Sean “Diddy” Combs: Diddy sits at the top of the table. His net worth is estimated to be somewhere around $700 million. Over a period of just one year, Diddy has managed to add a whopping $120 million to his coffers.
This surge in income comes mainly from the acquisition of Revolt TV, his new music channel of which he is a majority shareholder, and his sharp business acumen.
Dr. Dre: Coming in second place, Dr. Dre is estimated to be worth $550 million. Dre pocketed much of his money this year because of a large stake in Beats By Dr. Dre, which he helped found in 2008 with Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine.
Beats By Dr. Dre is at present the manufacturer of premium headphones and garners two-thirds of the global market.
Jay Z: He was in second place and has slipped down one spot. Jay Z has $520 million to his name, which isn’t half bad. It shouldn’t be forgotten that he is married to one of the richest singers ever, Beyoncé. If their net worth were to be combined, they’d be at the top of the richest most-anything couples list.
At present, most of his money comes from Roc Nation, his record label and management firm which recently acquired a sports agency.
Bryan “Birdman” Williams: His net worth is over $300 million. But, he has to share his fortune with his brother, Ronald “Slim” Williams. They cofounded Cash Money Records 20 years ago and it continues to grow with a clientele list that includes Nicki Minaj, Drake and Lil’ Wayne.
50 Cent: The bad boy of rap has a comparatively meager $100 million to his name. Most of his money came from the sale of a Vitamin water company in 2007. He has been trying to repeat that deal with companies like SMS and SK Energy beverages.
He also has plans to restart his music career by reclaiming full ownership of his G-Unit Records company and releasing a new album, “Animal Ambition” which is due to drop in June.
http://financialjuneteenth.com lessons from this story:
1) Most hip-hop artists become wealthy by exporting black culture to the white community. This is a controversial practice that can sometimes lead to the bastardization of black culture into something that it was never intended to be. So, the success of men who are able to exploit this opportunity should be taken with a grain of salt.
2) These men show that most of the money earned in the entertainment industry is earned on the business end. Performing might be how they opened the door, but it was the leveraging of their brands with corporate partners that got them over the top.
3) Be careful about encouraging young black men to try to emulate the success of these moguls. For every black male who succeeds at this level, there are a thousand others who only found economic ruin. Also, many of them have ingested many of the most problematic aspects of commercialized hip-hop culture, which might include excessive use of drugs and alcohol or a lifestyle leading to criminal behavior. It’s still debatable whether these men are getting rich by giving something good to the African American community.