Billionaire Minds: The Race To Become Rap's First Billionaire

In the race to amassing this new statement of ultimate Rap prosperity, between Diddy, Kanye West, Jay Z, 50 Cent, Pitbull & Nicki Minaj, there will be only one winner.

Released in the fall of 2007, the “Forbes 1-2-3 Remix” of 50 Cent’s then-released Curtis album single “I Get Money” celebrated Diddy, Jay Z and 50 Cent as being ranked as the top three wealthiest rappers in Forbes magazine’s inaugural ranking of Hip Hop’s richest power brokers. It’s oftentimes referred to as the “billion-dollar remix” because the combined worth of the trio (at that time) was $1 billion. Fast-forward less than a decade, and there are now five rappers (five men, and one woman) now all routinely making claims to want to singularly become Rap’s first billionaire. However, in this race to amassing this new statement of ultimate Rap prosperity, between Diddy, Kanye West, Jay Z, 50 Cent, Pitbull and Nicki Minaj, there will be only one winner. If that winner being Pitbull surprises you, it’s probably a good idea to sit down and keep reading. 

In one article, five Rap cash champions will be ranked and analyzed, and ideally somewhere along the way a few lessons about the keys to becoming Rap’s first billionaire—being sustainable, while also being flexible, diverse and explosive as an artist and brand—will be discussed as well.

One name that will not be found in this article is legendary producer, emcee and Beats by Dre co-founder (alongside Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine) Dr. Dre. While yes, Beats Electronics is clearly performing incredibly well as a company, it’s incredibly difficult to find any consistent mention from the Rap industry mogul of a profound desire to be a billionaire. Currently worth $550 million dollars, his lack of routine claims of desire to want to be a billionaire preclude him from being on a list of Rap industry types who mention the goal as if it were as mythical as discovering the lost city of Atlantis. Dre’s nonchalant attitude towards the goal doesn’t necessarily preclude him from reaching it, but it’s as though he could reach it, say absolutely nothing, and frankly not want us to care. These six multi-hundred millionaires want us to be invested in their wealth gain, and, if/when they do become billionaires, will certainly write a song and bang a gong about it.

Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs - $700 Million and Stalling…

Billionaire statement: “So will Revolt make Diddy a billionaire? Perhaps not immediately, but there’s a good chance down the line. Cable networks are notoriously difficult to launch.” -Zach Greenburg, Forbes

Some may say that Sean Combs deserves to be Rap’s wealthiest businessman because he is the OG of the super-rich Rap game. In fact, it was in 1997 that he said, “It’s All About The Benjamins,” which by 2001 became Diddy saying on “Bad Boy for Life” that his place in Rap wasn’t about “writing rhymes” anymore, it was about “writing checks.” By the aforementioned 2007-released “Forbes 1-2-3” remix of 50 Cent’s “I Get Money,” there’s no mention by Diddy of the lyrical acumen by any of the rappers on the track, but rather an ad-lib about there being “a lot of money on this record.” Now, for 2014’s “Big Homie,” dope bars are pretty much entirely replaced by ostentatious claims of wealth as Diddy says that his “Rolls Royce spray cologne, the fragrance money,” and that he’s “more ‘80s than the ‘80s,” meaning that he’s a super-sized representation of an era in America associated with absurd levels of greed.

However, all is not as sustainable and wealth accruing as it would seem in Diddy’s financial portfolio.

Though largely unfounded, rumors of Bad Boy Records shutting their doors were floated by AllHipHop.com on December 23, 2013. Though squashed by an unnamed Bad Boy representative, Bad Boy as a label has excelled by modern standards, but the numbers pale by comparison to the classic numbers upon which Diddy built an empire. Diddy’s 1997 classic No Way Out shipped in excess of seven million copies domestically. By 2010, Diddy-Dirty Money’s Last Train to Paris debuted at #7 on Billboard Magazine’s “Top 200 Albums” chart with first week sales of 101,000. Prior to that, 2006’s Press Play hit #1 with first week sales of 170,000. If only studying simple laws of supply and demand, both have precipitously dipped for Diddy in the last 15 years.

