Have you been wondering who the richest hip hop artist in the world is today? If you have then the final numbers are here for the top 10 richest rappers of 2011 in the world of rap music. Many of the richest hip hop artist you will find on this listing rap exactly about what brought them on this top ten rankings in the first place and that is money, power and respect. Most of these rappers rose from poverty and lived in poor & bad neighborhoods known as the ghetto. Without a doubt this helped them to write about the life most of them experienced on a daily basis and put it on wax for all to hear. Rising to the top was by no means an easy task for these rappers and artists as they had to work vigorously and tirelessly. The vast majority of them spent their time being musicians, producers, writers and businessman simultaneously in order to achieve their goal. These rappers and artists have amassed their fortunes by doing more than what they set out to do which was rap. According to Forbes, one of the hip hop artists dropped from first place in 2010 to second this year. Please note that there is another list that contains the top ten rapping industry earners for this year which has a totally different number of entries and standings on it. Here is the list of the top 10 richest rappers in the world of hip hop today.
Note that there are two ties in the top ten rankings due lack of financial information on those rappers & artists with net worth of less than $100 million.
Top 10 Richest Rappers 2011
# 10 - (Tied) Ludacris - Christopher Brian Bridges
Net Worth: $60 Million
According to Forbes Ludracis earned $12 million in 2011
The number tenth spot in our top 10 lists belongs to the rapper turned movie star Christopher Brian Bridges AKA Ludacris. Christopher, also known as “Luda” and “Tha Ludameister” started rapping when he was only nine years old. He was born on September 11, 1977 in Champaign, Illinois. His music career began back in 2000 with the release of an album titled “Back for the first time”. The album ended up reaching triple platinum and paved the way for many more musical hits. Ludacris began his acting career in the film "2 Fast 2 Furious". Since then he has been highly praised for his acting skills in films such as “Crash” and “Hustle & Flow”. Recently, Ludacris appeared in films such as “No Strings attached” “Fast Five” and “New Years Eve”. He proclaimed himself the Mouth of the South and the way he's making money with endorsements from Tag Body Spray, Trojan condoms, movies plus rapping he is backing it all up all the way to the bank.
# 10 - (Tied) Pharell Williams
New Worth: $ 77.5 million
According to Forbes Pharell Williams earned $10 million in 2011
There is a tie for the tenth spot on the world’s richest Hip Hop artists due to lack of financial information on some rappers with less than $100 million Net Worth. Also tied with fellow rapper & actor Ludacris is the entrepreneur Pharell Williams. Born on May 5, 1979 in Virginia Beach, Virginia Pharell does it all to keep his bank roll growing. The successful and multi-talented Pharell is a producer, recording artist, fashion designer and a musician. Mr. Williams built his music studio “Future Records” right next to Princess Anne High School which was the school he attended. The rapper also has his own clothing line named BBC (billionaire boys club) Pharell’s debut album called 'In My Mind' was nominated for Best Rap Album in 2007 even though he ended up losing to Ludacris during the 49th Annual Grammy Awards. Pharell has also produced hits for many musical acts which include the likes of fellow rappers to rappers Nelly, Jay-Z, Ray J, Noreaga, Busta Rhymes, Mystikal, P. Diddy, Ludacris, Ma$e, and Fabolous. He has also produced hits for Britney Spears and *NSYNC, and Usher just to name a few.
# 9 - kanye - Kanye Omari West
New Worth: $ 70 million
According to Forbes Kanye West earned $16 million in 2011
Kanye Omari West was born on June 8, 1977. He began his rise to fame with Roc-A-Fella Records where he was a producer. It was on the Jay - Z album named “The Blueprint” where he achieve recognition and gained popularity. He also helped to produce hit singles for rapper Ludacris as well as singers Janet Jackson and Alicia Keys. Kanye's wealth comes from many different venues in the music industry. West has had at least 5 songs exceed the 3 million sales in digital sales where he is third overall in digital sales of the past decade. He has also sold more than 25 million digital songs in the US alone. Kanye has won a total of 14 Grammy awards. Despite a setback during Taylor Swifts acceptance speech in 2009 with some now infamous ill advised comments & outbursts he has managed to stay on top of the list of hip hop earners. Forbes predicts his earnings may rise even higher this year with the work on the Jay-Z album "Blueprint 3," as well as his own album release and a world tour.
