The Richest Rappers In the World
They love to flaunt their wealth and drive pimped-up cars, but who's all talk and who has the moola to back up their swagger?
Rappers work in a cut-throat industry, literally. They're often known to be members of gangs, and what better way to get rid of the competition than with a good-ol' drive-by shooting? Just ask Tupac Shakur (or maybe not).
Rapping is also a very lucrative industry, with the top talents' net worth reaching up into the hundreds of millions. So who's the king of the rapping hill, whose the richest rapper of them all?
Net worth: $135 million
Real name: Calvin Broadus, Jr.
Date of birth: October 20 1971
If, like me, you've always thought Snoop Dogg was a bizarre name for a rapper, consider this: he was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr! If that was your name, you'd probably change it, too. However, in this case it was a wise move. Snoop Dogg was discovered by the legend that is Dr. Dre, who helped to launch his rap career. His albums have gone platinum several times over, putting him firmly in the history books. More recently he has turned his hand to acting (although I'll let you be the judge on how successful this venture is!). All of this has earned him a rather tasty net worth of $135 million.
Net worth: $140 million
Real name: O'Shea Jackson
Date of birth: June 15 1959
Ice Cube is unique in that he is probably just as well known for his rap career as he is for his acting career. He has written, produced, directed and starred in several popular films, including Are We There Yet?. Aside from this, he has sold almost 40 million records in the U.S. alone; these very impressive achievements have earned him $140 million so far. However, his records are not suited to those who have a sensitive disposition. Ice Cube - otherwise known as O'Shea Jackson - takes a very honest, violent look at politics and the world in general, which has put him in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons as well as the good ones!
Net worth: $140 million
Real name: Curtis Jackson III
Date of birth: July 6 1975
Rapper 50 Cent didn't let his difficult childhood stop him from achieving success after success. While he was still a teenager, Curtis Jackson III (who later became known as 50 Cent) was involved with drug dealing and guns. This was probably the precursor to a shooting incident which took place in 2000, during which he was struck by no less than nine bullets. If you ask me, he's either indestructable or incredibly lucky! From that point onwards, his life changed for the better. He was discovered by Eminem and Dr. Dre, and went on to become one of the most famous, successful rappers in the world. He has enjoyed more commercial success than most artists on this list - and a $140 million net worth to go hand in hand with his achievements. So far, 50 Cent has already earned many awards within the music industry (including a Grammy), so is now beginning to focus on other pursuits.
Net worth: $270 million
Real name: Bryan Williams
Date of birth: February 15 1969
Bryan Williams is a pretty uninspiring name, but it is the identity behind the fifth richest rapper in the world. That said, with a net worth of $270 million, he is probably one of the least well known names on this list. He has made his money through recording and producing music; he is one of the co-founders of the now infamous Cash Money Records. As such, it comes as no surprise that he has worked with some big names in the industry, including our friend Lil Wayne. However, he has been a bit quieter lately. Could he be taking a step back from releasing his own records, or does he have something bigger and better hiding up his sleeve?
Net worth: $350 million
Real name: Percy Miller
Date of birth: April 29 1970
Although Master P - or should I say Percy Miller? - has enjoyed untold successes with his rap albums which sold millions of copies, it could be said that his tremendous wealth could be due to other sources. He is currently sitting on an estimated net worth of $350 million, but he has dipped his entreprenurial finger into just about every proverbial pie. From record producing to clothing to NBA basketball teams to real estate to just about anything and everything that you can imagine, Master P has been there, done that and got the dollar.
Net worth: $550 million
Real name: Shawn Carter
Date of birth: December 4 1969
Born in New York, little did the world know what great things little Shawn Carter would go on to achieve. Now known as Jay-Z, he has sold over 75 million records and received 19 Grammy Awards for his hip hop records to date. As such, he has collaborated with some of the best names on the planet - it would be impossible to mention them all as there are simply too many! He has also dabbled in business and fashion (he founded the Rocawear clothing label) to name just a couple of his other interests outside of music. It is estimated that his net worth currently sits at somewhere around $550 million. As if all that wasn't enough to make you jealous, he's also the husband to the stunning superstar Beyoncé.
Net worth: $700 million
Real name: Sean Combs
Date of birth: November 4 1969
Diddy? Puff Daddy? P. Diddy? Who knows what name he's going by nowadays? Aside from the fact that he seems to change his name more often than I change my socks, what I do know is that this rapper's real name is Sean Combs (which he also calls himself sometimes, just to make things more confusing). With a net worth of $700 million, he is one of the wealthiest rappers in the world. For the most part, he has made his money through making and producing records; he signed The Notorious B.I.G., who is - well - notorious. As if that wasn't enough, his first album (No Way Out) went seven times platinum, which is almost unheard of. Even if he isn't to your taste, Diddy clearly appeals to somebody!
Net worth: $135 million
Real name: Dwayne Carter, Jr.
Date of birth: September 27 1982
At the young age of nine, Lil Wayne - or Dwayne Carter, Jr., as he is actually named - became the youngest artist ever to sign with the Cash Money Records label. Since then his career has skyrocketed. To date, he has performed with some huge names within the music industry, such as Madonna, Kid Rock, Jay-Z, Birdman and Robin Thicke, to name just a few. Never in my life have I heard of someone who can fit into such a diverse range of musical styles! However, his $135 million net worth suggests that he must be pretty good at what he does, no matter what genre it is!
Net worth: $160 million
Real name: Marshall Mathers III
Date of birth: October 17, 1972
I'm sorry; I can't resist. I just have to mention that, yes, this is the real Slim Shady. Pretty much every album and single that this man has touched has turned to gold (or diamond...or platinum...), making him one of the biggest selling artists of all time, and America's best selling artist in the 2000s. He has even appeared in the film 8 Mile - the soundtrack to which also gained him an Academy Award. Of course, this is just skimming the surface of Marshall Mathers III's impressive career, but it has earned him an estimated net worth of $160 million.
Net worth: $750 million
Real name: Andre Young
Date of birth: February 18 1965
You've heard of 'Beats by Dre', right? Well this is the Dre. Dr Dre, that is. It comes from a shortening of his real name, which is Andre Young. In fact, it's this 'Beats by Dre' brand which has secured his spot as the richest rapper in the world, as it has been reported that Apple, Inc. is buying the brand. This puts his net worth at roughly $750 million, just pipping Diddy to the top spot. However, it is not this brand alone which has made Dr Dre so successful. He had a successful gangsta rap career with the group N.W.A., but later turned his attention to producing music, instead. He has produced records for several of the other names on this list, including Eminem and 50 Cent, so it's no surprise that he has seen some of the same success. It seems that Dr Dre's achievements have been growing exponentially over recent years - mark my words, this won't be the last we see of him.