For those on the outside looking in, it appears Diddy’s main source of income is from Diageo’s Ciroc vodka brand, which he has recently entered into a joint partnership with that the mogul presumes will eventually be worth one-fourth of Ciroc’s total brand value. At present, market indicators value Ciroc as being a billion-dollar brand with significant growth potential. Now at $700 million that still leaves Puffy $300 million short of his goal.

Insofar as his sustainable income streams, Diddy’s Justin’s restaurant line has closed, but the now 16-year old Sean John brand has extended from men’s and women’s apparel into fragrances and also a merchandising deal with the National Basketball Association.

In a market where earnings from music are growing scarcer by the second, having multiple sustainable streams of income is important. While, yes, Diddy is sitting pretty with the possibility of well over three-quarters of a million dollars as a possibility, is it possible that REVOLT can survive in a struggling cable market? Is there a space for the remnants of Bad Boy to be branded in some way that can earn over $300 million? Or, is it possible that Diddy, though wealthy, will not reach the newly established pinnacle of Rap wealth?

Nicki Minaj - Is “360” Worth $1 Billion?

Billionaire statement: “I’m in Saint Tropez on a big boat, go my way to make a billi like a big goat” -Nicki Minaj, “Up In Flames”

In signing a unique 360 deal in which she retains rights and ownership of all merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing, Nicki Minaj has every right to claim on record that she is worth one billion dollars. One would suspect that was part of the strategy behind including the fact that she maintained her 360 rights in the initial press release announcing her partnering with Young Money/Universal. However, while Minaj owns the rights for the lifetime of her numerous deals, I think it’s the issue in the breakdown of the proceeds earned (and how they trickle down through her team and are affected by taxes) that makes her billion-dollar claim easily disputable.

Minaj has had an incredibly diverse slate of earning opportunities in the five years since signing with Young Money/Universal Records:

  • Three albums released
  • An Android/iPhone app
  • Endorsement deals with Nokia and Casio
  • Beats Electronics/AT&T speaker line
  • Target and Wal-Mart-based perfume line
  • Adidas endorsement
  • MAC cosmetics line
  • OPI nail polish line
  • Perfume line developed with Give Back Brands
  • Partnership with Myx Fusions Moscato liquor brand
  • Feature in a comic book series

However, while the female emcee may have grossed $1 billion from these opportunities, the real question is net worth, which may tell a different story. Minaj’s career certainly appears to have the appearance of being incredibly busy, which likely requires a full-time team of salaried and insured employees. Given that Minaj’s personal and professional wealth are so uniquely intertwined via 360 deal, I think Minaj herself having a net worth of $1 billion is highly unlikely, yet, in some time entirely plausible.

Kanye West - Lessons In Disruption And Dreams

Billionaire Statement: “Then I eventually want to be the anchor and the force behind a billion-dollar company. And after I make that billion-dollar step, then I can go in and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got an opinion on this.’ And that can be a 10 billion-dollar step. And I eventually want to be the anchor of the first trillion-dollar company.” -Kanye West to BBC 1’s Zane Lowe

One listen to Kanye West’s conversation with BBC 1’s Zane Lowe showcases that Yeezus is literally one degree of separation away from being a billionaire at any given time. Presumed by Forbes to be worth $100 million, he’s a luxury brand obsessed seeming megalomaniac with a plan. Wishes to be supported by said brands’ patronage, in a manner consistent with an exploded version of what Catherine de’ Medici did during the French Renaissance, Kanye could one day be designing leather jogging pants for Hermes, sneakers for adidas, luggage for Louis Vuitton, entertainment structures for SFX, water bottles for PepsiCo and so on, and so forth. Ideally, Kanye has limitless potential in this wild new realm, but in reality, I think he may be limiting his own earning potential.

