Remember when your parents told you that being a rapper was a poor career choice? Remember how you eventually believed them, hung your head in defeat and went on to study chartered accounting? Now, the only real chance you have of making millions is when you hit a lucky streak at a mobile jackpot casino. But lo and behold, you look up from your numbers and see what the top 5 rappers of today are earning. Mom and dad clearly had your best interests at heart, but did they even consider you could have been married to Kim Kardashian and otherwise be known as the unofficial clown of social media? Clearly not.
Take a look at the top 5 hottest rappers of today, what they’re officially worth, and how they earned their mega-fortunes. Though mom and dad might point out that most of the wealth earned on this list isn’t, technically speaking, from rapping. Good business sense helped a great deal too!
You knew we were talking about Kanye when we mentioned a social media clown, but all in good fun. But really, when the President of the United States goes out of this way to call you a ‘jackass’, you know you’re acting a bit silly. Either way, few will dispute that Kanye is an outstanding producer and artist. He was involved in the industry from an early age, working with various local artists, mostly as a producer.
His album College Dropout was the major breakthrough that took him to the next level, and catapulted him into the spotlight. It’s worth noting that even back then in the early 2000s Kanye was making controversial political statements. His 2010 album My Dark Twisted Fantasy is widely regarded as his best, which was released soon after his infamous hijacking of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, and the subsequent ‘jackass’ comment from President Obama. Kanye is worth around $240 million, due mostly to his Yeezy shoe line and Adidas partnership.
The first billionaire Hip Hop artist and husband to Beyoncé, Jay Z needs no introduction. He and his wife are worth an estimated $1.4 billion, which puts them well beyond the other names on this list. Jay Z founded Roc-A-Fella records in 1995, and released his debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996, which instantly solidified him as a major player in the industry. The Blueprint released in 2001, and The Black Album released in 2003 are widely regarded as two of the greatest albums in history. Jay Z still releases albums on a regular basis, with the most recent, featuring Beyoncé and Kanye West, released in 2018. Jay Z owes his cool billion to the sports bar chain 40/40, clothing outlet chain Rocawear, and acquisition of Aspiro, which directly controls the Tidal streaming service.
Drake is a true success like no other on this list, mostly because he happens to be the youngest by a decade. The Canadian born superstar originally got his boost into the mainstream via television, managing to get a role on the Canadian show; Degrassi: The Next Generation. Lucky for him a friend’s father was an agent and spearheaded young Drake through the standard audition and ‘cross your fingers’ process.
After appearing in 145 episodes of Degrassi, Drake tackled music, being inspired by Jay-Z. In 2006 he put out a mixtape called Room For Improvement, which saw massive popularity for an otherwise unknown musician. Going from strength to strength, the album Scorpion smashed records in multiple departments, streaming over 1 billion times in just over a week. Drake is currently worth around $150 million, with his worth doubling in the last year. This is due to the Virginia Black Whiskey brand, as well as various shrewd real estate purchases.
We don’t have to say much more than Beats By Dre in order for you to understand how mega-producer Dr Dre is worth around $800 million. The brand sold to Apple for over $2 billion. In the mid-80s Andre Young attended a popular club Eve After Dark, where he eventually became a DJ under the name Dr J. After altering his name to Dr Dre, he joined the group World Class Wreckin’ Cru in 1984. Many argue that his first solo-album is still his best; The Chronic, which released in the early-90s. One thing is for sure though he is chronically rich.
Once known as Puff Daddy, Diddy – real name Sean Combs – is commonly referred to as one of the greatest business minds of the generation. Worth a stunning $740 million, he is involved in everything from clothing to network television, but perhaps is most well known for the Ciroc vodka brand. Combs established the Bad Boy Entertainment album in 1993. Working with other artists at the time, Bad Boy quickly skyrocketed to success, snapping up mega-artists on a regular basis. In 1997 Sean Combs became Puff Daddy, and released Nobody Hold Me Down. It stayed at number 1 for 28 straight weeks.