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Jay-Z named hip-hop's cash king

posted 11 Aug 2011, 11:16 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 11 Aug 2011, 11:21 ]
Forbes magazine ranks Hip-Hop's top money earners of 2011.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK UNITED STATES. (OCTOBER 20, 2010) REUTERS -  For the fourth year in a row Jay-Z tops Forbes magazine's Cash Kings list of the highest paid hip-hop artists. Over the course of 12 months the New York born rapper racked in $37 million (USD), which is $23 million (USD) less than his earnings last year.

"It's not a recession for Jay-Z though it's just that last year he had a bunch of income from his Blueprint 3 tour. This year we caught the tail end of it, but only a few shows and that's why it's substantially lower. But he still racked in a lot of money on his side business ventures."

After a short-lived retirement in 2003 Jay-Z has released an autobiography, a video game and continues to sell out concerts around the world. This month the rapper teamed with the number three Cash King, Kanye West, for the highly anticipated collaborative CD, "Watch the Throne." West pulled in $16 million (USD) and makes the top three for the first time since 2009.

In between the duo sits self-proclaimed hip-hop mogul Sean 'Puffy' Combs. The 41-year-old rapper, producer and actor was just two million shy of the top spot, taking home $35 million (USD). After being in the music industry for over 20 years, only 20% of his earnings are music related. Puffy's links to fashion, fragrance and marketing account for most of his earnings. However, the bulk of his cash flow comes from his Ciroc vodka deal.

New Orleans based record label Cash Money Records has a strong showing on the list this year, with their artists pulling in a combined $47.5 million (USD).

"They kind of embody the diversity of earnings in hip-hop. If you look at birdman, most of his money comes from being an executive from his ownership stake in Cash Money from the profits there. With Drake it's a combination of touring and album sales and endorsements. He's got a big endorsement with Kodak another one with Sprite. Nicki Minaj actually made most of her money on her album, which actually went platinum and it's pretty rare these days that an artist will make most of there money on recorded music. And finally we got Lil' Wayne, whose earnings took a bit of a dip from last year, but that was because he spent part of our scoring period in jail. He still made $15 million dollars. So his was really boosted by heavy touring."

Leading the group is Lil' Wayne, who finds himself in the fourth position after a short stint in jail. Last year Wayne took home $15 million (USD) and his latest release, I Am Not A Human Being, made him the first artist since Tupac Shakur to have a number one album while incarcerated.

Not far behind is Cash Money's co-founder, Bryan "Birdman" Williams who makes the list for the first time with $15 million (USD). Deemed him more executive than rapper, Birdman had been excluded from past list, but was included this year because most of his peers now have a similar job description.

Drake, one of Cash Money's newest members, tied for the twelve ranking bringing home $11 million (USD). The first ever female to make the list of 'Kings' is rapper Nicki Minaj who deposited $6.5 million (USD) last year. The cash money lady is currently touring the U.S. with pop star Britney Spears.

"Since 2007 really, there wasn't a huge seller like the way Nicki Minaj has been. You know, perhaps in the old days maybe Lil Kim or Eve would have made it, but that was before we started doing the Cash Kings list. So Nicki Minaj blazing new ground."

This year Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem had more in common than their veteran status, they all tied for the sixth spot at $14 million (USD).

Sprinkled in between those vets are a host of newcomers including Wiz Khalifa, B.o.B and Cuban-American rapper Pitbull.

Pitbull just made the list in the nineteenth spot pulling in $6 million, which ties him with 50 cent.

Each year Forbes complies the list tracking pretax earnings using income from record sales, touring, digital downloads, films, merchandise sales, endorsements, books and other entertainment ventures; management, agent and attorney fees are not deducted.

1. Jay-Z $37 Million

2. Sean "Diddy" Combs, $35 million

3. Kanye West, $16 million

4. Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter, $15 million (tie)

5. Bryan "Birdman" Williams, $15 million (tie)

6. Marshall "Eminem" Mathers, $14 million (tie)

7. Andre "Dr. Dre" Young, $14 million (tie)

8. Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus, $14 million (tie)

9. Aliuane "Akon" Thiam, $13 million

10. Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges, $12 million

11. Cameron "Wiz Khalifa" Thomaz, $11 million (tie)

12. Aubrey "Drake" Graham, $11 million (tie)

13. Pharrell Williams, $10 million

14. Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley, $7 million

15. Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean, $6.5 million (tie)

16. Onika "Nicki Minaj" Maraj, $6.5 million (tie)

17. William "Rick Ross" Roberts, $6 million (tie)

18. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, $6 million (tie)

19. Armando "Pitbull" Perez, $6 million (tie)

20. Faheem "T-Pain" Najm, $5 million (tie)

21. Bobby "B.o.B" Simmons, Jr., $5 million (tie)