Rappers usually have the best rags to riches story. Most of them grew up in the hood and fought their way to the top. I think some of them deserve all of the nice things that they have. Imagine starting from the bottom, then you’ve made it! I mean, have you seen rap videos? Those dudes are living large! (No, Justin Bieber. You don’t count as a rapper even if you hang out with them.) And you’re not gangsta if you don’t have a gold chain. Some people have bad backs because of their bad posture. Rappers have bad backs because they have chains weighing them down. Do you know how much gold costs? Because I don’t and I’d really like to know.
Look at Jay-Z. He doesn’t rap much nowadays, but he’s the luckiest damn guy in the world. He’s also married to someone who has never done wrong according to the internet. In Queen Bey They Trust. He liked it, so he put a multi-million dollar ring on it because he could easily afford it.
Before, I used to hear rappers say stuff about “suicide doors” and initially thought that it’s like a door that they use to murder the people that once belittled them. Eventually, I learned that suicide doors are things that you want for your car because only people with money have them. Or I don’t know, I’m poor and I can’t rap.
Now, let’s check out the ten richest rappers in the world– the people who did the daily grind on the very deadly ground of rap music.
#10 – Snoop Dogg
Net Worth: $135 million
The artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion… oh heck, it’s Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. if you ask his Mama. Bursting on to the scene in 1992, Snoop has enjoyed an amazing 20+ year career that has seen him sell over 30 million records, and rack up $130 million green ones. That’s dollars, not the other green paraphernalia he’s known for.
Snoop has gotten away from the old days of gangster rap, but he’s still making a big splash in the music scene and has even become a family man. Snoop’s son, Cordell Broadus, was featured on an ESPN documentary as a notable high school football player that was trying to decide on where to play in college. Cordell will be attending UCLA (by way of Las Vegas), which is only 22 miles from Snoop’s old stomping grounds of Compton, California.
#9 – LIL Wayne
Net Worth: $135 million
Lil Wayne (Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) has seen a rise to fame like few other artists. Even a stint in Rikers Island (don’t worry, he received VIP treatment and was separated from the other prisoners!) couldn’t slow him down, in fact he used all of that quiet private time to write the lyrics for his album. Today, he’s worth $135 million, probably mostly spent on his various grills.
Wayne has had some health scares in the past with seizures (that even led to a false reporting of his death), but has rebounded to get back into the music game. With the kind of money that was waiting for him here on Earth, it’s a good thing that Wayne didn’t leave us too soon. You can catch him working with some of the other biggest names in hip hop, which isn’t a surprise since that’s how he’s been earning a living.
#8 – Ice Cube
Net Worth: $140 million
To think there’s a whole generation out there now that only know of Ice Cube the actor. Prior to beginning his career on the big screen as an actor,director, producer etc., Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson) had a prolific career as a rapper, selling over 40 million albums! His success in all of these areas has earned him $140 million.
Much like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube started out in the city of Compton, California and the two rappers have gone onto become more family-friendly over the past decade or so. The story of Ice Cube and the group NWA will be featured in the upcoming movie “Straight Outta Compton”. While the movie isn’t expected to chronicle the transition of Ice Cube from gangster rapper to child comedy actor, you will get to see how the revolution all started in the late 1980’s.
#7 – Eminem
Net Worth: $160 million
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? By now he’s most definitely going insane hearing that wherever he goes. Marshall Mathers made $160 million as the top selling hip hop artist of all time, selling nearly 50 million albums, and 40 million digital downloads! There’s no doubt that since his rise to fame in 1996, Eminem continues to be one of the most influential rappers of all time.
It has been a strange and long ride for Eminem, who started out in the slums of Detroit on 8 Mile Road. After problems with his family and his future wife, Kim, Eminem has found himself on the comfortable side of the railroad tracks. He also just won his sixth Grammy Award for having the Best Rap Album of the Year, which is the all-time record in the category. Eminem can probably lose himself in a pool full of cash and awards these days.
#6 – Birdman
Net Worth: $170 million
Bryan Williams, better known as Birdman, has had a long influential career from the late 80’s until now. He founded his own record label, Cash Money Records and Big Tymers. In addition to being a successful rapper, Birdman has become a very successful entrepreneur in business, which has helped grow his net worth to $170 million.
