The 20 Richest Rappers in the World

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Top 20 Richest Rappers

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Who is the richest rapper in the world? There are so many hip-hop millionaires around today than at any other time in history. With many big spenders making moves, Forbes even has an annual list dedicated to the richest rappers in the game: The Hip-Hop Cash Kings. While no rapper has ever reached the billion dollar mark, we're much closer to witnessing the first hip-hop billionaire. It's arguably a three-horse race with Dr. Dre, Jay Z and Diddy leading the competition.

Here are the 20 richest rappers alive.

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20. 50 Cent

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(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Net Worth: 30 Million

"I took quarter water, sold it in bottle for two bucks and Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions," 50 Cent rapped on 2007's "I Get Money." Fif has that Vitamin Water deal to thank for a huge portion of his net worth. 

As the pitchman for Vitamin Water's Formula 50, Two Quarters was entitled to $5 million and a 5% equity stake.

When Coca-Cola acquired Vitamin Water's parent company Glaceau for $4.1 billion, 50 Cent earned his biggest payday yet: a whopping $200 million before taxes. Ka-ching

In July 2015, 50 filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy just days after a judge ordered the rap star to pay $7 million in damages to Rick Ross’ ex-girlfriend Gastonia Lewiston for leaking her sex tape without authorization. 50 Cent declared a net worth of $16 million and asked the judge to reduce the payout to $1.6 million considering his financial situation. Estimates put his real net worth closer to $30 million.

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19. Ludacris

Ludacris Net Worth: $35 Million 

Ludacris is a hip-hop cash king, thanks to his millions of record sales. He’s also a well-established thespian, with appearances in No Strings Attached and the Fast & Furious franchise that padded his coffers.

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18. Rick Ross

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Johnny Louis/WireImage

Rick Ross Net Worth: $44 Million

Rick Ross hustled his way to the top with the ubiquitous “Hustlin’” in 2006. Since then, he has released a handful of gold and platinum albums. Rosy is a top earner on the strength of his side ventures, particularly his Wingstop franchises.

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17. Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa Net Worth: 53 Million 

Rap’s chief weed man earned an estimated 21.5 million last year. Aside form his smoke-filled anthems, Wiz also collects checks from nonstop touring, record sales and merchandise.

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16. T.I.

T.I. Net Worth: $55 Million

T.I. has almost a dozen albums under his belt, and each has produced at least one monster hit. The Grand Hustle head honcho is a consistent hit-maker, with the awards and monetary rewards to show for his efforts. Like many on this list, T.I. has a clothing line, Akoo, which helps diversify his portfolio.

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15. Nelly

Nelly buttoned up in black and white on the BET red carpet.

Nelly Net Worth: $60 Million

Nelly brilliantly blurred the lines between singing and rapping in the 90s. The outcome? One of the best-selling rap albums of all time. Nelly’s rap hits have made him one of the most successful rappers alive. Nelly also reaps financial rewards from his businesses, including Apple Bottoms and Vokal.

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14. Nicki Minaj

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Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Nicki Minaj Net Worth: 70 Million

Nicki Minaj remains one of the world’s top-earning women in entertainment. Nicki juggles a string of lucrative businesses and endorsements from the likes of Pepsi and OPI. She also earns payouts from her chart-topping albums and incessant touring.

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13. Timbaland

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Timbaland Net Worth: $87 Million

Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley is a front-runner for the 100 million-dollar club, thanks to his vast music catalog, in-demand production services, and diverse group of talented pop collaborators. Tim also owns a recording studio, Thomas Crown Studio in Virginia Beach.

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12. Drake

Drake Net Worth: $100 Million

Drake may someday go down as the wealthiest Canadian hip-hop artist of all time. Although Drizzy is nowhere near the financial levels of Jay Z and Dr. Dre, he’s been gradually and steadily building his case. Drake earns a majority of his income from touring, record sales and endorsements with the likes of Sprite, Nike and Apple Music.

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12. LL Cool J

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LL Cool J Net Worth: $100 Million

LL Cool J is an accomplished rapper and actor. The man born James Todd Smith has amassed a cool hundred million, thanks to his music sales and lucrative acting deals. He earned $150,000 per episode of NCIS: Los Angeles for his role as Special Agent Sam Hanna. He has also been in movies such as Deep Blue Sea, Rollerball and Grudge Match, just to name a few. LL is also a burgeoning tech investor. One of his early start-ups is Boomdizzle. Its flagship product, My Connect Studio, helps power collaboration by allowing musicians to record, upload and edit music in real time.

