Hip-Hop’s top crop of moguls rake in massive amounts of dollars thanks to their sharp business savvy and loyal fanbases. But when Forbes released their Forbes 400 list of America’s richest citizens on Sept. 21, no Hip-Hop moguls managed to make the list. Though Hip-Hop is slowly making its way up the money tree, the magazine predicted that superstar mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs will likely be the first to cross the billion dollar mark.
According to Forbes, Diddy is already at the halfway mark with an estimated net worth of $500 million. Already raking in dough from his stakes in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce as well as marketing firm Blue Flame and Bad Boy Records, Diddy’s Vodka deal with beverage giant Diageo could push him into the billionaire club. Diddy receives annual profits from the growing vodka brand and if it’s ever sold he stands to rake in a major payout.
Right behind Diddy is Jay-Z, with an estimated net worth of $450, fortified by the extremely profitable sale of his RocaWear clothing line and a mega million deal with Live Nation. The Roc Nation rhymer also swimming in cash thanks to his 40/40 Club chain, ad firm Translation, cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter and other ventures.
Though other moguls like Dr. Dre and 50 Cent (No. 3 and No. 5 respectively on the list) are also in the race towards the billion dollar mark, fellow competitor Birdman (ranked No. 4) disagrees with Forbes’ prediction, claiming he will be the first to join that exclusive group of high-powered moguls.
“I think Young Money Cash Money would be the first billion-dollar brand in hip-hop,” said Birdman in an email message to Forbes, referring to his record label. “We strong and growing every day as a brand and fast. Within the next few years we will be billionaires.”
Though not as large as Diddy or Jay-Z’s, Birdman’s current estimated net worth is a respectable $110 million, strengthened by his Cash Money record label. And with the success of Cash Money’s platinum trio, Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj, still on the rise, Birdman stands to earn even more money off of their brands.
So, who do you think will become the first hip-hop billionaire? – nicholas robinson