The following rappers constitute the top 10 richest rappers in the world. They are elite rappers who have made a lot of money through their rap career. While these individuals are famous as rappers, they didn’t make money from rap alone. Most of them own businesses in other areas such as sports, fashion and so on. Here are the top 10 richest rappers.
- Jay Z
Net worth: $1 Billion
The richest rapper in the world today is Jay Z. Jay Z whose real name is Shawn Corey Carter is a musician and business mogul. He is regarded as one of the all-time greats of rap music and his influence over the music genre is well recognized.
Jay Z was born on December 4, 1969, in New York City. He grew up in the city and started his music career in 1995 when he founded Roc-A-Fella Records. His debut studio album titled Reasonable Doubt was released in 1996. Jay Z so far has released a total of 13 studio albums, most of them well accepted by lovers of rap music. He has also released collaborative albums, one with Kanye West in 2011, and another with Beyoncé, his wife in 2018.
Jay Z is one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He has sold over 50 million album copies and over 75 million singles globally. Apart from his music career, Jay Z also runs a chain of businesses. He owns a clothing retailer, Rocawear which was founded in 1999. In 2003, he founded 40/40 Club, a luxury sports bar chain.
In 2008, Jay Z started an entertainment company called Roc Nation. In 2015, he acquired Aspiro, a tech company and as a result of that acquisition, he took over Aspiro’s media streaming service called Tidal. All of these have contributed to his current net worth of $1 billion. Jay Z is the richest American musician and the 5th richest African American.
- Dr Dre
Net Worth: $800 Million
Dr Dre is a popular American record producer, rapper, audio engineer, actor, entrepreneur, and record executive. His real name is Andre Romelle Young. He was born on the 18th of February, 1965. He is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics.
He founded Aftermath Entertainment in 1996 after leaving Death Row Records which he co-founded. His debut album titled The Chronic was released under Death Row Records in 1992. It was one of the best-selling albums by an American musician in 1993. In the 2000s, Dr Dre shifted his attention from making music to producing other artists and has produced for several big-name rappers.
Beats Electronics owned by Dre released its first Beats by Dr Dre in 2008. In 2014, popular tech company Apple bought Beats Electronics. The deal fetched him a lot of money, estimated to be around $620 million by Forbes. This made him the richest rapper in the world at the time.
As for Dr Dre’s film career, his first appearance in a film was in Set It Off. The film was released in 1996 and Dr Dre played the role of a drug dealer in it. In 2001, he featured in two films, The Wash and Training.
- Sean Combs
Net Worth: $740 Million
Sean John Combs also known as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Puffy, and Diddy is an American rapper, actor, and entrepreneur. He is also a singer, songwriter, record producer, and record executive. He was born on the 4th of November, 1969 in New York City.
Diddy started as a talent director at Uptown Records before starting his own record label called Bad Boy Entertainment in 1993. His debut album titled No Way Out was released in 1997. The album has been certified 7 times platinum. No Way Out has been followed by several other successful albums.
Sean Combs started a very successful clothing line, Sean John in 1998. He also has other business interests apart from his clothing line. In 2007, he helped develop the Ciroc Vodka brand for 50% share of the profits. Combs holds a major equity stake in Revolt TV and also in Aquahydrate which he teamed up with Ronald Burkie to acquire. Recently he became a major investor in PlayVS.
- Kanye West
Net Worth: $300 Million
Kanye Omari West is one of the richest rappers in the world. He was born on the 8th of June, 1977. He was born in Atalanta but grew up in Chicago. Kanye started as a producer for Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records and produced several singles for top artists. He left Roc-A-Fella due to his desire to pursue a solo career.
He dropped his debut album in 2004 under GOOD Music which he founded. The album was a success and Kanye’s career took off. Today he is one of the best-selling music artists in the world with over 20 million album copies and 140 million singles sold.
Aside from music, Kanye is also into fashion. In 2009, he teamed up with Nike to release his own shoe called Air Yeezys. The collaboration was successful and a second version was released in 2012. He has also designed shoes for Louis Vuitton, Bape, and Giuseppe Zanotti.
In 2013, Kanye collaborated with Adidas to release Adidas Yeezy Boosts. Kanye also owns fashion lines for men, women and children. He co-founded the children’s fashion line called “Kid’s Supply” with his wife, Kim Kardashian.
