Any rapper just getting in the game is going to have a long road ahead of them if they want to out earn the five wealthiest hip hop artists of 2012. Forbes recently put out it’s annual list, and the combined wealth of just the top three earners is already well over $1 billion.
Here’s the list in order:
Diddy—$550 million, thanks to his Bad Boy record company, Ciroc Vodka, and stake in clothing lines like Sean John and Enyce.
Jay-Z— $460 million, courtesy of his own artistry and tour deals under Roc Nation, his stake in the New Jersey Nets and the 40/40 club chain. Plus he got a cool $204 million for selling Rocawear in 2007.
Dr. Dre—$270 million, which is double what he was worth last year, mostly because in August, handset maker HTC paid Dre $300 million to buy a 51% stake in Beats Electronics, the company he founded Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008.
Birdman—$125 million, most of which is via the artists under his Cash Money label—Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Lil Wayne, who has co-ownership of the sub-label Young Money.
50 Cent—$110 million. Even though Curtis hasn’t put out a lot of music in recent years, he still earns tens of millions from record sales, touring, and his clothing deal, but the biggest chunk of his wealth comes from selling his stake in Vitamin Water in 2007.
Every man on the list says he’s on a mad dash to become the first billionaire rapper but Diddy is the closest to making that happen, and considering his recent deal with Comcast for the Revolt channel, he has a good chance of making that happen.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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