Coming a long way from ’70s roots, hip hop music had spawned a number of globally-renowned artists active in a vast array of business domains.
So the fact that rappers easily rank among the highest paid musicians in the industry shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Forbes magazine recently published their list of highest-earning hip hop artists of 2013, giving us a detailed insight on some of the genre’s big shots. Make sure to check it out below.
10. Pitbull – $11 million
A massive global tour to promote his latest effort “Global Warming,” extensive itinerary with strong sale figures, as well as endorsement deals from the likes of Kodak and Dr. Pepper were enough to secure Pitbull a hefty $11 million earnings figure.
9. Ludacris – $12 million
Hip-hop veteran Ludacris is still managing to stay at the top if his game despite constant delays of his upcoming record “Ludaversal.” Constant touring and acting roles in such high-end features as “Fast & Furious 6″ very much did the trick for Ludacris, as ultimately landed an impressive $12 million earnings figure.
8. Wiz Khalifa – $14 million
In anticipation of his new album “Blacc Hollywood,” Pittsburg native star Wiz Khalifa landed a total of 75 performances over the past 12 months, giving him just enough time to hit the studio with the likes of Adele and Miley Cyrus for a few potential 2014 chart-toppers. Overall, a $14 million figure is no mean feat, especially for a 26-year-old.
7. Lil Wayne – $16 million
Although recent health scares prevented Lil Wayne from performing throughout most of 2013, rap superstar still managed to score big with his latest studio effort “I am Not a Human Being II,” as well as signature clothing line Trukfit and Young Money record label. Starting his career at the age of 12, Wayne came a long way, bagging an overall $16 million earnings figure.
6. Kanye West – $20 million
The eccentric Kanye West kept himself quite busy throughout 2013, releasing his latest “Yeezus” album, touring and signing various lucrative business deals. He is also the artist that gets to crack the $20 million figure on our list, falling just slightly short of the big five domain.
5. Birdman – $21 million
Entrepreneur extraordinaire Birdman was busy as ever in 2013, closing attention-grabbing deals and hit tunes. His Cash Money record label garners such major names as Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Drake and Limp Bizkit, while his fortune is further boosted by signature clothing and vodka lines.
4. Nicki Minaj – $29 million
As the only lady among the top-earners, Nicki Minaj earned her spot in the big league through a series of smart business efforts. A lucrative American Idol deal, partnerships with such magnate brands as Pepsi and well-planned concert treks rank as just a few such efforts, ultimately fetching Minaj a hefty $29 million earnings figure.
3. Dr. Dre – $40 million
Cracking open both the top 3 and $40 million earnings sum, rap icon Dr. Dre is still earning big through his groundbreaking Beats by Dre headphones. Although his earnings no longer include 2011′s nine-figure payment for selling part of the Beats by Dre company, the overall sum still landed Dre a spot among the top-earners.
2. Jay Z – $42 million
Bringing us closer to the top of the chart, rap mogul Jay Z takes pride in his vast array of entrepreneurial endeavors, ranging from record labels to signature champagne brand. His new album “Magna Carta … Holy Grail” went platinum before it was even released thanks to a major partnership deal with Samsung.
1. Diddy – $50 million
Wrapping up the list with the round figure of $50 million, Diddy bagged most of his earnings through Ciroc vodka brand. Of course, his music also made a fair share of total income, as well as record label Bad Boy, clothing line with Sean John and upcoming Revolt cable channel.