Over time, the entertainment industry has proven to be an endless goldmine, turning stars from various fields and genres into famous millionaires. As far as it sounds like a walk in the park, the most successful among them have not only stumbled upon fame and fortune but have actually worked hard for it. A quick look at the list of the 10 richest rappers in the world reveals legends that have been around since the 1980s, while the younger stars emerged afterward, pointing out that in the end, it’s not the only talent that pays off, but also sweat, hard work, and consistency.
They may have all the talents in the world, but without the right connection and leadership and the zeal to carry on, you would have very little influence in this highly competitive industry where talented individuals appear from all angles.
While some of them were waiting to cash their monthly paychecks, these ten richest rappers are busy making millions with every minute that goes by. Considering that hip-hop has gradually become the most sought-after genre in music, it’s only fair that those involved reap the rewards. Say hello to the big guns of the rap genre.
Richest Rappers In The World And Their Net Worths
Apparently all the music tours, business investments, sponsorship contracts, and other efforts have paid off. Prepare to look with awe at the heart-warming net worths compiled by Forbes that these top bangers in the world have accumulated.
10. Birdman ($110 million)
It’s no wonder he’s one of the richest in the rap genre, as he’s one of the first players in the game. Bryan Christopher Williams, popular in the professional world as Birdman, is the co-founder of Cash Money Records, through which he discovered Lil Wayne. He has released at least 10 studio and community albums.
9. Drake ($120 million)
The Canadian-American rapper came with a bang and led the charts as if he owned them. The world-class artist left his acting career to pursue his dream of becoming a rapper. A few mixtapes later he got a contract with Young Money Entertainment – the record company of Lil Wayne. After joining the Young Money crew in 2009, his career gained momentum as the rapper released several chart top titles for rave reviews.
Most chart-topping songs (186) among solo artists on the Billboard Hot 100, most Hot 100 songs performed simultaneously in a single week (27), most time on the Hot 100 (431 weeks) and most Hot 100 debuts in a single week (22) are just a few of Aubrey Drake Graham’s groundbreaking records. As a chart-topper, he attracts prestigious awards, and Drake has received much love in this regard. He has received three Grammy Awards, three Juno Awards, six American Music Awards, and thirteen Billboard Music Awards.
With well over 10 million albums sold and 86 million singles, Drake has established himself as one of the best-selling music artists of the 21st century. In addition to his music career, Drake is also gifted with a great sense of business. Together with his co-worker Noah James Shebib “40” he founded the record label OVO Sound and also runs a clothing line and radio program on Beats 1. He credits Lil Wayne with seeing the best in him and paving the way for him to share his talent with the world.
8. Snoop Dogg ($135 million)
Scouted by Dr. Dre, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., popularly known as Snoop Dogg among others, has sold more than 23 million albums in the United States, in addition to the 35 million albums sold worldwide. Despite several run-ins with the law, Snoop has remained relevant and successful throughout his career, which he built from the ground up, and has secured a place on the list of the 10 richest rappers in the world. His contributions to the WWE franchise earned him a place on the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. He remains one of the most influential entertainers of all time.
7. Ice Cube ($140 million)
As one of the early starters on the list of the currently 10 richest rappers in the world, Ice Cube gained fame as early as 1984 when he joined the C.I.A., a hip-hop group that later disbanded. From C.I.A., Cube worked with Dr. Dre and Eazy E as members of another group called N.W.A. Although they were successful in the mainstream, the rapper left the group to launch his solo career, a well-planned move that proved to be a good move for him.
In addition to music, Ice Cube is also making a career as an actor, with high-profile Hollywood films to his credit. He is also a good businessman who has successfully managed his own clothing line – Solo by Cube. He is also the brains behind the 3 on 3 basketball league BIG3. The club focuses on retired NBA players.
6. Lil Wayne ($150 Million)
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. jumped into the industry in the early 1990s when he was just nine years old. He then became the youngest member of Cash Money Records and built his career from there. Today Lil Wayne is one of the world’s best-selling artists. Until today he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He also founded a record label called Young Money Entertainment and is known to have helped several new artists become prominent.
5. Eminem ($190 million)
Whether you hate him or love him, Eminem is still one of the best-selling artists in the United States today. With 220 million records sold worldwide, the rap god has certainly performed the same feat worldwide and will be remembered as one of the most influential and best artists of all time. The rap superstar, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, has often been called the “King of Hip Hop” and is the only artist to have debuted nine of his albums in a row at the top of the Billboard 200. Unlike most A-lists, the American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record manager, and actor is not exactly a businessman. However, he has done well as a white man in the genre that is visibly dominated by blacks.
4. Master P ($250 million)
One of the long-time players in the rap genre, Master P, whose real name is Percy Robert Miller, founded No Limit Forever Records, which has been changed to several other names in the past. The American musician, actor, businessman, record producer, and philanthropist also founded P. Miller Enterprises and Better Black Television. In addition to his musical exploits, Master P also played in the NBA as a professional basketball player. His net worth of $250 million secured him a place in the top three on the list of the 10 richest rappers in the world.
3. Dr. Dre ($770 million)
Dr. Dre is one of the most prominent rap and hip-hop acts of all time, who helped build the careers of most of the popular rappers we know today. He ranks third on the list, and he’s showing off a handsome $770 million fortune. Aside from his business investments and millions of records sold, the hip-hop guru still enjoys the benefits of the $3 billion that Apple is spending to acquire Beats in 2014.
2. P. Diddy ($825 million)
On the heels of the number one is none other than Sean John Combs. Since his debut in the industry, we’ve seen him change his name from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy, Puffy, Diddy, Brother Love, and even B. Love, but the only thing that has remained constant is his ability to maintain relevance in the craft.
His place on the list of the 10 richest rappers in the world was secured by his current, heart-stopping net worth of $825 million. The American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur has always worked hard to remain in the top five on the list and has led it for three years in a row. He owns a record label – Bad Boy Entertainment – and has been honored with several prestigious awards, including three Grammys.
1. Jay-Z ($900 million)
See who wears the hip-hop crown and it fits perfectly. Shawn Corey Carter, known as Jay-Z, has come a long way in his career of more than three decades. The American rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and head of Roc Nation Entertainment sits on a hair-raising net worth of $900 million to top the list of the 10 richest rappers in the world.
The father of three, Dr. Dre and P. Diddy were able to oust Dr. Dre and P. Diddy from the top spot by increasing his fortune from $810 million to the new figure, which he achieved through his business acumen that goes beyond music. In addition to his record label, Roc Nation, Jay-Z founded the 40/40 Club and co-created Rocawear clothing, among other investments too numerous to mention.
With 21 Grammy Awards under his belt and nearly 75 million albums sold, he undoubtedly deserves the top spot. While his personal net worth has not yet reached the billion-dollar mark, the world-famous rapper and his equally famous wife – pop queen Beyonce – together have an enormous net worth of more than 1 billion dollars.
It is remarkable that Jay-Z, Diddy, and Dre are not only among the three richest musicians in the hip-hop genre but are by far the richest American musicians in all genres.