- Master P
Net Worth: $250 Million
The 5th richest rapper in the world is Robert Percy Miller known by the stage name Master P. He was born in April 1967. He was at a time the richest rapper in the world, long before the likes of Jay Z started to make music. Master P became popular in the mid-1990s. He has a total of 15 studio albums to his credit.
Miller is the founder of No Limit Forever Records and P. Miller Enterprises. He signed and helped to launch the careers of several music stars through his label. Apart from music, Miller is also an actor as he featured in several movies. He also tried his hands at pro basketball, signing two separate NBA contracts in the late 1990s. He is the proud owner of a basketball league, Global Mixed Gender Basketball (GMGB)
Net Worth: $230 Million
In 6th place on this list of top 10 rappers is Marshall Bruce Walters III, popularly known as Eminem. He is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer. His influence over rap music cannot be overlooked as he broke the racial barrier for white rappers. Before his emergence, the rap genre was seen as exclusively for black people.
His debut album Infinite was released in 1996. He then went on to sign for Dr Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment in 1999. Today he is the best-selling rapper of all time. He has released several albums which were well accepted by fans. The bulk of his wealth is from album sales, tours, and performance fees.
Eminem has his own record label, Shady Records which he co-founded with Paul Rosenberg. He has helped nurture the careers of many artists through his label. Eminem like many others on this list has tried his hands at actings. He has been featured in a couple of movies.
Net Worth: $180 Million
Canadian Rapper, Aubrey Drake Graham popularly known as Drake is up next. He is a rapper, actor, songwriter, producer, and entrepreneur. He was born on October 24, 1986. Before he became famous as a rap artist, Drake was a child actor on the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
He left the series to pursue his music career after releasing his debut mixtape titled Room for Improvement. He later signed for Young Money Entertainment under where his career blossomed. His debut studio album was released in 2010 with the title Thank Me Later. This set the tone for the successes he would later achieve in his music career. Drake is today one of the best-selling music artists with over 170 million records sold.
In 2012, Drake collaborated with Noah James Shebib popularly called 40 to set up OVO Sound label. Apart from music, Drake is a global ambassador for NBA franchise Toronto Raptors.
- Ronald “Slim” Williams
Net Worth: $170 Million
Ronald Jay “Slim” Williams is the elder brother of Bryan “Birdman” Williams. He was born on 23rd May 1964 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Slim and his younger brother Birdman co-founded Cash Money Records. Slim just like his brother Birdman are credited as executive producers of all Cash Money’s artist’s albums. This is how he makes the bulk of his money.
- Lil Wayne
Net Worth: 130 Million
Lil Wayne is a highly successful rapper. He is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential rappers of his generation. He was born on the 27th of September, 1982 and his real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. His rap career started in 1995 when he was just 12 years old. He was signed to Cash Money Records by rapper Birdman.
Lil Wayne started as a member of the duo known as Lil Doogie with label mate B.G. Together they released an album titled True Story in 1995. His music career was temporarily put on hold as his parents stopped him from recording for a while due to bad grades. He eventually returned to the label in 1997 and began recording as Lil Wayne.
His solo debut album titled Tha Block Is Hot was released in 1999. It was certified Platinum by RIAA. He has released several other successful albums since then and has sold over 120 million records. Lil Wayne currently serves as the CEO of his own label, Young Money Entertainment.
- Snoop Dogg
Net Worth: $124 Million
Last on this list of top 10 richest rappers is Snoop Dogg. His birth name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. He was born on the 20th of October, 1971. He is a popular American rapper and media personality.
His debut solo album was produced by Dr Dre and released under Death Row Records in 1993. The album was a success. Snoop dropped a second album before leaving Death Row Records in 1998. He signed up with No Limit Records where he dropped 3 albums.
As of now, Snoop has released a total of 17 solo albums. The latest of his albums was released in 2019. Snoop Dogg has sold over 35 million albums globally so far.
Away from music, Snoop has featured in several motion pictures and has also hosted several TV shows. He coaches a youth football league and high-school football team. Snoop was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 as a result of his activities for the company.
Conclusion (Top 10 Richest Rappers)
The rappers featured in this post not only found fame through rap music, they made money from it. With the money from their music career, they invested in other ventures to make more money.