Today’s hip hop artists are more than familiar with the grand lifestyle of the rich and famous. Yet unlike many other celebrities, rappers are climbing toward billionaire status on more than just talent – it’s their business acumen that has made them rich and brought Forbes Magazine to recognize them as some of the most powerful (and wealthiest) businessmen in the hip hop world.
Here are Forbes’ top five wealthiest hip hop stars of 2014:
- P. Diddy – Yes, P. Diddy. Sean Combs may not have made an album last year, but he’s making his mark in the music industry with Revolt TV, a music-focused, multi-platform channel that has brought his net worth upwards of $700 million. Combs recently told Forbes that he is focused on making Revolt TV “the number one, most-trusted, most credible worldwide brand for music.” So far, it’s made him the highest paid rapper this year.
- Dr. Dre – Another rapper whose venture into brand marketing has made him a household name. Dre’s headphone company, Beats by Dr. Dre, is reported to have more than $1 billion in annual sales and continues to overpower the headphone market. Dre’s personal net worth is estimated at $500 million.
- Jay Z – This music mega-star is worth more than $520 million, due to hundred-million dollar deals like his Rockaway sale in 2007. He’s currently making money from Roc Nation, his record label and management firm that has now added a sports agency. Roc Nation proves that power lies in producing and managing music artists, and you can expect Jay-Z’s empire to keep growing stronger.
- Bryan “Birdman” Williams – The co-founder of Cash Money Records shares a $300 million fortune with his brother and business partner Ronald “Slim” Williams, but Birdman has made his own name with ventures such as Cash Money Content, GT Vodka and the YMCMC clothing line.
- 50 Cent – He has his sale of Vitaminwater to thank for his $100 million fortune, but his net worth will continue to grow as his business roster does. He’s currently a part of SMS Audio and SK Energy drinks, and he’s taking his G-Unit Records independent. Oh, he’s also got a new album, Animal Ambition, coming out this summer. Looks like it’s going to be one busy year for the hip hop star.