Dr. Dre Tops Forbes’ Hip-Hop Cash Kings List

Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre has not released an album in over 10 years, but that hasn’t stopped him from topping the list of hip-hop’s top earners. The West Coast rap icon ranks No. 1 on Forbes‘ annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings list.

The rapper-producer, whose oft-delayed album Detox still remains without a release date, pulls in $110 million in pre-tax earnings thanks to his successful Beats by Dr. Dre headphones line. Handset maker HTC bought a 51% stake ($300 million) in the company last year.

Sean “Diddy” Combs follows a distant second with $45 million, thanks to his stake in Ciroc vodka, while last year’s top earner Jay-Z comes in third with $38 million, his lowest rank to date.

The Roc Nation mogul can attribute his earnings to his successful Watch the Throne album and tour with Kanye West and ownership stakes in the Brookyln Nets, Carol’s Daughter, and a joint venture with Duracell.

Kanye West and Lil Wayne round out the top 5. See the full list below.

Cash Kings 2012: Hip-Hop’s Top 20 Earners

1. Dr. Dre – $110 million
2. Diddy – $45 million
3. Jay-Z – $38 million
4. Kanye West – $35 million
5. Lil Wayne – $27 million
6. Drake – $20.5 million
7. Birdman – $20 million
8. Nicki Minaj – $15.5 million
9. Eminem – $15 million
10. Ludacris – $12 million
11. Pitbull – $9.5 million
12. Rick Ross – $9 million (tie)
12. Wiz Khalifa – $9 million (tie)
14. Snoop Dogg – $8.5 million
15. 50 Cent – $7.5 million
16. Swizz Beatz – $7 million (tie)
16. Pharrell – $7 million (tie)
16. Young Jeezy – $7 million (tie)
19. Mac Miller – $6.5 million
20. Akon – $6 million
20. Timbaland – $6 million
20. Tech N9ne – $6 million

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54 Comments

  1. flawda

    lol at trendy negros buying those overrated Beats by Dre headphones, they’re not even the best headphones on the market.

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    @flawda, but they sell tho

    [Reply]

    DRB Reply:

    @flawda, True (I’ll ignore the trendy negros part) but they’re the best designed. They have the brand recognition that Apple has. I realize they’re overpriced and I could find a better option for less, but they look like crap and don’t appeal to by need to have nice looking things.

    [Reply]

    DRB Reply:

    @flawda, and walk around any college campus. It isn’t just “negros”

    [Reply]

    flawda Reply:

    @DRB,

    It is trendy negros, African Americans are the biggest consumers in the world.

    [Reply]

  2. HeavyHeavy

    Happy to see Luda in the top 10!!

    [Reply]

  3. COLE WORLD

    How is Mac Miller making more than J. Cole? I’m suprised to see Pitbull so high in the list and why oh why is the homie lil b not in that list loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

    [Reply]

  4. COLE WORLD

    I swear I would love to kidnap all 20 of these ni*gers/wiggers and rob they asses lol I would be a cool 426.5 mill richer :)

    [Reply]

    wtf Reply:

    @COLE WORLD, you ADDED IT ALL UP….

    [Reply]

    COLE WORLD Reply:

    @wtf, haha I bet you checked to see if I was correct, it was nothing really I’m very good at mathematics. (and no I’m not Asian) lol

    [Reply]

  5. JAH

    Nicki Minaj only female!!!! thats right u bitches keep hating while she keeps winning

    [Reply]

    RDK Reply:

    @JAH, Nicki is putting in work,it,s a good look seeing a Sista up there,last time 6.5 milli now it,s 15.5 milli,if she keeps it up it,s going to be higher next time around.

    [Reply]

  6. MonsterHive

    Are those numbers added to their net worth? For example Drake was worth 25 million in 2011 & he earned 20 million in 2012. Does that put his net worth at 45 million?

    [Reply]

    flawda Reply:

    @MonsterHive,

    You have to factor in 40 percent goes to taxes, 10 percent to manager and staff.

    [Reply]

  7. DRB

    The fact none of them significantly sell albums. Touring, endless endorsements, attention whoring, and half the list owning the other half.

    Remember when musicians actually sold albums and got paid from that, they didn’t feel the need to plaster their face on everything with a price tag?

