Forbes Magazine released the Top-5 Richest Rappers Of 2012 with Diddy on top the list for the second year, Jay-Z dropped down to second after coming first in 2010.
Many of these rappers rose from rags to riches by tirelessly working simultaneously as producers, writers,musicians and businessmen. However, their hard work has quite literally paid off and has made them millions, according to Forbes.
1. Sean “Diddy” Combs
Net Worth: $550 million – As of April 2012
Earnings according to Forbes: 2011: $35 million, 2010: $30 million
Diddy’s business ventures, along with his career as a rapper, made him the richest rapper on the planet, built fortune chiefly through clothing line Sean John, record label Bad Boy and Ciroc vodka. Acting gigs, television shows and guest appearances add to coffers. He told Forbes in 1999: “I’m gonna be bigger than David Geffen.” Not there yet.
2. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter
Net Worth:$460 million – As of April 2012
Earnings according to Forbes: 2011: $37 million, 2010: $63 million
The ’99 Problems’ rapper and Beyonce’s husband sold Rocawear clothing label for $204 million in 2007; signed 10-year $150 million Live Nation deal in 2008. Now boasts an impressive portfolio, including shares in the New Jersey Nets as well as his input in fashion, music and restaurant businesses.For more on the business of hip-hop, check out Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s new Jay-Z biography, Empire State of Mind, at http://jayzbook.com
3. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young
Net Worth: $260 million – As of April 2012
Earnings according to Forbes: 2011: $14 million, 2010: $17 million
Superproducer/rapper,Dr. Dre may not have put out a new album in the last 10 years,but the rapper and producer has reaped the rewards from his business. He helped launch careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent. Expanded wealth with Aftermath record label, Beats headphones and HP laptop line. On 11th August 2011, Dr Dre reportedly sold 50% stake in Beats Electronics, the headphone company to Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC for £191 million ($310m).
4. Bryan “Birdman” Williams
Net Worth: $125 million – As of April 2012
May 2010 to May 2011 Earnings according to Forbes: $15 million
Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams,Cofounded Cash Money Records with brother Ronald and inked $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998; affiliated Young Money lineup now includes rappers Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. Lyrical boasts (“Richer than the richest!”) are simply not true. Bird has an estimated net worth of $110 million as of September 2011.
5. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
Net Worth:$110 million – As of April 2012
Earnings according to Forbes: 2010: $6 million, 2009: $8 million
50 cent has made it to the top five particularly for his business-savvy, as the rapper got a neat nine-figure payout from the sales of Vitamin Water, when it was sold to Coca Cola; spent freely on cars, renovations to the mansion formerly owned by Mike Tyson. Cushion remains from catalog, acting gigs and 50 Cent-themed videogames, books, clothes and headphones. Future billionaire? He told Forbes in 2008: “It’s probably going to take me 10 years.”