due to the star’s big personality and controversial antics, which have seen him in several high profile brushes with the law.
7. Marshall Bruce Mathers III (also known as Eminem) – Net Worth: $140 million
Marshall Mathers is an American rapper, born in Missouri, who shot to stardom after being discovered by Dr. Dre (who features later in the top 10). This best selling music artist was once placed at number 82 in Rolling Stone’s magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
He has since expanded his career into new territories. His 2002 movie “8 Mile” was not only a box office smash, it was also critically acclaimed.
6. Bryan “Birdman” Williams – Net Worth: $150 million
Bryan “Birdman” Williams has enjoyed a lot of success in the rap industry, with collaborations with the like of Lil Wayne (who he is credited with discovering). But it is his entrepreneurial skill that has catapulted him into the top 10 richest rappers 2013, in particular his status as co-founder of Cash Money Records.
Bryan “Birdman” Williams, whose net worth would be over $300 million if he didn’t share his fortune with brother Ronald “Slim” Williams. The duo cofounded Cash Money Records two decades ago; Cash Money continues to grow with a roster that includes Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. Birdman has also diversified with Cash Money Content, GT Vodka and the YMCMB clothing line.
5. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson – Net Worth: $260 million
Curtis Jackson, better known to most of us as “50 Cent”, is yet another rap artist who owes much of his fame and fortune to the influential superstar Dr. Dre. Unlike many of the artists in the top 10 richest rappers – whose songs about life “in da hood” belie the fact they are from comfortable backgrounds – 50 Cent actually comes from harsher beginnings. His own experiences about the reality of life on the streets gives an air of authenticity to his work.
His likable personality and business acumen has brought him success not only in the music industry, but in television, movies and product promotions.
50 Cent, who owes most of his fortune to his $100 million haul from the sale of Vitaminwater in 2007. Now he’s trying to repeat the feat with companies like SMS Audio and SK Energy beverages. In the meantime, he’ll reboot his music career by taking his G-Unit Records independent and releasing new album Animal Ambition in June.
4. Percy Miller (also known as Master P) – Net Worth: $360 million
Percy Robert Miller isn’t just one of the world’s richest rappers, he was once listed in Forbes’ as one of America’s highest paid entertainers. But his vast fortune has come just as much from his business ventures as from his music, as he is CEO of No Limit Entertainment.
Master P has also turned his talents to acting, including a part in the hits “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “Soccer Mom”. This multi talented mogul has even been the driving force behind a new children’s television show.
Master P‘s financial status has been brought to light as the rapper and his ex-wife are engaged in a heated battle over child support. The millionaire mogul, whose net worth was once estimated at $350 million, has only been ordered to pay $271 a month in child support for each of his four minor children.
According to TMZ, the small amount was determined based on court documents filed back in March, which lists his monthly income at $1,387.
3. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young – Net Worth: $360 million
The difference between the top 4 richest rappers and those ranking in positions 10 to 5 is immense. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young’s fortune largely comes from his part in discovering untapped talent. That is not to say Dr. Dre isn’t a popular rapper in his own right – as far as the industry goes he is rap royalty. His career started in the group NWA, which also launched the career of Snoop Dogg.
Dre co-founded “Beats Electronics” with industry honcho Jimmy Iovine back in 2006. The duo eventually sold 50% of the company to Taiwanese electronics conglomerate HTC for $300 million. Dre’s pre-tax haul was estimated at $150-$175 million! Fast forward to August 2012 when Iovine and Dre landed a deal to repurchase 25% of the company from HTC for $150 million, leaving them with a combined 75% interest. Beats By Dre is dominating market share in the headphone market today and generated $500 million in revenue last year.
2. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter – Net Worth: $500 million
These days, you are more likely to read Jay-Z’s name in the celebrity gossip columns because he is married to another superstar, Beyonce. It can be easy to forget that he was already an incredibly wealthy star in his own right.
Shawn Carter hasn’t just enjoyed success as a rap artist, he is a shrew entrepreneur too. He sold his Rocawear clothing line for a reported $150 million, has shares in the New Jersey Nets, and has invested in restaurants and many other diverse business ventures.
Jay-Z and Universal Music Group have signed a deal to move the rap mogul’s Roc Nation imprint over from Sony/Columbia, according to the New York Times.
Roc Nation — born out of Jay-Z’s $150 million deal with Live Nation — offers a diverse array of services, including a record label and management company. Kylie Minogue recently joined the likes of Rihanna, Timbaland, Shakira and M.I.A. as artists signed to Roc Nation. (The New York Times notes that Rihanna will re-up her record deal with Universal as part of the move.)
1. Sean “Diddy” Combs – Net Worth: $580 million
Surprised? Sean “Diddy” Combs is the richest rapper in the world, and by quite some way too. Like the other stars in our top four this is because of his sharp business acumen. Not content with a successful rap career and being the boss of Bad Boy records, he has also made money in the cosmetics and clothing industries. Some of his fortune has been reinvested back into the community, through his charity organization supporting inner city youth.
Sean “P Diddy” Combs is to launch a cable music channel, Revolt TV, which he claims will be the “first channel of the social media age” and fill the gap left by MTV after it stopped playing music videos seven years ago.
The US hip-hop star turned entrepreneur said Revolt TV will cover music in a journalistic way and “celebrate creative and cinematography”.
The Richest Rappers In The World 2013 – 2014:
1. Diddy – Net Worth: $580 million (up $80 million)
2. Jay-Z – Net Worth: $500 million (up $25 million)
3. Dr. Dre – Net Worth: $360 million (up $100 million)
4. Master P – Net Worth: $350 million (no change)
5. 50 Cent – Net Worth: $260 million (up $10 million)
6. Birdman – Net Worth: $150 million (up $35 million)
7. Eminem – Net Worth: $140 million (up $20 million)
8. Snoop Dogg – Net Worth: $130 million (up $10 million)
9. Ice Cube – Net Worth: $120 million (up $20 million)
10. Lil Wayne – Net Worth: $110 million (up $15 million)
11. Kanye West – Net Worth: $100 million (up $10 million)
12. LL Cool J – Net Worth: $85 million (up $5 million)
13. Timbaland – Net Worth: $80 million (up $5 million)
14. Pharrell Williams – Net Worth: $80 million (up $2.5 million)
15. Akon – Net Worth: $80 million (up $2.5 million)
16. Beastie Boys – $75 million each (no change)
17. Ludacris – Net Worth: $75 million (up $5 million)
18. Busta Rhymes – Net Worth: $65 million (up $5 million)
19. Nelly – Net Worth: $60 million (no change)
20. T.I. – Net Worth: $40 million (up $10 million)
21. Big Boi – Net Worth: $40 million (no change)
22. T-Pain – Net Worth: $35 million (up $5 million)
23. Ice-T – Net Worth: $35 million (up $5 million)
24. Drake – Net Worth: $30 million (up $5 million)
25. Rick Ross – Net Worth: $28 million (up $3 million)
26. Nicki Minaj – Net Worth $25 million (up $5 million)