    [Reply]

    RDK Reply:

    @DRB, You,er comment makes you seems ignorant and backward,no dis it just comes off that way,back in the day people didn’t have this much medium to get music,right now so much places are on the net to download music for free,alot of people takes advantage of that,people don’t really buy music anymore,but die hard fans and there isn’t alot of them around,so artist have to add other stuff to there craft music alone don’t cut it no more,they have to be business savvy, endorse stuff go on tours and stuf were they makes there real money,back in the day people was going platinum-diamond like it,s nothing they didn’t have to do anything else than music,it,s a different time we living in now,artist have to do what they have to to survive.

    [Reply]

    PHX Reply:

    @RDK, Pretty much & even then artist back then didn’t just eat off record sales. Thought TLC was proof of that. Album sold over 10 mill yet they were broke cause everyone gets paid off your album first before you do unless you do it independently. Artist have always made most of their money off of shows/touring. If you aren’t doing shows in any era you’re not making money. Record sales at the end of the day is mostly a way for the label to make their money not the artist.

    [Reply]

    StarsAreBlind Reply:

    @DRB, touring has always been the number one way for an artist to make money, so… i think you a little confused, and they are just being more business minded because a lot of people don’t. that’s why they’re not on this list.

    [Reply]

    DRB Reply:

    @StarsAreBlind, Touring yes, but go back to the 90s and before, very had so many endorsements and put being a brand over entertainer. *save for international phenomeon groups (Spice Girls, NSYNC, Backstreet)

    Look at Mariah, when she was selling 20 million albums every other year she claimed endorsements and side projects were tacky and greedy. Now, what is she doing?

    On and on. This really didn’t start til 10 years ago with J LO if I remember correctly.

    [Reply]

    AAA Reply:

    @DRB, And why do you think that happens, because people like you and your friends are to cheap to buy a 12 dollar album, so you steal music, then complain about it

    [Reply]

    lool Reply:

    @DRB, nice evaluation. Never read a better comment. Fact is, i dont think these rappers earned anything close to such.

    [Reply]

  8. Joe

    Where is Fabolous!!!!!!!1

    [Reply]

    cam Reply:

    @Joe, Youre joking… right?

    [Reply]

  9. nicki,nicki,nicki

    NICKI THATS RIGHT BAW BAW GET THAT MONEY F##K THE HATERS OH AND NICKI I LOVE HOW U KEEP THEM TALKING PEOPLE REALLY THINKING U VOTING FOR THAT WHITE MAN THAT JUST GOES TO SHOW HOW MUCH POWER YOU HAVE U CAN JOKE IN YOUR RAPS AND THEY THINK ITS FOR REAL LMAO A NICKI AND SINCE YOU SAID U WITH THEM BLOODS I GUESS U IN A GANG NOW TOO LLS THIS HOES LAME IM YMCMB/TEAMMINAJ FOR EVER I WILL NEVER SWITCH ON THEM IM A DIE HEART FAN OF WAYNE AND NICKI SO GTFO!

    [Reply]

    Queens Reply:

    @nicki,nicki,nicki, Yes!!!!! but did you see on twitter when she said that was an inaccurate number I was rolling she got Mula in the bank like it ain’t nothing Winning

    [Reply]

  10. nicko

    NICKI IS THE ONLY FEMALE IN THE TOP 10 !! SHE DESERVES IT , SHE’S PUTTIN IN WORK ! #TEAMMINAJ

    [Reply]

    Trina's Back 9/28/12 Reply:

    @nicko, Hush up!! All the stuff she did, even sold her soul to the devil, and this clone can only bring in 15 Mil? That’s a joke. Nicki doesn’t even deserve THAT!!

    [Reply]

    Queens Reply:

    @Trina’s Back 9/28/12, Are you mad? Lol

    [Reply]

    Queens Reply:

    @nicko, And on twitter she said that’s an inaccurate number lol she worth waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy more

    [Reply]

    RDK Reply:

    @Queens, 20.5 milli her and drake is tie,i saw it around the web and on her site,that,s why she said it was inaccurate,not 15.5milli.

    [Reply]

  11. mus

    Rick Ross out there screaming he a boss every chance he gets and only making Wiz Khalifa Money lol!

    [Reply]

    tgod Reply:

    @mus, what’s wrong with making wiz khalifa money? U make no sense. Remember last yr wiz made more money than him.

