Give it up for Dr Dre as Hip Hop’s Top Money Maker As Jay Z Is Pushed To Third Spot

With $110 million in pretax earnings, Dr. Dre is this year’s Hip-Hop Cash King—despite the fact that his long-awaited album, Detox, remains on the shelf. He’s not the only one on the list who banks the bulk of his bucks outside the recording studio.
Diddy ranks No. 2 with $45 million, thanks mostly to a share of profits from Diageo’s Ciroc vodka; Jay-Z ranks third with $38 million, pulling in more than half his annual earnings from ventures including ownership stakes in cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter, the Brookyln Nets and a joint
venture with battery maker Duracell.
Kanye West ranks fourth on the list with $35
million, fueled by his Watch the Throne album with Jay-Z and the ensuing tour, followed by Lil Wayne at $27 million. The diminutive rhymester’s latest album, Tha Carter IV, sold a million copies in it's first week; he also launched clothing line Trukfit
and a partnership with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew, the first major product endorsement in the veteran rapper’s career.
Lil Wayne is joined on the Cash Kings list by
labelmates Drake (No. 6) and Nicki Minaj (No. 8), who banked $20.5 million and $15.5 million, respectively, thanks to new albums, tours and product endorsements with companies like Kodak and Pepsi. Their boss, Cash Money co-founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams, ranks seventh with $20 million. Even lower down on the list, artists are
getting paid considerable sums to shill products.“We’ve received a lot of income based around endorsements,” says former Def Jam President Kevin Liles, who now manages a host of artists including No. 18 Young Jeezy. “A lot of brands are saying, ‘Hey, there’s a value proposition, instead of
this freewheeling spending … I have some
guaranteed curators and travel agents that can help me reach the consumer in a better way.’” Yet for a few artists, music alone is a viable path to earning millions. No. 9 Eminem sold more albums last decade than any artist in the world, and continues to cash in from his extensive back catalog and occasional tour dates, pulling in $15 million.
Ludacris rounds out the top ten with earnings of $12 million. The multihyphenate mogul’s non-musical ventures include Conjure cognac,
headphone line Soul, voiceovers for RadioShack and roles in movies such as Fast Five and New Year’s Eve.
“We work so hard that we never get a real chance to stop and reflect on what we’ve done sometimes,”says Ludacris.

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