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)
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 30 year old singer, who came from humble roots in New Orleans, is estimated to have a current worth of $95 million.
9. O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson
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’. His net worth is believed to be in excess of $100 million.
8. Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr (also known as Snoop Dogg)
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. Snoop Dogg’s net worth for 2013 comes in at around $110 million.
7. Marshall Bruce Mathers III (also known as Eminem)
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. Eminem’s net worth is thought to be at least $120 million.
6. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
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. He has amassed a net worth in excess of $110 million.
5) Bryan “Birdman” Williams
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. Birdman’s current net worth is $125 million but this figure is growing year on year.
4. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young
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.
More recently, Dr. Dre has expanded into the music technology business, so expect to see his net worth of $260 million rise even further.
3. Percy Robert Miller (also known as Master P)
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. His fortune is an estimated $350 million.
2. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter
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. His net worth is around the $460 million mark.
1. Sean “Diddy” Combs
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. Diddy’s estimated net worth is an impressive $500 million.
Who new that behind those songs about drugs, sex and life in da hood, were so many sharp business minds?