Hip-hop music, or basically what is also referred to as rap music is a genre which was developed in the United States back in the 1970s.
Being in the world of Hip hop has proved to be extremely lucrative, considering we have a billionaire in the genre. In our today’s richest rappers list, it’s the same old bigwigs of the game you might be guessing with a few surprises jumping the hierarchy of the richest with others making it in the G.O.A.T.
In case you’re wondering whether music pays yes, it does, but it can’t make you a billionaire unless you venture out and do more than just music, which is exactly what this year top ranking hip hop richest stars have done.
In our list of top wealthiest rappers, music pays. Still, these guys are successful entrepreneurs too who have ventured into fashion, alcohol, film, production, and many other industries to make it in this list.
Here is the list of top 11 wealthiest rappers in the world as of May 2020.
1. Kanye West – $1.3 billion net worth
Ever heard of multi-hyphenates well there those and there is Kanye West. The outspoken rapper hails from Chicago and rose to fame producing tracks for Common, Ludacris, Jay-Z, and others. His debut album College Dropout was released in 2004, and as of today, he has sold over 100 million records.
As of May 2020, Kanye West’s net worth stands at $1.3 billion. Other than music, Kanye West has ventured into entrepreneurship, where he has collaborated with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Nike, Adidas, A.P.C, among others. Other businesses that have contributed to Kanye West fortune include Good Music, KW Foods LLC, DONDA, Tidal, among others. With his wealth growing day by day, we can say soon he might join his sister-in-law, Kylie Jenner, who is in the list of billionaires.
Recently, In a lengthy process that took into account West’s debt, assets and expenses, Forbes calculated the rapper’s net worth as close to $1.3 billion — $300 million more than his 22-year-old sister-in-law Kylie Jenner, whom the outlet hailed the world’s youngest self-made billionaire in the year 2019.
2. Jay-Z – $1 billion net worth
He is the hip-hop’s first billionaire, and even better, he is the first hip hop artist to be a billionaire. Jay-Z, who is ranked among the top 100 greatest artists of all time, is the husband to the queen of dance Beyoncé, who is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold more than 100 million records globally. As of May 2020, Together Jay-Z and Beyoncé have a combined net worth of more than $1.4 billion. So much of the notion that music is a dying business.
Jay-Z has made money with music, having sold more than 50 million albums and over 75 million singles globally. He is also a successful entrepreneur who has a vast business empire in a variety off industries, such as record labels, real estates, beverages, clothing lines, and sports teams. His music streaming service Tidal which he bought at $200 million, is valued today at $600 million. Other investments include Roc Nation Sports, Roc Nation entertainment company, Armand de Brignac champagne, Block Starz Music, JetSmarter, Cohiba, among others.
3. P. Diddy – $855 million net worth
His real name is Sean John Combs, but he goes by many names Diddy, Puff Daddy, and P. Diddy. Career-wise let’s say he is a man with a couple of skills, what you would generally call multi-talented. Puff Daddy is an actor, record producer, songwriter, record executive, an entrepreneur and also a rapper.
Diddy is one of the richest rappers in the world today with a net worth of $855 million as of May 2020, and he has earned his fortune not just from his music but from doing business too. He started entrepreneurship at the age of 12 when he was selling newspapers, and today he owns a portfolio of businesses. Some of Combs businesses include a clothing line Sean John, perfume, restaurants, owns a stake at Ciroc Vodka, Revolt TV, and alkaline water brand Aquahydrate.
4. Dr. Dre – $820 million net worth
His real name is Andre Romelle, and other than being a rapper, he is a songwriter, an actor, audio engineer, record producer, record executive, and entrepreneur. Dr. Dre is the founder of Beats Electronics, which possibly you know of, having heard of his signature Dr. Dre beats headphones and also the owner of Aftermath Entertainment.
For half a decade now, Dr. Dre has claimed to be a billionaire, but many wealth sources dispute the figure though they have placed him as the third richest rapper with a net worth of $820 million as of May 2020. Dr. Dre’s wealth fortune came about when he sold Beats by Dr. Dre to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion, where he owned around 25% of the company stake.
5. Master P – $350 million net worth
Percy Robert Miller, who goes by his stage name Master P, is a record producer, a former basketball player, an actor, and a rapper. He is the founder of record label No Limit Records, Guitar Music Entertainment and No Limit Forever Records. He became famous in the 1990s when he was a member of TRU, a hip hop music group.