# 8 - Akon - Aliaune Badara Akon Thiam
Net Worth: $80 million
According to Forbes Akon earned $21 million in 2010 and $20 million in 2009 while earning $12 Million in 2008.
Aliaune Badara Thiam, known worldwide as Akon is a Senegalese-American R&B songwriter, recording artist and rapper. Akon's rise to fame began in 2004 with the release of the single "Locked up" from the album 'Trouble' which became a huge success. He received a Grammy Award nomination for his second album Konvicted. Altogether he has received 6 Grammy Awards nominations throughout his career. It was after this that Akon founded his own record label called Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. His real claim to fame and earnings comes from singing hooks to for many other artist all around the music industry. His has 45 Billboard Hot 100 songs as well as being credited with over 300 guest appearances on other artists songs. Akon managed to be the first solo artist to hold both the number two and number one spots at the same time on the Billboard Hot 100. He accomplished this feat twice already in his illustrious career. Akon is credited with being the one to give the chance at a shot at fame to both T-pain and Lady Gaga.
#7 - Tied for seventh place - Lil Wayne - Dewayne Michael Carter, Jr.
Net Worth: $85 Million
According to Forbes Lil Wayne earned $15 million in 2011
Dewayne Michael Carter, Jr. also known as Lil Wayne has managed to climb up the richest rappers ladder very quickly due to his huge popularity. Lil Wayne is so popular that he holds the record on Guinness Books of World records for Most likes on a Facebook status. Dewayne was born in September 27, 1982. Lil Wayne became the youngest rapper to join the Cash Money Records label when he was only nine years old. Despite the fact that Lil Wayne spent 8 months in jail last year he still managed to make plenty of money. He became the first rapper since Tupac to have a number 1 album while being incarcerated.
#7 - Tied for Seventh place - Eminem - Marshall Mathers III
Net Worth $115 million
According to Forbes Eminem earned $14 million during May 2010 and May 2011
Most of the world has seen rapper Eminem in the popular hit movie "8 Mile" which was based loosely on his life story. Marshall Mathers, who was born on Oct. 17, 1972 comes in tied for the seventh spot with rapper Lil Wayne on the list of the richest rappers. Although Eminem's Total net worth is higher than Lil Wayne, the overall earnings for Lil Wayne is more which helps explains the tie. Eminem gained the attention of executive producer Dr. Dre in 1997 and he quickly signed him. Dr. Dre then produced the hugely successful album "The Slim Shady LP". The album earned Eminem instant fame and he won a Grammy for best rap album. The Album also became the fastest selling hip-hop album in the history of the rap industry. Following in the footsteps of his mentor Dr. Dre, Eminem has ventured into record producing as well as other venues which has helped him add to his growing wealth. Altogether Eminem has had a total of 12 #1 singles as well as having 8 number 1 albums on the billboard's top 200. He was also named artist of the decade in December of 2009 by Billboard magazine. Eminem does not venture into other businesses as the rest of the rappers on this list. Regardless he still managed to sell 5.7 million copies of his album Recovery which also earned him 8 Grammy nominations. He also added to his wealth with Super Bowl commercials for Chrysler and Lipton.