Insofar as being the first to reach $1 billion, a brief study of three other billionaire contenders on the list is worth considering. Diddy has experienced a 267% wealth increase between 2011-2014. Jay Z’s growth in the same time frame has been 89%, and intriguingly, in the midst of divestment of assets and diversifying his income streams, 50 Cent has dipped 42% from $216 million to $125 million. What’s the commonality between all three of these cash kings? I think the key is that they’ve successfully re-branded themselves into being edgy, yet still safe, and also sustainable businessmen. For as disruptive and game changing as Kanye’s recent “turn-ups” have been, turning those moments into income streams that will earn him the mythical $1 billion would appear to a difficult proposition at best. While yes, Kanye is aiming Hip Hop culture into new markets, not yet achieving success in this gambit proves troublesome towards expanding his bottom line by a factor of 10 before any of the other five choices on this list.

50 Cent - Safe, Smart, Sustainable, Successful. Billionaire?

Billionaire statement: “It’s probably going to take me 10 years [to become a billioniare].” -50 Cent to Forbes magazine in 2008.

From popping bubbly “in the club” to now being known as the Chief Executive Officer of both the Street King (SK) lifestyle brand and SMS Audio, 50 Cent (even before Jay Z said “I’m a not a businessman, I’m a business, man” on the “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” remix) is the forefather of Rap-turned-legitimate corporate entity. As the man who seamlessly (read as, flipping the perception of thugs in baggy jeans and baseball caps) merged Hip Hop and corporate culture with his Vitamin Water deal, 50 Cent has always been a savvy businessman.

Intriguingly, while his net worth has dipped 42 percent (from an estimated $216 million to $125 million in 2013), his shift in focus to the SK brand and SMS Audio could prove significant, as he has added $15 million to his total to now sit at $140 million on 2014’s Forbes list. As well, signing a deal with an independent label to market his albums, and potentially finally selling the 52-room mansion he once purchased from Mike Tyson showcase 50 retooling for a possible run at becoming Rap’s first billionaire.

Jay Z - Are His Streams Of Income Diverse Enough To Net $1 Billion?

Billionaire statement: “D boy drug dealer look / Billionaire nigga!” -Jay Z, “BBC”

Similar to 50 Cent’s mid-2000s era run of shattering the glass ceiling and pre-conceived notions of what Hip Hop culture could mean for brands looking to create a foothold in urban America, Jay Z’s mid-2010’s run could be literally worth $1 billion. It’s been 10 years since Jay and Reebok teamed up for a signature rapper-branded sneaker, with Jay’s S. Carter Collection. Since that point, Rap has evolved from being the simplest way to gain access for urban branding to now just being a solid mainstream branding option. Given that he is at the forefront of this push, the idea of him earning $1 billion before five other rappers seems possible, but in examining the facts, I think it’s arguably unlikely. The issue? As with any startup entrepreneur, the delay for Jay Z in becoming a billionaire will be dealing with issues of overhead versus the stimulation of capital.

Now six years old, Roc Nation is a global brand that, while partnered with event brand Live Nation, is still a burden on Jay Z’s potential asset development. A multi-faceted organization, Roc Nation comprises the following: a management group representing 19 total individuals who span being artists, songwriters, producers, engineers, DJs (and now athletes through Roc Nation sports), and a label with seven signed artists. With nearly 30 earners, one would believe that this would be an ideal situation. But, insofar as maintaining a team to support these 30 individuals, between salaries, insurance, training, work materials, transportation, building fees (they have to work somewhere) and likely bonuses (plus expenses that are likely being forgotten), I think the capital gains of Roc Nation may not be as significant as one would presume.

As well, as an artist and personality, Jay Z is certainly breaking down doors in progressive spaces. And yes, while his income growth has been significant (due to this expansion), he still sits at $520 million overall, which puts him currently at halfway to $1 billion dollars. To put that into perspective, for as excited as the universe got about Jay receiving an estimated total of $30 million from Samsung for Magna Carta Holy Grail, he would have to record that album 34 times at that price in order to hit his goal. While if a fan of Hova that would be incredible, it’s also highly unlikely.

