Who is the Richest Hip Hop Musician in the World?
Hip Hop has created some of the most financially successful names in the history of music. As RapTV has reported, financial success plays a big role in Hip Hop and Rap music, more so than it does in other genres. Why? Because many Rap and Hip Hop artists came from poverty and, for them, music was not just a way to express themselves creatively. But it was also a form of financial freedom. It was a ticket out of terrible circumstances living in poor areas.
Also, with time black artists have gotten much more educated on the music business as they have watched the tragedy of so many black artists before them getting taken advantage of. In the 1950s, 60s, and beyond it wasn’t uncommon for hugely popular black artists to barley have enough money to make ends-meat because they were being taken advantage of by agents and managers, and studio executives. But today’s Rap and Hip Hop artists have learned their lesson and are more involved in the management of their finances than ever before. The result has been staggering as several have managed to amas enormous fortunes. Here are some of the richest Hip Hop musicians in the world.
Kanye West’s fortune has become substantial over the past few years and rests mainly on the success of his Yeezy shoes, which is made in partnership with Adidas. It is difficult to estimate Kanye’s true net worth, some detailed accounting revealed that Kanye is officially, according to Forbes and others, worth well over a billion dollars.
Jay Z was Hip Hop’s first billionaire. Obviously, Jay is a prolific musician and has had plenty of hit songs. But, let’s be honest, even Jay Z hasn’t had have become a billionaire off just his music. One of Jay-Z early and biggest financial successes came with “Rocawear,” his urban-focused clothing company that he eventually sold for over 200 million.
Since selling Rocawear, Jay has launched Roc-A-Fella Records, along with other clothing endeavors, more music, and much more.
Jay is quoted as saying, “To convince artists that you can’t be an artist and make money … was the greatest trick in music that people ever pulled off. I think the people that were making the millions said that.”
Diddy, once known as “Puff Daddy,” has an estimated net worth of between 700 and 900 million, with most of it coming from his vodka line Ciroc, as well as Sean John clothing. Diddy is a savvy businessman who always seems to have more cooking. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if the entrepreneur’s next venture set him over the billion-dollar mark.
Dr. Dre may or may not be a billionaire. But he is certainly worth several hundred million—probably at around 800 million. Not only has Dr. Dre been making and producing hit music for decades, but he also sold his headphone company “Beats” by Dre for about 3 billion in 2014. He owned about 25% of the company at the time, so that was quite an enormous paycheck for him. After debt payments and other fees, it’s estimated Dre received about 500 million on the deal. So, with that money plus a few hundred million more from his other ventures, it is estimated that Dr. Dre’s net worth is somewhere between 700 million to a billion dollars.
So yes, it’s true, you can be an artist and make money. The two are not mutually exclusive. While great art should not be primarily financially focused, there is no reason why, if Hip Hop artists and Rappers create great art, the end result cannot be financially lucrative. That is what these moguls teach us: To do the work first and then to manage it personally and properly to ensure you are getting paid for what you create rather than a bunch of people riding your coattails straight to the bank.