JAY-Z may be hip-hop’s first billionaire, but he may soon have some competition.
Forbes has revealed its annual list of hip-hop’s wealthiest rappers. JAY-Z leads thanks to his lucrative empire, which includes $310 million from his Armand de Brignac champagne, $220 million for cash and investments in companies like Uber, $100 million from D’Ussé cognac, and $100 million from TIDAL. He and wife Beyoncé are now worth a combined $1.4 billion.
Not far behind Mr. Carter is Dr. Dre with $800 million. Despite Apple’s $3 billion 2014 purchase of his Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line, he hasn’t quite reached billionaire territory. The super-producer owned an estimated 20-25 percent of the company at the time, and Dre pocketed a little over $500 million in the sale. Now that his formal involvement at Apple is seemingly coming to an end, Dre may need to find other investments to cross the billionaire threshold.
Sean “Diddy” Combs falls to No. 3 on the 2019 list. His $740 million fortune includes cable network Revolt, his Sean John clothing line, and Ciroc, the main driver of his wealth. Forbes declares him the “most likely candidate to join JAY-Z in the billion-dollar club.”
Kanye West makes his debut at No. 4. In addition to music sales and concerts, Ye’s $240 million fortune is largely attributed to his successful partnership with adidas, who lured him from Nike several years ago.
At 32, Drake is the youngest rapper to make the list with $150 million. His fortune grew 50 percent over 2018, fueled by real estate investments and his Virginia Black whiskey, as well as a lucrative tour and residency at XS Nightclub in Las Vegas.
“Every year, we just want to get more prepared and better at touring and better at things that make money,” Drizzy told Forbes in 2013. “That’s pretty much my objective every year, other than making good music.”
Forbes Richest Rappers of 2019
1. JAY-Z – $1 billion
2. Dr. Dre – $800 million
3. Diddy – $740 million
4. Kanye West – $240 million
5. Drake – $150 million