Will Jay Z hit one billion dollars? Certainly. I think it’s entirely possible that in one year, Roc Nation label-signed rapper J. Cole could have a hit single and album, while Roc Nation represented rapper Wale could have a hit song co-produced by fellow Roc Nation signees Timbaland and DJ Mustard, then remixed by Roc Nation-signed EDM producers Chase and Status. Of course, when the track is dropped by (yep, Roc Nation-managed DJ) Solange Knowles in a set during a party for Roc Nation Sports celebrating championship winners C.C. Sabathia of the New York Yankees, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, at the end of the day, that’s one “smart (and likely billionaire) black boy.”

Pitbull - The Rap Game Ruben Sosa, Also Rap’s Likely First Billionaire.

“Do I think it’s realistic to be a billion-dollar company by 35? Absolutely.” -Pitbull, to The Hollywood Reporter

Upon one close look at this list, three of the six rappers discussed were by their own admission drug dealers at one point of their lives. However, unlike Jay Z and 50 Cent, in Pitbull still being the closest to the principles of his once narcotic-filled past, he stands to be the artist who ultimately hits $1 billion before all other top-tier rappers who have recently mentioned their desire to be billionaires.

In his aforementioned conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Pitbull tells the magazine of his desire to emulate the film Scarface, but unlike so many other emcees, not the nihilistic Tony Montana.

“I wanted to be Sosa—educated, good-looking, a good dresser, and he’s the one who was running it,” Pitbull explained. “And notice, he never got his hands dirty. He sipped his tea. He was nice, not aggressive. And at the end of it all, he was the one that stayed. So I realized around 18 that Tony’s the wrong guy to be looking up to.”

As well, when Pitbull breaks down how he intends to succeed at the music industry, the drug-dealer lingo returns with the following: “The only business that I knew growing up was flipping—if I invested five dollars, I knew I could get back eight. If I got back eight, that meant I could live off three, invest another five, get another eight, stack another three. That's what the music business is to me—flip after a flip, a flip after a flip.”

Key as well to Pitbull’s rise is that—similar as well to drug dealers—his overhead for asset management and development (outside of label-signed hit singles) remains low, thus allowing his income potential to skyrocket. Unlike Jay Z, he doesn’t have Roc Nation. Unlike 50 Cent, he appears to be managing his finances well without a plethora of crazy expenditures. Pitbull’s brand is built around sustainable lifestyles, as The Hollywood Reporter article says, “You won't find a $900 baseball cap in [Pitbull's] future collection, as Jay Z had in his exclusive Barneys line, nor is he selling his fans on a life of excess.”

Furthermore, as a bilingual Latino who’s unafraid of wearing suits and has also embraced EDM, I think his rise to excellence dovetails nicely with the perfect storm of Latinos becoming America’s most dominant minority group, EDM and Rap finding synergy, Rap going corporate and the Internet dissolving divides made by national borders. Pitbull’s flexibility and smart brand extension have allowed him to record songs with nearly 50 US Billboard charting artists over a 15-year career with two #1 Billboard pop singles in the past five years. As Rap becomes a universal language, it’s arguable that Pitbull has condensed said language of commerce and expression into its most saleable form.

Pitbull says that he can be a billionaire by the time he’s 35. With a current net worth of $20 million, that’s a percentage of growth of 4900%. While it’s smart to say that nothing is impossible, that percentage of growth in two years is highly improbable. What is more likely is to see Pitbull hit that number in five years. How so? Consider the following: At its 1994 creative nadir, Def Jam Records was valued at $66 million. By 1999, under Lyor Cohen’s leadership, the company was worth $325 million, which shows a growth of 392%. Pitbull starts his ascent to billionaire status with a red-hot brand that is globally respected and not in need of massive retooling. As well, the number of high-value brand income streams now available in the global Rap-as-Pop marketplace trump where Rap was 15 years ago. I think if Pitbull earns at a clip similar to Def Jam—but at an inflated clip adjusted for Rap’s modern advancements—growing 4900% in five years is certainly possible.

