There’s a bit of a concern right now that hip-hop might be getting a little materialistic. Rappers are talking about money, possessions, and finance a lot more than they did even in the 90s, according to some people. Money is becoming a serious concern, and it’s probably because the new generation of millennials isn’t doing so great when it comes to money (according to some sources).
Still, it’s nice to take a step back sometimes and remind ourselves that a good, solid success story is still entirely possible and that a lot of the rappers who are at the top of their game are getting paid as a result. According to the Hip Hop Blingdex – here are the top 10 richest rappers in the world in 2019. Many of these figures aren’t just rich from music; they’re also entrepreneurs, which is how they have so much to spend on music videos. Let’s take a look!
1. Jay-Z – net worth $1 billion
Hov is doing alright for himself. Through a combination of clothing, music industry business, and music, Jay manages to make a handsome packet for himself every year. It doesn’t hurt when hugely popular and critically-acclaimed albums like the excellent 4:44 make people want to buy Tidal subscriptions just to listen to them. You know you’re doing something right when your album sells a whole streaming service! (Also Lemonade. We can’t forget Lemonade.)
2. Dr. Dre – $800 million
While Dre isn’t quite a billionaire, his massive fortune is still not to be sniffed at. Dre made a killing back in 2014 when he sold his headphone line, Beats By Dre, to Apple. Some of that money went to cover debts Dre was struggling with, but he’s still doing OK. He made a huge comeback to music with his 2015 album Compton, an excellent record that dealt with the changeable nature of life in Dre’s (and many other rappers’) home city.
3. Diddy – $740 million
Yep – ol’ Sean Combs is still hanging on in there. The rapper once known as Puff Daddy still has a pretty sizeable amount of money, and that’s largely due to savvy investments and some monster hits that are still paying dividends. Diddy makes his living largely on Ciroc, which is paying off in a huge way now. While we’re not going to make any promises, we think Diddy could well join Jay-Z above the billion barrier before long.
4. Kanye West – $240 million
There’s a pretty sizeable drop between Diddy’s net worth and Ye’s, but make no mistake, Yeezus is still rich. Thanks to Adidas’ acquisition of Kanye’s Yeezy shoe brand, he’s making an absolute mint on that and the rest of his clothing line. Unlike some of the artists on this list, Ye also regularly still makes music. His two most recent projects, Ye and the Kid Cudi-featuring Kids See Ghosts, are easily some of his best work and give people yet another reason to buy into his music.
5. Drake – $150 million
Again, there’s quite a big gap between Ye and Drake, but don’t sleep on Aubrey Graham. He’s one of the youngest multi-millionaires in hip-hop, and his star is only going to continue ascending. He’s got plenty of holdings in real estate and he’s also a collaborator on Virginia Black whiskey, both of which won’t hurt his net worth any. It’s also likely that other artists pay a serious premium to get a Drake feature, given his cultural clout.
6. Snoop Dogg – $135 million
Snoop is one of rap’s elder statesmen. He’s sold over thirty-five million albums around the world, many of which are copies of his seminal 1993 album Doggystyle. Though his lyrics often leave a little to be desired, his chilled-out delivery means he’s always worth listening to. He’s entered into some…ahem… less-than-savoury business ventures in his time, but like it or not they’re probably what’s catapulted him into the big leagues of hip-hop.
7. Adam Horovitz – $90 million
You probably know Adam Horovitz better as Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys. He’s not just a rapper; he’s also a producer, a multi-instrumentalist, and an actor. Fun fact: he’s also married to Kathleen Hanna, the singer for punk bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Horovitz, along with the other Beastie Boys, has diversified into industries like record label ownership, magazine publishing, and a clothing line. The Beastie Boys ceased recording together as a band after founding member MCA died of cancer in 2012.
8. Nicki Minaj – $85 million
Hip-hop can still be something of a hostile world for women, but Nicki Minaj (real name Onika Tanya Minaj) hasn’t let that get her down. Alongside her platinum-studded rap career, she’s also been a brand ambassador for companies like Beats By Dre, as well as launching her own fragrance (“Pink Friday”) and modeling for fashion companies like Roberto Cavalli. Lastly, Minaj is also a co-owner of Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal.
9. Akon – $80 million
You won’t find any Konvicts here. Akon’s impressive $80 million net worth was amassed by his music, yes, but he’s also a very savvy entrepreneur. Here’s an interesting fact about Akon: he actually owns a diamond mine in South Africa. He’s since clarified that the mine isn’t in any way related to the blood diamond crisis. Akon is dedicated to philanthropy, having launched a program in 2015 that aims to bring electricity to 600 million people across Africa.
10. Rev Run – $70 million
Rev Run – real name Joseph Simmons – is perhaps best known as one of the founding members of Run-D.M.C, one of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time. The “Rev” in his name isn’t just for show; he’s actually a practicing minister and holds a license. If you’re not familiar with Run-D.M.C, you probably know Rev Run from his reality show Run’s House. It’s from this show that he amassed his fortune, as well, of course, as his incredibly catchy and occasionally political music.