Back in 2009, Master P net worth was estimated to be around $700 million making him the third richest hip hop artist at the time. As of May 2020, Master P net worth stands at $350 million. He has made his money from his travel agency, real estate, music selling more than 75 million records, stocks, Foot Locker retail outlet, film, fast food franchises, auto accessories, clothing, jewelry line, television production, car rims, gas stations among other businesses.
6. Eminem – $220 million net worth
As of May 2020, with a net worth of $220 million, Eminem is one of the most successful rappers of the 21st century. Though his music is a bit controversial since it’s about his hatred for his ex-wife and the love of his daughter, he is one of the most successful best-selling music artists with over 150 million certified records sold globally.
He has been named the Artist of the Decade, won over 15 Grammy Awards, 20 Billboards Awards, and included in the list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Other than earnings from music, which have contributed significantly to his wealth, he also makes money from being an actor, songwriter, publisher, and record executive.
7. Drake – $200 million net worth
Possibly you don’t know, but Drake was an actor before he jumped into music. He used to be on the teen drama television series Degrassi! The Next Generation. He first released his debut mixtape Room for Improvement and released two other mixtapes before joining Young Money Entertainment in 2009.
Drake released his debut studio album Thank Me Later in 2010, and it topped the US Billboard 200. As of today, Drake has released five studio albums Scorpion being his latest release. Among all his albums Views is Drake’s bestselling album to date, and as of today, he has sold over 170 million records making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world and on of the wealthiest rapper in the world with a net worth of $200 million as of May 2020.
Apart from earnings from music, Drake has made money from endorsement deals with companies such as Sprite, Burger King, Whataburger, Toronto Raptors, and Apple Music. He owns the OVO Sound record label and Virginia Black whiskey.
8. Ice Cube – $160 million net worth
As of May 2020, Ice Cube has a net worth of $160 million. He is a veteran in the game of hip hop; in fact, he is one of the founding artists of gangsta rap. Born in 1969, he rose to fame in 1986 as a member of the hip hop group N.W.A which was formed by him, Dr. Dre and Eazy E. after he left N.W.A Ice Cube embarked on a successful solo career, and as of today, he has released ten studio albums, the latest being Everything’s Corrupt in 2018.
Other than music, Ice Cube is a renowned actor, and he has starred in films such as Ride Along, Straight Outta Compton, 22 Jump Street, Barbershop: The Next Cut, among others. Other Ice Cubes business ventures include a clothing line, liquor, and a professional basketball league Big3.
9. Lil Wayne – $155 million net worth
Hate him, love him, but you can’t dispute the co-owner of YMCMB Lil Wayne is one of the most popular rappers of our time with a handsome net worth of $155 million as of May 2020. Did you know Nicki Minaj credits her success to Lil Wayne, Lil Wayne, to date, has released 13 studio albums, his two latest one being Tha carter V released in 2018 and Funeral released in 2020.
Apart from him being a rapper, Lil Wayne is an actor, record executive, and entrepreneur. It is recorded that he has sold over 100 million records to date and also ventured the business world selling shoes, clothes, flavored cigars, and investing in apps such as Tidal.
10. Snoop Dogg – $135 million net worth
As of May 2020, Snoop Dogg net worth stands at $135 million. There is no way we can conclude our list of top richest rappers without including non-other but Snoop Dogg. He is one of the popular rappers of our time and has sold more than 35 million albums globally to date.
Snoop Dogg, or rather Snoop Lion now that he is a Rastafarian, has made money as an actor, media personality, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Some of his business ventures include an app called Snoopify, medical marijuana known as Leafs By Snoop, and has his own Esports league. As of today, Snoop Dogg has released 17 studio albums and seven collaboration albums.
11. Birdman – $125 million net worth
As of May 2020, Birdman net worth stands at $125 million. You might know him as Bryan Christopher Williams though he goes by his stage name Birdman. He is an entrepreneur, a record executive, and one of the veteran rappers we have. He is the Godfather of Lil Wayne and together co-own the record label YMCMB (Young Money Cash Money Billionaires).
Birdman has released four studio albums and six collaborative albums. Other than music, Birdman has made his wealth through other ventures such as a clothing line, a record label, and a gas exploration company Bronald Oil and Gas.
In gathering information regarding top richest rappers, we used a methodology of looking at their past earnings, leafing through financial documents in our possession, valuing all their current holdings, and looking at other industry players statistics.