    [Reply]

    mus Reply:

    @tgod, nothing wrong. Its just when you keep shoving it down our ears that you the biggest boss in the game, and “Maybach Empire” this and that you should not be tied with someone who doesnt even have a label imprint. You need to back up all that bragging and arrogance

    [Reply]

    ayo Reply:

    @mus, lol i totally agree mehn, he is more about bragging than making the money, though its a lot still

    [Reply]

    lool Reply:

    @mus, looooool. i dont think he made that much. plus he just oversees MMG, ITS NOT HIS…

    [Reply]

  12. KB

    LOL I swear Wiz said he’ll make $100 million this year… SMH

    [Reply]

  13. Richie Rolex

    Go check out allaboutbeats.com to hear a clip of Richie Rolex’s New Single “Code of The Streets”. It will be available on iTunes and Amazon 9/11. Purchase it!!!!!

    [Reply]

  14. COLE WORLD

    In 10 year you will read about half of these guys going bankcrupt specially the younger ones they wast too much money and marry too many hoes for example TYGA, WIZ, KANYE lets just hope they get a pre-nup

    [Reply]

    tgod Reply:

    @COLE WORLD, u are a hater. U think wiz is dumb for him to get to that stage.# o.n.I.f.c

    [Reply]

    TRA Reply:

    @COLE WORLD, I am willing to bet and believe that Kanye West will always be more richer than both Rick Ross and Wiz Khalifa when his rap career is over. Kanye West has a networth over 100 million dollars. Kanye West made a name for himself by winning 18 Grammy Awards and making 5 platinum selling albums. Even if Kanye West married Kim Kardashian and she divorced him, Kanye West will still have more money than her. As a producer, Kanye West makes good money. Kanye West made some serious money off the Watch The Throne Tour. I find it funny that Rick Ross claims to be the biggest boss in the world, but there are several rappers who make more money than Rick Ross. I feel bad for rappers like Tyga who will never be bigger outside the hip hop community, if Tyga is smart, he will get a prenup. Wiz Khalifa should get a prenup too, if Amber Rose tries to divorce him on purpose and steal his money. Dr. Dre shouldn’t even have to make any more hip hop albums, Dr. Dre is richer than the majority of rappers right now.

    [Reply]

  15. nicko

    Nicki just tweeted its an inaccurate number !! #RichGang !

    [Reply]

  16. Zak

    Lol Akon hasnt been doing shit since 2008, making his 6 millions mostly from Lady Gaga’s success… smh

    [Reply]

  17. mr worldwide

    yay for pitbull!
    who says he is not talented?

    [Reply]

  18. BarbzI

    im a nicki fan but im gone keep it 100 only why nicki made that much is because of starships and super bass and pink friday not roman reloaded and plus mac and her tour and shows that she perform on not that hip hop shit

    [Reply]

    truthiz Reply:

    @BarbzI, shes a brand!!! Idg your point here….dre made money of dre beats not album sales…ur a female you should stand by her not against her…thats whats wrong wit you h**s now a days noooo females ever done whats shes accomplished on her own!!!

    [Reply]

  19. Robert

    Boss!

    [Reply]

  20. Hugh

    Ye more than doubled his money.

    TECHA NINA!

    [Reply]

  21. J to the B down to the Abloc(liyah)

    nice

    [Reply]

  22. Keep it simple

    No J. Cole, Big Sean or Chris Brown??!..wat’s goin on!

    [Reply]

  23. LaMont

    Now how the hell did Mac Miller make $6 million?

    [Reply]

  24. Clifford

    How is this right? Tech Nine made more money than J. Cole, Big Sean, Chris Brown and most importantly WHERE THE HELL IS T.I.? the guy has two Drama Series (Boss & Hawaii Five-0), the highest rated reality show (T.I. & Tiny), a successful novel (Power & Beauty), number one hip-hop clothing-line (AKOO) and he’s not making at least 10 million dollars this year? That’s b.s

    [Reply]

  25. RDK

    Nicki numbers is really 20.5 million,her and Drake is tie,i saw the real numbers around the net and on her site,that,s why when someone told her the numbers of 15.5million she said it is inaccurate,because the real number is 20.5million,that,s great i always love to see a sista doing her thing,it,s really a good look to see her up there the soul female at that.

    [Reply]

  26. Brandan James

    having read this article, i am wondered that Kanye West net worth is as higher as it reported by GetetWorth website. according to Hip Hop Cash report Kanye West net worth $35 million in 2012.

    [Reply]

    Jack Reply:

    @Brandan James,
    Well, I just checked getnetworth.com and they are saying Kayne West net worth is $90 million !

    [Reply]

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