#6 - Snoop Dog - Calvin Broadus
Net Worth: $150 million
According to Forbes Calvin Broadus earned $14 million during May 2010 and May 2011
Snoop Dog whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. has been around the rapping scene since the 1990's and has managed to maintain and gain as the years have gone by. In fact, Snoop is one of the few rappers from that era that is actually still recording today as most have turned to producing and many other business ventures. Calvin, also known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, received the nickname snoop from his parents when he was little. He was born on Oct. 20, 1971 and grew up in Long beach, California where he was an active member of the infamous Rollin' 20 Crips gang as a teenager. It was Dr. Dre who signed Snoop following a stint in jail which allowed the rapper to get away from the gang life and into the rap scene. Snoop has released a total of nine albums under four different record labels. He was also appointed executive producer of the Priority Records Label. His wealth comes from many endorsements, appearances on TV and movies as well as production of several adult films. He has a Malt Liquor named after him as well as several other business investments including a variety of clothing lines. Although Snoop Dog's estimated net worth is higher than that of Bryan "Birdman" Williams Forbes has him ranked a shade under based on total earnings and actual net worth.
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World's Richest Hip Hop Artists
#5 - Bryan "Birdman" Williams
Net Worth: $100 million
According to Forbes Bryan Williams earned $15 million during May 2010 and May 2011
Coming in on the 5th spot in this top ten richest rappers is none other than Bryan Williams also known as the "Birdman" Mr. Williams is the cofounder of Cash Money Records label which he started with his brother Ronald. In 1998 he inked a distribution deal with Universal. Although Bryan has a Net Worth less than fellow rapper Snoop Dogg, Forbes still has him ranked higher as the Birdman was not on 2010 listing since he was deemed an executive instead of rapper. The list of his affiliated Young Money lineup is impressive as it includes the very popular rappers Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.
#4 - Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson
Net Worth $100 million - (as of March 2011)
According to Forbes Curtis Jackson earned $6 million during May 2010 and May 2011
During May 2009 and May 2010 50 Cent earned $8 million according to Forbes
The old saying of "Trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents" should be changed to "making many millions because I'm 50 Cent" when it comes to the young and famous rapper Curtis Jackson. One of the reasons the artist has made it to the top 10 list of the world's richest rappers is largely due to his business savvy. Most notably 50 Cent sold his Vitamin Water to the Coca Cola Company for impressive nine-figure deals which help boost his income. The rapper likes to spend his money on cars and other luxury items. He recently renovated his mansion which once belonged to boxing heavyweight Mike Tyson. 50 Cent still has plenty of income coming in from his catalog, video games, Books, acting roles, clothing lines and headphones. He told Forbes during an interview in 2008 that it may take him 10 more years to become a Billionaire.
#3- Andre "Dr. Dre" Young
Net Worth: $300 Million - (as of August 2011)
According to Forbes Andre Young earned $14 million during May 2010 and May 2011
During May 2009 and May 2010 Dr. Dre earned $17 million according to Forbes
Known as the 'Super producer' the rapper Dr. Dre has many reasons why he made it on this listing. Although Dr. Dre has not released a new album in more than 10 years it has not stopped him from reaping millions in the music industry as well as earning many rewards from hip hop businesses. One of the most successful moves he made was helping to launch the careers of both rapper Eminem, Snoop Dog and 50 cent. He also continues to make money with his Beats headphones and HP laptop line as well as his famous Aftermath record label. It is reported that on August 11th of 2011, Dr. Dre sold a 50% stake in his Beats Electronics Company (a headphones company) to the Taiwanese Smartphone maker HTC. The deal said to be worth (€)191 million (EUR) which is about $310 million US. This deal can end up boosting Dr. Dre's net worth to almost $300 million according to Forbes. That's a staggering $175 million added to the last estimate he had which was only $125 million.
#2 - Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter
Net Worth: $450 Million - (as of March 2011)
According to Forbes Shawn Carter earned $37 million during Ma 2010 and May 2011
During May 2009 and May 2010 he earned $63 million according to Forbes.
