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The Five Richest Hip Hop Moguls In 2015

7 May 2015 | 10:49 am | Staff Writer

Dolla dolla bill y'all

Noted business magazine Forbes has released its list of hip hop's wealthiest individuals, drawing upon statistics such as past earnings and current holdings, and consulting with analysts, lawyers, managers and other industry figures — as well as speaking with some of the artists in question — to ascertain the rap game's upper echelon.

The results for 2015 are as follows:

#5. bryan 'birdman' williams — $uS150 million

Slipping a spot since last year's round-up, with a 2014 net worth of $US160 million (about $201 million), Williams had a rough year with his label, Cash Money, despite counting under its purview global drawcards such as Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.

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#4. curtis '50 cent' jackson — $us155 million

One man's misfortune is another's opportunity, however, and Williams' slip to fifth place also sees old mate 50 Cent rise up a spot to #4 off the back of a profitable year through branded products from headphones to underwear and booze. Diversification truly is key.

#3. shawn 'jay z' carter — $us550 million

The beleaguered TIDAL executive might seem rather put-upon of late as he struggles to prove there's a place for his fledgling subscription streaming service, but he's hardly having a bad time financially — in fact, Jay Z has beefed out his estimated wealth by another $US30 million on account of all the other savvy business ventures of which he's a part such as entertainment juggernaut Roc Nation.

Forbes does note that TIDAL's performance doesn't enter into their calculations here but it's unlikely to affect his standing on the list, at any rate.

#2. andre 'dr dre' young — $us700 million

People can't get enough of those block-rockin' Beats (by Dre), and so the former go-to name-drop of one Marshall Mathers maintains his silver-medal position on the list, a space he filled last year, with a little help from the healthy $US500 million he snagged from his quarter-share in the headphone company that consequently sold to Apple for $3 billion. 

#1. sean 'diddy' combs — $us735 million

More entrepreneur than musician these days anyway, Diddy returns to the top of the hip hop heap for the third year in a row with his eye-watering wealth of $US735 million. With fingers in many lucrative pies — tequila, multimedia, clothing lines, even fancy alkaline water — and, as noted by Newsday, a potential $100 million on the table from a contract with Ciroc vodka, Dre is going to have to make some particularly savvy investments in the next 12 months if he wants to get serious about chasing down Diddy's throne.

That said, we wouldn't exactly be upset with second place on this list — or fifth, even.