At present, Pitbull already has endorsement deals inked with Dr Pepper, Kodak, Bud Light, Voli Vodka and Playboy. Furthermore, he has started his Mr. 305 Music label, and has six TV and film appearances in the past three years. Of course, alongside this, he has well-attended global tours buoyed by #1 hit singles that feature globally respected Pop stars. Factor in the global expansion of any Pitbull endorsement, quite possibly the perfect star at the perfect time, Pitbull exponentially increasing his net worth is not so much improbable as it is entirely logical in execution.

 

Marcus Dowling is a veteran Washington, DC-based writer who has contributed to a plethora of online and print magazines and newspapers over the past fifteen years. Follow him on Twitter at @marcuskdowling.

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77 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Why isn't dr.dre on this list?

  • e

    ALL WE NEED IS TO GIVE EMINEM A DOLLAR FOR EVERY PILL HE BEEN STEALIN LMFAO

  • rofl

    that jay-z interview...YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO' YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO' YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO' YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'YOU KNO', YOU KNO', YOU KNO'

  • Anonymous

    Album sales shouldn't even be spoken of when discussing revenue streams or net worth. It's just not a viable way to make money any more. Look at all 5 or 6 (DX was confused on the number lol) of these people. All making money on investments outside of touring and albums. Unless you're Bon Jovi or Madonna touring likely isn't gonna make you a billionaire.

  • sun_god7

    All that money and how much is flowing back into the community? They all do "charity" but what is being built where any contribution they make can make real change and opposed to the symbolic.

  • Anonymous

    50 or Nicki most likely will not make to a billion simply because Nicki's 360 deal is totally dependent on how well Cash Money/Universal can continue to keep her music brand hot enough to allow her to capitalize from endorsements and touring. 50 on the other hand is only on the list because of a deal he got lucky on 7 years ago. In conclusion the race is really between Diddy, Jay-z and Dre

    • Anonymous

      all it takes is the right deal, they may not be the first but never count anyone out, Nicki got a line of clothes in Wal Mart and stuff! 50 recently got the rights to make all audio products for Disney and Star Wars.

    • sun_god7

      Roc Nation would open a door to Nicki and even Drake.

  • Anonymous

    White people won't allow these guys get a billion you watch. They will cop fines loose on investments... Just watch

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, it's all a big conspiracy. What do you care, anyway? You won't be seeing a dime of it, in fact you will be paying towards it.

  • Grammar

    Here's some of my work http://youtu.be/824tplkq80M

  • NinjaB

    ummm lmao @ Pitbull being the first to a billion when he's only worth 20 million now... This dude must be his cousin or something, there's no way he gonna grow his net worth 4900% before Jay, Puff, Dre, or Baby grow theirs just 200%.. get off his D.

  • Special Ed

    Baby will probably be the first to hit a billion... Dude has made a killing off of the signing of Drake and Nicki...

    • Anonymous

      lol yeah right whats he getting money in outside of music? plus he splits everything with his brother hence why they didnt even mention him.

  • Noel313

    Dre will hit a billion first that's why he's being so quiet about it. Beats headphones will go public (offered on the stock market) next year which will make him a billionaire overnight.

    • Anonymous

      it depends on whether it would be more profitable for dre to keep his share a while longer since the headphones are getting bigger and bigger, he might not reach the billion before puffy, but he will most likely be the richest in just 2 or 3 years. Fun Fact. 50 cents deal with Disney about the star wars headphones might actually put him in a position where sms audio could get as big as beats, since star wars and disney together will make alot of money, and since theres 3 movies coming out there will be a lot of people wanting star wars headphones. they chances are big that 50 cent will hit the billion before jay does. But kanye will probably get there too soon, people arent realizing it, but after all of these rants people are hungry for what he has to offer, the promotion wont be a problem for him neither, the kardashians have alot of power in the media as well. whatever he puts out, its gonna sell.

