Hip-hop is a culture, a way of life, a music genre, and, in a lot of cases, a very profitable industry. Every year, Forbes Magazine, releases its list of wealthiest hip hop artists in the world, ranking them according to their net values. Based on their statistics, we would like to provide with a countdown we have compiled of the top 5 wealthiest artists in hip hop. The following performers made their debut through singing, but virtually all of them expanded their reach and consequently their fortunes, through a myriad of side-businesses.
Curious to learn who are the people who have made the most money out of hip hop? Let’s take a look at the countdown.
No. 5: Curtis Jackson
Net worth: $125 million
Better known as 50 Cent, Curtis Jackson made a fortune for himself through his music abilities. But Jackson didn’t settle for music alone, as he expanded to other ventures, such as books, video games, and even vitamin water. His latest endeavor is SMS Audio, a company that aims to rival Dr. Dre’s dominance in the headphone industry.
No. 4: Bryan Williams
Net worth: $150 million
Bryan Williams, or Birdman by his stage name, is the co-founder of Cash Money Records, one of the original record labels in the industry. With artists such as Nicki Minaj, Drake, or Lil Wayne under his wing, Birdman’s label continues to flourish even two decades after its establishment. Over the years, Birdman has also turned his attention to other business ventures, such as releasing his own clothing line, YMCMB or going into the liquor industry, with his GT Vodka.
No. 3: Andre Young
Net worth: $350 million
If the name Andre Young doesn’t ring any bells, Dr. Dre should. This legendary icon in hip hop is the third wealthiest artist in the business. A large part of his fortune is due to the overwhelming success achieved by his series of headphones, entitled Beats by Dr. Dre.
No. 2: Shawn Carter
Net worth: $475 million
Shawn Carter, better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is not only one of the most influential people in the world, but also the second wealthiest perform in hip hop. Like many other artists on our countdown, Jay Z’s wealth derives not only from his music endeavors, but also from his other businesses, such as his clothing line Rocawear or management agency, Roc Nation Label. In addition, Jay Z also holds shares in the Brooklyn Nets, the Barclays Center, and Carol’s Daughter. Additional deals with Bacardi and Duracell also help round up this artist’s wealth.
No. 1: Sean Combs
Net worth: $580 million
Sean Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy or P. Diddy, ranks as this year’s wealthiest artists in hip hop, with an estimated net worth $580 million. The most surprising fact about Combs is that a large portion of his fortune derives from non-musical ventures, especially the deal he signed with Diageo’s Ciroc. However, his record label, Bad Boy Records, also brings in a nice annual profit.