Rappers sure like to brag about their money. But how much do the really have? These are the top 10 richest rappers in 2015.
10. 50 Cent – $140 million
Born Curtis Jackson III, 50 Cent overcame tremendous hardship growing up in Queens, New York on route to becoming one of the richest rappers alive. Multiple platinum records and wide-reaching business interests, including six and seven-figure product endorsements, founding a boxing promotion and a film production company, and investments in real estate and mining have all contributed to his estimated $140 million net worth.
9. Eminem – $170 million
Eminem spent years steadily building a reputation in the relative obscurity of the Michigan rap scene before striking it rich with massively successful platinum-rated records. After the release of his debut album Infinte and then The Slim Shady EP, Eminem attracted the attention of big-time producer Dr. Dre, whom he joined forces with to produce the grammy-winning The Slim Shady LP and the fastest-selling hip-hop album ever, The Marshall Mathers LP. Income generated from his single and album sales over the years have netted Eminem a net worth of $170 million.
8. Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams – $170 million
Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams is the co-founder of the record label Cash Money Records. Through his label, ‘Slim’ has been an executive producer and associate of notable acts such as Lil Wayne, Drake, Micki Minaj, and Limp Bizkit. His estimated net worth stands at a sizeable $170 million.
7. Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams – $170 million
Known as ‘Birdman’ or ‘Baby’, Bryan Williams is the brother of Ronald Williams, and together they founded Cash Money records. Along with the business enterprise shared with his brother, Williams has an extensive track record as an artist: he is a member of the rap duo Big Tymers and sometime collaborator of Lil Wayne. Williams has an estimated net worth of $170 million.
6. Usher – $180 million
Coming in at number six, Usher has earned his wealth being one of the most successful artists of the 00s. Having been in music business since the age of 14, Usher has achieved album sales of over 65 million worldwide. Over the course of his diverse career spanning dancing, singing, rapping and acting, as well as ownership of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Usher has accumulated a net worth of $180 million.
5. Russell Simmons – $325 million
Russell Simmons is without doubt one of the most prominent moguls in the rap industry. He is co-founder of the heavyweight label Def Jam, as well as creator of clothing lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and American Classics. These lucrativeventures have earned Simmons a net worth of $325 million.
4. Master P
Like most of the top earners in this list, Master P developed his $350 million net worth by being a prolific and successful entrepreneur. Born Percy Robert Miller, he initially found success as part of rap group TRU, which spawned multiple platinum-selling albums. His success as an artist, however, seems small compared to his business activities, which include founding the label No Limit Records, entertainment company P. Miller Enterprises, and Better Black Television, a cable television company.
3. Jay Z
Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has had a landmark career in rap. Consistently thought to be one of the greatest rappers ever, Jay Z has received an incredible 21 Grammy awards, and his album sales have exceeded 100 million worldwide. Additionally, his record of 13 number one solo albums on the Billboard 200 remains unsurpassed by any artist. Jay Z’s net worth of $550 million derives not solely from his shining music career, but also his entrepreneurship: he is the former president of Def Jam Records, co-creator of clothing company Rocawear, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, and founder of sports agency Roc Nation Sports.
2. Sean Combs (P Diddy)
Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs’ career began as a talent director at Uptown Records where he help develop artists such as Mary J Blige. From there he founded Bad Boy Records in 1993, where he unearthed his most well-known collaborator, The Notorious BIG. P Diddy also has a successful rap career in his own right, winning three Grammies and releasing multiple platinum albums. His net worth is estimated at $700 million.
1. Dr. Dre
Standing at the pinnacle of rap’s financial hierarchy with a remarkable net worth of $800 million is the superproducer and rapper, Andre ‘Dr. Dre’ Young. After co-founding Death Row Records in 1991, Dr. Dre helped develop some of the biggest names in the rap industry, including Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game and Kendrick Lamar. Being the self-proclaimed ‘best producer on the mike’, Dre also has a storied rap career, which began with pioneering group NWA and reached new heights with his classic 1992 album, The Chronic. While his musical successes are impressive, the sale of his headphone brand, Beats by Dr. Dre, to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion, caused his wealth to skyrocket, allowing him to overtake P. Diddy as number one on the list of rap’s richest.