As rap/hip-hop music continues to grow, so do the pockets of those inside the industry. Recording record numbers year after year, here is the most recent list of the highest paid rappers in the game. But as you will quickly learn, it takes more than a compelling voice to hit this list. The following entertainers also have the business brains to diversify their talents in order to conquer other areas of this massively lucrative market.
#5 – Birdman
Dropping one slot from last year’s list, Birdman still flies under most people’s radar with last year’s profits at $21 million. Unlike the “rapping” Birdman of the early 2000s, the recent Birdman makes his stacks off the cash cow he co-founded back in 1991, “Cash Money Records”. Successful record companies bring in hefty margins, especially when your headliners are Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj (to name a few).
#4 – Nicki Minaj
Nicki’s been climbing the money list year after year, so it should be not surprise that she finally made it into the top three. Her lucrative American Idol gig, Pepsi endorsement, and consistent music sales all combined last year to total a net gain of $29 million.
#3 – Dr. Dre
There’s an extremely popular headphones company out there that seems to be doing pretty well. But for some reason, the name of the headphones aren’t coming to mind…Beats by…Beats by…hmmm….what was the name of that damn company. Whatever it is, Dr. Dre owns it. It also helped him make $40 million freakin’ dollars.
#2 – Jay Z
HOVA himself holds the second spot on this list with his net revenue stacking up to the cool sound of $43 million. Well, when you own Roc Nation, a minority share of the Brooklyn Nets, and go on one of the most profitable music tours in the past decade, $43 million shouldn’t surprise you.
#1 – Diddy
In the past few years, Diddy has surpassed the previous cash king, Jay-Z, on the list of hight paid rappers. And in 2012, his rank hasn’t changed as it is recorded that Diddy, aka P.Diddy, aka Puffy Daddy, aka Sean Combs, made an estimated $50 million. But don’t’ worry, his eggs aren’t all in one basket. Mr. Combs draws his revenue from a variety of sources like Ciroc Vodka, Bad Boy Records, as well as the Sean John clothing line.