Hip-Hop and wealth have gone hand-in-hand since the days of heavy gold chains and designer track suits.
For a genre whose lyrics often consist of bragging about over-the-top opulence (whether the artist actually has it or not). Below are the top five richest rappers in 2017 that can actually back up their claims of excess.
The metric of success in today’s music climate might just be how many Spotify plays you have, and for a good while no one had more than Marshall Mathers. Since his first collaboration with another artist on our list (Dre), everything Eminem touches seems to turn to gold (or more accurately, platinum). He’s one of the richest rappers in 2017 and still climbing the ranks.
In addition to eight successful LPs and solo albums, Em had a short but sweet stint in his group D12, founded his Shady Records label, and showed off his acting talent in the Oscar-winning 8 Mile. With 15 Grammys to his name, it’s no wonder the top-selling hip-hop artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era is worth nearly $210 million.
4) Master P
If anyone’s presence on this list surprised you, it was probably P’s. Although he hasn’t released a major solo hit in nearly two decades, the founder of No Limit Records has made some savvy business moves that make his net worth over $350 million. Indeed, Master P is filthy rich. He is one of the richest rappers in 2017 with a net worth of $300+ millions.
After opening a record store in the late 1980s with a $10,000 settlement check, Miller then grew his assets into a record label, a prolific solo career (thru 2017 he’s released 15 albums), and is now the owner of over 45 different businesses. Even if he never releases another radio hit, Miller’s business savvy is guaranteed to have him set for life.
Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z once pushed cocaine and sold his first recordings out of the back of a car. Fast forward to today and he has sold out packed arenas, clothing, beauty products, branding, pro basketball, liquor, cigars, and more than 100 million records during his career.
Hova has ventured into seemingly every avenue of entertainment, but the base for his monetary success has always been his rap game. Twelve of his 13 solo albums have hit number one (a record for a solo artist) for which he has won 21 Grammys and accumulated a net worth of over $520 million.
Jigga has a taste for gambling too: he once lost $500,000 on a single hand and helped the poker themed champagne Armand de Brignac gain the status it has today as the single most-dreamt about beverage amongst the world’s online poker communities and online casino enthusiasts alike.
2) Dr. Dre
The formula for how many artists amass long-term wealth in the rap game seems to be as follows 1) build your name first in a group, then as a solo artist 2) start a label, 3) leverage your existing wealth and career into film, TV, and other business ventures.
Andre Young didn’t just follow this blueprint (no Jay-Z pun intended), he practically wrote it. Dr. Dre helped pioneer gangsta rap as member of N.W.A. A few years later, he started Death Row Records, on which he launched a Grammy-winning solo career.
The list of artists he has produced for is endless and Apple’s purchase of his Beats by Dre headphones was reportedly worth $3 billion. All told, his estimated net worth is $700 million; making Dr. Dre one of the richest rappers in 2017 the industry at #2!
1) Sean “Puffy” Combs (aka P. Diddy)
It’s weird to think that the producer of MTV’s Making the Band was once the target of verbal jabs from 2Pac in the 1990’s East Coast-West Coast feud, but that’s where we are. Combs has proven successful in as many fields as he has stage names, and is estimated to be worth $750 million by Forbes.
Puffy’s fortune was initially amassed as founder of his Bad Boy Entertainment label. Shortly after, his septuple platinum No Way Out was released, the first of six successful studio albums. Combs’ Sean John clothing line is a department store staple and has also dabbled in the restaurant, liquor, TV, and sports drink industries.