Birdman hasn’t had nearly as many hits as some of the other rappers on this list, but starting your own record label is a path to fortune that a lot of musicians have discovered. If you hear one of the rap songs where “Cash Money” is said at the beginning, that means that Birdman is getting a little richer. Birdman currently has some beef with Lil’ Wayne, but the two are worth way too much money to do anything to crazy about it. Then again, that’s what we said about Suge Knight and we’ve seen what he is capable of.
#5 – 50 Cent
Net Worth: $270 million
While he enjoyed being one of the most famous rappers of all time, Curtis Jackson III actually owes most of his over quarter of a billion dollar fortune to a deal with Vitamin Water. He earned well over $100 million from his stock in the company after it was purchased by Coca-Cola for over $4 billion in 2007. Since then, 50 Cent has wisely invested in other companies that have grown his net worth to $270 million.
50 Cent starred in his own biographical movie, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”. Not only has 50 Cent gotten rich, but he didn’t die in the process. That’s not to say he didn’t come close after being shot through the cheeks when he was a young man living in New York City. Thankfully, 50 is still with us and doing better than ever, and still hasn’t reached the age of 40.
#4 – Master P
Net Worth: $350 million
Master P (Percy Robert Miller) began his career with his solo album debut in 1991, and since then has seen his empire grow to unfathomable numbers. Master P is one of the richest rappers of all time, mostly due to his investments and from owning a record label. His fortune has grown to an unimaginable $350 million.
Master P hasn’t had a lot of hits as a solo act, but the most notable that he had was “Make ‘Em Say Ugh” back in 1997. What a lot of people might not know about Master P is that he once had a career in the NBA as a player. The Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Rappers put him on a roster before the 1998 and 1999 seasons, respectively, but he did not make the regular season. Eventually, Master P played for the Fort Wayne Fury (in Indiana) and the Las Vegas Rattlers before deciding to call it quits on basketball.
#3 – Jay-Z
Net Worth: $550 million
One of the best selling artists in history with over 75 million albums sold, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) has had a prolific career since 1996. He has become one of the most successful businessmen in the world through owning his record label, Roc Nation, which manages other successful artists including Kanye West, and Rihanna. Jay-Z continues to be a successful investor, including his recent purchase of the luxury champagne brand Armand de Brignac.
It doesn’t hurt that Jay-Z is married to one of the most notable singers in the world, Beyonce. The two are always seen together in public, and their most recent appearance was at the 2015 Grammys. You could see them visibly laughing at Kanye West’s near attack on singer, Beck. Jay-Z has more investments than anyone could list, meaning he has it all figured out in the business world.
#2 – P. Diddy
Net Worth: $700 million
You may remember him as Puff Daddy, or simply just Diddy. Sean Combs has built an empire that is unmatched, giving him a personal net worth of over $700 million. His many business ventures have taken him into everything from fashion (Sean John) to restaurants and helped him top the list of the richest rappers of all time, until Apple came along with a big fat check for #1!
Diddy hasn’t been featured on many hit songs over the last decade, but his net worth continues to climb each year, with a more than $100 million gain over the past year alone. A lot of the new money was a result of Revolt TV (a new music channel) owned by Diddy, that was picked up by both Comcast and Time Warner for broadcast. Diddy was already rich enough as it was, but now he’s just laughing at the rest of the world as he continues to grow his net worth.
#1 – Dr. Dre
Net Worth: $750 million
Dr. Dre is basically the George Foreman of the rap world. He’s one of the most prolific rappers of all time since he began his storied career in 1984. Dr. Dre (Andre Romelle Young) owes the majority of his wealth to his involvement in Beats By Dre which was sold off to Apple, in their largest outside acquisition ever at that time, for over $3 billion.
Dr. Dre is also the head of Aftermath Entertainment, which was started in 1996. The label got off to a hot start when the first acquisitions were Busta Rhymes and Eminem. Those two have produced a lot of hit songs, and Dre has helped them get rich and vice versa. Dre is also from Compton, California and he too will be featured in “Straight Outta Compton” as one of the members of NWA.