  • smhtothehaters

    people are looking for ross dude is rich without a platinum album 50 needed to sell 40 millions to get 140 million? ross doesnt need it ... call it mastermin now thinks if ross had 2 platinum album ... lol

    • Anonymous

      "Last year 50 cent was spending his money on investments such as his energy drink and headphones to give them a buzz, while ross was cashing in on his album and the albums released on his label, still he only made 2 millions more than 50 did." Check your numbers, Forbes said 50 made a mill or two more than Ross last year. Ross didn't make the top 20, he was tied with Mac Miller.

    • Anonymous

      yeah, imagine if Rick Ross had real talent. Listen, when get rich or die trying came out it was the biggest selling album of the year. If you compare that to 2013, it still would've been double platinum. And the massacre was the second highest selling album of 2005, and it had the biggest opening week sales of any album that year, which would have been over 900 000 in 2013, with six weeks on the no 1 spot, more than any other album that year. So 50 cent would probably still have had two multiplatinum albums even if the album sales was the same as today. If you look at charts and cultural impact, 50 cent was much bigger even than what drake is right now, no one can deny that. Rick Ross is no way near close to any of them musically. Rick Ross is FAMOUS BY ASSOCIATION, he's been standing next to the hot artist at the time such as khaled, wayne t-pain, drake, nick minaj, kanye and jay z for so long that people forget that he was always the wackiest one on all the major hits that lead up to him being a big name in hip hop. Financially, theres nothing to argue about. Last year 50 cent was spending his money on investments such as his energy drink and headphones to give them a buzz, while ross was cashing in on his album and the albums released on his label, still he only made 2 millions more than 50 did. This year however, 50 is starring in 2-3 high budget hollywood movies with relevant actors, and releasing a tv series where he is to serve as the executive producer. Plus he's releasing 2 albums, one which is only suppose to serve as promotion for the big album, which has turned out to be a great idea this far. He also made a deal with Disney to make star wars headphones for the 3 upcoming star wars movies. Remember that star wars are record breaking blockbusters that specializes on selling all kinds of things that doesn't have anything to do with the movies and make huge profit out of it. Ross chicken wing deal ain't even close to these moves. FACTS

    • Anonymous

      You idiot. 50 Cent made over 100 million only with his vitamin water deal.

  • Anonymous

    50 has fallen all the way to the bottom next to Mac Miller but the real hustrelers are steady climbing.

    • Anonymous

      he didn't fall off he spent money investing into ams and sk brands plus other things....if he can make arounnd 12-15 mill a yr off headphones he's good...just wait for an album n tour be at 40 or 50 mill easy in a yr

    • Anonymous

      I saw 50 last week listed in the top 5 wealthiest in hip-hoppers by Forbes even after falling off to mac millers level

  • Anonymous

    "dont ever compare mmg to those classic hip-hop labels built by legends who went platinum" Doesn't matter if they went platinum. What are they doing today? Nada. MMG wins because they're here today succeeding in a tougher climate.

  • Shade45

    If anyone, Puffy will be the first. He's business savvy and have great relationships.

    • rideonemjixxer

      ^^^ lol! ...one of the best comments ive read in a while on this site.

