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Many rappers are quick to use blingy jewelry and braggadocios lyrics to portray their wealth, but only a handful of those behind the mic have earned a spot in "Forbes" magazine due to the size of their bank accounts. In May of 2014, the financial magazine released its list of the five richest performers in hip-hop. The list named Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Birdman and 50 Cent as the wealthiest rappers.
Diddy: $700 Million
When Puff Daddy released the single "All About the Benjamins" on his 1997 debut solo album "No Way Out," fans couldn't have guessed that less than two decades later, the man now known as Diddy would be approaching a net worth of $1 billion. The New York rapper and producer also known as Sean Combs has built his wealth not only from the music industry, but also from business ventures such as his Ciroc vodka brand, Sean John apparel and Revolt cable network.
Dr. Dre: $550 Million
Born Andre Young, rapper and producer Dr. Dre has left an indelible impact on the rap genre in his role as a member of controversial rap group N.W.A. and for discovering Snoop Dogg and Eminem. Dr. Dre has built his wealth largely from his Beats headphones brand. Shortly after "Forbes" released his net worth at $550 million in May of 2014, Apple purchased the Beats brand for $3 billion. "Forbes" predicts that the Beats sale will boost Dre's net worth to between $700 and $800 million.
Jay-Z: $520 Million
From his humble beginnings on the streets of Brooklyn to his business ventures like Roca Wear and Live Nation, Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter has built a wealth of more than half a billion dollars. He's also branched into the sports agency business, most notably representing baseball player Robinson Cano during the signing of his $240 million contact in 2013. Jay-Z isn't the only significant earner in his household; his wife, Beyoncé, earned $115 million in 2014 alone.
Birdman: $160 Million
Bryan "Birdman" Williams might not have the same name recognition as the other rappers on the "Forbes" list, but the New Orleans rapper and producer is behind some of the hottest performers in the rap genre. Birdman's Cash Money Records is home to Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj. Birdman's other business ventures include publishing company Cash Money Content, Grand Touring vodka and a line of clothing.
50 Cent: $140 Million
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson earned notoriety early in his career after being shot nine times, but the money-named rapper has made recent waves for business ventures such as VitaminWater and SMS Audio. When not in the boardroom or working on his music career, the performer has frequently appeared on the big and small screens in movies such as "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" and TV shows like HBO's "Entourage."
- Forbes: Hip-Hop's Wealthiest Artists
- All Music: Puff Daddy & The Family: No Way Out
- Forbes: #31 Sean "Diddy" Combs
- IMDb: Dr. Dre
- Forbes: Why Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Aren't Billionaires Just Yet
- Forbes: Jay Z's Net Worth: $520 Million in 2014
- Forbes: The Top-Earning Women In Music 201
- Forbes: The Forbes Five: Hip-Hop's Wealthiest Artists 2014
- Forbes: 50 Cent's Net Worth: $140 Million in 2014
- IMDb: 50 Cent
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
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