Forbes magazine has once again released its annual Forbes Five list of richest rappers. The list contains the same five from 2011, but reorders them according to their earnings since the last go around. The list of rcihest rappers in order for 2012 is: Diddy, Jay-Z, Dr Dre, Bryan “Birdman” Williams and 50 cent.
Although none of these wealthy rappers are billionaires, Its interesting to note that Diddy is the closest to becoming one.This is because Diddy is scheduled to launch a music based cable channel on comcast titled Revolt in 2013. This is in addition to the success of Ciroc Peach, driving the sales of Ciroc through the roof.
Sales of the spirit spiked 122% last year. Diddy can look forward to a nine-figure cheque if the brand is ever sold. Diddy also enjoys stakes in a handful of tech startups, the record label Bad Boy, marketing firm Blue Flame and clothing lines Enyce and Sean John.
Jay Z is next at $460 million. Jay Z unlike others on the list is a highly saught after rapper today.In 2007 Jay Z sold Rocawear clothing label for $204 million. In 2008 he signed 10-year $150 million deal with Live Nation. Jay Z also boasts stakes in his ad firm Translation, his 40/40 Club chain, cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter the New Jersey Nets amongst others.
Third is Dr Dre at $270 million. Dr Dre recently sold his 51% stake in Beats Electronics founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008 to mobile giant HTC . Dre’s cut after taxes was $85 million sources say . The contract with HTC still values Dre’s remaining stake at $100 million, which has the potential to increase significantly as the company grows.
Fourth is Birdman at $125 million.Co-founder of Cash Money Records with brother Ronald “Slim” Williams two decades ago, banking a cool $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998. Cash Money’s value is increasing with the success of rappers Nicki Minaj,Drake and Lil Wayne co-owners of sub-label Young Money. Cash Money’s 1998 deal with Universal is up this summer, raising the probability of a bidding war for the right to the labels distribution.
Fifth is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson at $110 million.In 2007 he earned $100 million on the sale of his Vitaminwater stake.In addition to tens of millions from clothing,50 Cent-themed videogames, record sales, acting gigs, shoes, books not to forget his new headphone line SMS and energy shot called Street King which will feed both poor children and 50 cent’s bank account.