    • Brief Breakdown Of All The Black Lives Sean Combs Has Destroyed

      1991-Nine students at City College of New York killed during stampede from overbooked event 1995-Jake Robles killed in Atlanta at the Platinum House (Allegedly by Anthony Wolf Jones Puffs right hand man) 1996-2Pac allegedly killed by Southside Crips as revenge for a beating that was revenge for a Death Row chain being snatched for a Sean Combs bounty 1997-Notorious B.I.G. killed in Los Angeles as revenge for murders of Pac and Jake Robles 1998-After penning and recording several multi platinum hits attempts to pay The Lox with fresh pairs of matching Air Force 1s 1999-Steve Stoute brutally attacked with champagne bottles and turned from a stand up man into Mr. Scarf Hands 1999-Ma$e leaves label at peak of his popularity after repeated alleged homosexual advances and becomes a bootleg T.D. Jakes 2000-Multiple shooting at Club New York in Manhattan after throwing money in the face of gangsters. Black woman loses eye. 2001-Jamal Shyne Barrow sentenced to 10 years in prison for saving Puffys life. Would later be deported. 2002- MTV Making Da Band. The list of tragedies probably deserve its own thread *see Chopper Suit. 2003-Anthony Wolf Jones finally murdered in an Atlanta club, allegedly by members of BMF on orders from Big Meech for multiple transgressions (including being shot in the azz by Wolf) Forever changing the landscape of one Atlantas most affluent and diverse party districts. 2004-Co-Creates a Rap The Vote campaign to get c000ns to support John Kerry the weakest democratic candidate since Walter Mondale. Loses to George W. Bush. Months later Katrina happens. 2005-Loon departs Bad Boy records in dispute over unpaid royalties. Turns Muslim. 2006-Black Rob forced to turn back into a life of crime and become a jewel thief after being refused royalties for platinum smash Whoa. Sentenced to 7 years in prison. 2007-Partners with Ciroc, causing single mothers to neglect their children and Black men to skip child support p@yments in an endless chase to cop his high-priced Kool Aid 2008-Puffy stars as the lead in Raisin In The Sun, destroying the credibility of co-stars Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald and director Kenny Leon 2010-Broke and addicted to drugs G-Dep confesses to a murder he committed in 1993. sentenced to 15 years to life. 2011-Signs Machine Gun Kelley 2013-Muslim Loon convicted of drug trafficking in Germany. Sentenced to 14 years in prison 2014-One wounded, prominent DJ arrested after shooting at The Velvet Room in Atlanta following a Puffy Combs Rick Ross album release party. 2014 (yeah again)-Two shot and wounded at a crowded hotel party thrown by Sean Puffy Combs in Charlotte, NC following the CIAA Tournament . The shooting occurred in the gated off VIP area. Rumor has it Ciroc was flowing in abundance prior to shootings..

  • Rozay O'Donnell

    Just talked to the lawyers and we'll see you in court soon, DX. Ha ha! That'll teach you not to leave my client out of an article.

    • Anonymous

      We will be featuring your client William in an upcoming article about rappers who front like they're the biggest ballers alive but in all reality earned the same amount of money last year as Mac Miller.

  • Anonymous

    I thought Rik Rozz had 92 millions in his chequing account?

    • Anonymous

      Idiot he didn't say he had 92 million dollars in his checking his account, you just heard on a song its apart of the art of the music dumb ass it could have been Diddy's account.

    • Anonymous

      Thats what it said on the Mastermind album, a balance of 92 million in his checking account.

    • Anonymous

      Now you know how much he has in his checking account? lol gtfo. Ross has a net worth of 30 million max.

  • Anonymous

    where is Rick Ross and his 26 wingstop lemon pepper chicken lmao!

    • Anonymous

      He's apart of a "franchise" deal that gives him interest in 26 wingstops stupid doesn't mean he owns them pay attention stupid.

  • Anonymous

    wheres Dr. Gay and BirdGayMan

  • Anonymous

    Curtis dropped 42 percent and lost a 16Mill lawsuit

  • Rozay O'Donnell

    Bad Boy and Roc A Fella were formed in 93-95 and 20 years later Diddy and JayZ are at 700 million and 550 million right? MMG was formed in 2009 and Ross was at 35 million according to Forbes for 2013 right? So of it took Ross 5 years to get to 35 million without selling platinum records like Diddy and JayZ or getting 100 million for vodka or headphones how much will he have in the next 15 years do you estimate?

