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Forbes 2012 List: Hip Hop Cash Kings!


Want to know who the top earning rappers of 2012 are? You’ll be surprised whose actually at the top of the list.

Who knew a pair of headphones would turn Dr.Dre into an even richer multi-million dollar mogul? What’s more surprising, the rapper/producer hasn’t put out an album since 1999. Some much needed advise from friend and music industry expert, Jimmy Iovine, steered the Hip Hop mogul away from investing in a new line of sneakers (so over done) and wahlah the introduction of “Beats By Dr. Dre”. The headphones which made Dre $100 million richer.

Diddy came in at no. 2 earning $45 million this year, mainly from his investment in Ciroc, the flavored vodka that’s now in high demand. Jay Z is no. 3, earning $38 million through his investment in cosmetic line ‘Carol’s Daughter’, part ownership of the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets, and a partnership with Duracell as well as touring in support of latest album ‘Watch The Throne’. Mr. Kanye West comes in at no. 4 earning $35 million this past year form his ‘Watch the Throne’ collaborative album with Jay Z followed by the highly anticipated tour.

Lil’ Wayne is 5th earning $27 million. His latest album, Tha Carter IV, sold a million copies in its first week, he also launched clothing line Trukfit and a partnership with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew.

Lil Wayne’s Cash Money labelmates Drake (No. 6) and Nicki Minaj (No. 8), both took in $20.5 million and $15.5 million respectively. Mainly as a result from their last albums, touring and product endorsements. Their boss, Cash Money co-founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams, ranks seventh with $20 million.

Rappers Eminem and Ludacris rounds out the top ten earning $15 million and $12 million a piece. Eminem is still cashing in from his collection multi-million selling albums and occasional tour dates while Luda’s many business ventures including, an investment in Conjure cognac, headphone line Soul, Voice-overs for RadioShack and movie appearances helps to make him a top earning among Hip Hop’s cash kings.

For the complete list and more on Hip Hop’s cash kings head over to Forbes.


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