The "S" stands for “Success” when it comes to rappers as the second spot belongs to another hip hop artist with an S named Sean Carter. Better known as Jay-Z to the rapping world, Shawn sold his clothing label Rocawear for $204 Million in 2007. He also signed a $150 million dollar deal for 10 years with Live Nation in 2008. Jay-Z who is also married to popular R7B singer Beyonce, has added many other business endeavors to his assemblage. His impressive portfolio includes restaurant businesses, 40/40 Club, shares in the New Jersey Nets NBA basketball team as well as his input in the fashion and music industry. Jay Z was born on December 4th, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York and has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. He also received thirteen Grammy awards in his distinguished rapping musical career as well as numerous additional nominations. Other achievements include being ranked as the most successful artist of the decade by Billboard Magazine during the years 2000 to 2009. Jay also ranked as the 5th solo male artist as well as the 4th top rapper overall behind only Eminem, Nelly and 50 Cent. Jay-Z held the number one spot on Forbes last year before losing that spot this year to Sean Combs.
#1- Sean John (Don't call me Puff Daddy) "Diddy" Combs
Net Worth: $475 Million - (as of March 2011)
According to Forbes Sean Combs earned $35 Million dollars during May 2010 to May 2011
During May 2009 to May 2010 he earned $30 Million according to Forbes
In the number one spot of the wealthiest and richest rappers is none other than Sean "Diddy" Combs. Formerly known as Puff Daddy or "Puffy" Combs business ventures are quite a few which may explain why he is on the top of the list. Apart from a successful rapping career, Diddy has also made plenty of money from his popular clothing line named after himself "Sean John". Diddy was born on November 4, 1969 in Jamaica, Queens, New York. He has built a fortune with his successful Bad Boy record label as well as Ciroc Vodka. Sean also has television shows, guest appearances and a few movie roles in Hollywood to add to his repertoire and wealth. In 1999 he told Forbes Magazine "I am going to be bigger than David Geffen" Although he is not there yet, he is on top of the world's richest rappers list which is good enough for him or anyone. Diddy has won three Grammy Awards as well as two MTV Video Music Awards. He also earned a Council of Fashion Designers of America award for his clothing line Sean John.
That concludes the world's richest hip hop artist rankings. We hope you have enjoyed the list of the Top 10 richest rappers of 2011. Be sure to check "The Most Costliest Car in the World - Top Ten Most Expensive Cars"
Top 10 Richest Rappers 2011 - The History of Rap
The richest rappers named on this list have many people to thank for paying the way for them. Rap & Hip Hop have come a long way. All the rappers and hip hop artists found on this list sing and rap about making millions of dollars, rising to the top, being famous and driving fancy cars. That is exactly where all of them are now. What started out as weekend street battles over neighborhood bragging rights has now become a Multi-billion dollar industry.
Many out there thought rap would die with the end of rappers such as Run D MC, Sugar Hill Gang, Kool Moe D and Big Daddy Kane just to name a few. But the truth is rap has made it's way to mainstream a long time ago. You can see many commercials with people rapping and using lyrical sequences to sell products each day.
Most people credit Keith Cowboy who was a rapper with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five for the creation of the term hip hop. Back then rap music was known as disco rap. It was the Sugar Hill Gang which actually took it to a broader audience as their record "Rapper's Delight" became a huge success becoming a multi-platinum seller. The record can be credited as one of the first hip hop rap singles. The song was a #36 hit on the U.S. pop chart and a #4 hit on the U.S. R&B chart in 1979.
The sad part about rap history is the fact that many of the rappers mentioned never really made much money back then. Jay - Z even has a song with lyrics which make references to “Industry shady, you need to be taken over//I'm overcharging niggas for what they did to The Cold Crush"
It is worth mentioning that Jay -Z also says many owners of record labels companies hated him for telling other rappers to charge more money or to demand higher wages. One thing is for sure about rap and hip hop history; no one ever imagined it would "Blow up" the way it has and turn so many rappers into millionaires.