    • Anonymous

      Let Meek Mill and Wale run things..ROFL. Shitty ass label. Ross will never NEVER reach the same wealth as Diddy, Dre, or Jay Z. He probably won't even reach 60 Millions by the time he retires or falls off and becomes irrelevant which already started.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, Rick Ross's first album Port Of Miami was released in 2006. Who cares when i founded his label, he starting earning money when i dropped his first major album, thats what counts. So that's 8 years.

    • Anonymous

      lol meek already fell off man

    • Anonymous

      Death Row fell off because of Suges mismanagement and Dre leaving No Limit fell off due to ovetsaturation and inferior music, MMG is 5 years old, Ross can retire and let Meek and Wale run things for the next five year.

    • Anonymous

      dont ever compare mmg to those classic hip-hop labels built by legends who went platinum

    • Anonymous

      MMG will fall like No Limit and Death Row.

    • Anonymous

      So far it doesent look like Ross has tbe shady businnes behaviors of Diddy and Baby or the pop appeal of Minaj and 50 but he has incredible hustle, he built his empire without havinh to sell crozsover platinum like the rest.

  • Anonymous

    Where is Rick Ross on this list?

  • chris

    In reality ,I don't care how long Forbes has been doing these list no one actually knows how much money these guys have..first of Forbes on,ky looks at what they have going business wise right now..For example 50 has the energy drink,the headphones and a few movie/tv deals working as well as music but,what about the shoe deal,the clothing ,the g unit records old deal,the vitamin water?...those things are not mentioned because there not going anymore what about all the money he made from those things..the same could be said for Jay Z with Roc a fella clothing,label,and artist...I don't ever believe these article's because they don't take the whole body of work..they re only looking at what they have going now

  • Anonymous

    Really reaching with that logic behind Pitbull.

    • Anonymous

      yet he still not worth 100 million, dude is right, its a stretch to include him in this

    • Mi Amor

      He's opening up a school in Nicaragua or wherever he's from. He's had worldwide success as a superstar rapper. What have you done with your life?

  • Rozay O'Donnell

    I'm insulted that these clowns have failed to mention my client yet again. If anyone is as close to a billy, it's Mr Ross, despite the fact that he has a long way to go, that is. I take this as a slight and Ross & the team of MMG plan on suing this site to the ground.

  • Anonymous

    I do not believe for a minute that Fiddy really lost 91 million in such a short amount of time. Truth is no one knows what these guys are really worth.

  • anonymous

    Puffy ain't no 700 mill. He only got 699 mill cuz he lost a milli to Teflon Don Ricky Rozay in a game

  • anonymous

    So puffy got 700 mill. He put up 1 Milli to shoot PAC. That mean he can get 700 PACs marked. Don't delete my comment cuz of bullshit censorship policies ban me instead.

    • a

      Oh so talking bout merking PAC is cool but the second someone talks about merking jayz or a hhdx staff member or 50 cents mama the comment gets delete I know whagwan here

  • Anonymous

    Why leave Dr Dre off? He's been on a crazy come up lately and recently passed Jay-Z in terms of networth according to the most recent Forbes list.

  • Not Impressed

    PITBULL IS TRASH. I'm not impressed

    • Anonymous

      Pitbull is trash. Stop riding his dick.

    • Anonymous

      No way Pitbull or NM will ever be billionaires. Their current net worth is great. Who wouldn't want $20-30 million? Problem is in order for them to take such drastic leaps, they have to shift into running major labels/corporations/businesses, not lending their name or image to them. Diddy has been putting in ruthless work forever and still isn't a billionaire. So no way these underlinks come close.

    • Anonymous

      Alot of people like his music. That must mean your trash for trashing someone who makes music to sell.

    • Anonymous

      they love him in South America and over seas.

  • Anonymous

    Godfather 50 has a deal to produce all the audio releated products and accessories for Disney and Lucasfilms.