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10. Pharrell

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(Photo © Kevin Winter / Getty)

Pharrell Net Worth: $120 Million 

Skateboard P has a diverse range of assets and investments. Much like his music toolkit. Pharrell has a couple fashion lines, an enviable production catalog and a distinguished seat as a judge on one of the most popular shows in America, The Voice.

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9. Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion)

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Net Worth: $135 Million

Even if he never drops another album, Snoop Dogg will always be one of the coolest rappers around. Snoop's laid-back personality lends an attractive vibe to his marketing prospects. He's still an in-demand collaborator, and he continues to grow his fortune in and out of the studio. Snoop, who recently released a reggae album as Snoop Lion, has served as a pitchman for companies like Airbnb and Hot Pockets.

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8. Lil Wayne

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Net Worth: $140 Million

Show off hands if you remember when Lil Wayne was just a prepubescent puppy running around with the big dogs? Through years of grind and maturation, he's evolved into a household name. Unlike many of the names on this list, Weezy's earnings stem primarily from his music. He charges a hefty performance fee (reportedly between $300,000 and $500,000), tours relentlessly and moves millions of record units.

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7. Kanye West

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Net Worth: $147 Million

Rapper. Producer. Designer. Kanye West does it all. And with so many irons in the fire, Yeezy has multiple avenues to generate revenue. West earns a substantial amount from record sales, sold-out tours like his Yeezus experience, production work and GOOD Music projects. In 2013, the Louis Vuitton Don left severed ties with Nike and signed a multi-million dollar deal with Adidas for his Yeezy line of sneakers. Yeezy has been known interrupt award speeches and give meme-ready interviews, but he's also a business-minded rapper.

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6. Eminem

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Net Worth: $170 Million

Eminem doesn't have a ridiculously lucrative business venture like his mentor Dr. Dre. What Em has, though, is enough to guarantee an enviable bank account. Em's revenue stem largely from record sales, sold-out arena tours and performance fees. He also runs a moderately successful record label, Shady Records, which claims Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil and Yelawolf as part of its talent-heavy roster.

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5. Birdman

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 Net Worth: $170 Million

There's a huge legal battle brewing at Cash Money Records over unpaid royalties, but that hasn't stopped the label's co-founder from enriching his pockets. Bryan "Birdman" Williams co-founded Cash Money with his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams over two decades ago. The music empire that launched with Juvenile as its marquee artist has since expanded to include today's megastars Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj. They've also added a YMCMB clothing line and GT Vodka to the mix. Birdman would be higher on this list if he didn't have to split his fortune with his brother. Family first, right? Still, $170 million is outstanding for a man with no recognizable job description.

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4. Master P

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Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images

Net Worth: $350 Million

How is Master P one of the richest rappers in the world, despite not having released a relevant single in over a decade? That's because Master P is pretty much the godfather of the independent-label hustle. P built his No Limit empire in the 1990s, and a host of other labels would eventually follow his blueprint. But it wasn't just music. The No Limit emporium grew to include a clothing line, a film production company, a video game company and a luxurious travel agency. P, a rapper himself, is still reaping the rewards of his business ventures and record sales.

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3. Jay Z

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Net Worth: $610 Million

Jay Z's inclusion in the top 3 shouldn't surprise anyone. Jay has been one of the wealthiest rappers over the last decade or so. His list of business ventures include: Roc Nation, Roc Nation Sports and D'Usse Cognac. In 2013, Jay Z struck a deal with Samsung which saw the tech giant buy a million copies of Magna Carta...Holy Grail.

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2. Dr. Dre

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Net Worth: $710 Million 

Dr. Dre gained a massive influx of points on the richest rappers list, thanks to Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics for a reported $3 billion in 2014. Forbes estimates that Dre earned around $620 million from the sale—the largest annual pay day of any musician in history. Dre also racks in cash from extensive music recording catalog which includes decades of royalties. And the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, which he helped executive-produce, only helped Doc's bankroll grow.

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1. Diddy

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(Photo © Gareth Cattermole / Getty)

Net Worth: $740 Million

Call him Diddy, Puff Daddy or Sean Combs. Better yet, call him Money Making Mitch. Whatever you call him, Diddy has built a lasting reputation as a shrewd businessman with an impressive portfolio. His deal with Diageo's Ciroc Vodka drives most of his earnings. The Bad Boy founder has also added other ventures like DeLeon Tequila, Aquahydrate, Blue Flame and Revolt TV. And, believe it or not, Sean John clothing is still going strong.