Who is the richest man in Hip-Hop?

Jay-Z, Diddy and 50 Cent released “I Get Money (The Forbes 1-2-3 Billionaire Remix)” in 2007, a celebration of their inclusion atop Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings list.

Five years later, the same three artists are in a more exclusive group – the Forbes Five, a list of hip-hop’s wealthiest moguls; though no longer 1-2-3 in that order.

Which of the three earns the most? Good question, now before I start, let me say that I’m not a hip-hop fan but I still found this interesting. Which is why I looked this up.

Diddy is the closest to becoming a billionaire, with a net worth of $550 million. The Bad Boy Records founder has been a mainstream mainstay for 15 years. Thanks to his knack for self-promotion and outside business deals with Ciroc vodka, Sean John, Enyce, Blue Flame and other tech startups, he gets money. Diddy signed a deal with Comcast to launch cable channel Revolt in 2013. He’ll own the channel outright. Cha-ching I say!

Jay-Z is #2 at $460 million. Unlike his fellow Forbes Five members, he still churns out music and goes on tour, most recently with pal Kanye West. He sold his Rocawear clothing label for $204 million in 2007, signed a 10-year $150M deal with Live Nation in 2008, and co-owns the New Jersey Nets. There’s also his 40/40 Club chain, his ad firm Translation, cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter and other businesses too numerous to list. Very rich.

Dr. Dre ranks third with $270 million, boosted by the sale of a 51% stake in Beats Electronics – a company he founded with Jimmy Iovine – to HTC. Sources say each owned a third of the company before the deal, placing Dre’s cut at $85 million after taxes. Not a bad addition to his net worth.

Birdman, surprisingly clocks in at No. 4 with a fortune of $125 million. He cofounded Cash Money Records with brother Ronald “Slim” Williams. The label’s value soared with the success of rappers Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne (who shares ownership of sub-label Young Money). That’ll do it.

50 Cent and his $110 million rank fifth. The business-savvy Queens-born rapper earned $100 million for his Vitaminwater stake alone in 2007. Fiddy (had to spell it like this) also made tens of millions from touring, record sales and clothing, but spends freely on cars and renovations to his mansion in Connecticut. Still, a nice nine-figure cushion remains from his back catalog, acting gigs and 50 Cent themed videogames, shoes and books, and headphone line SMS. Your Thoughts?


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