Forbes Wealth Ranking: P. Diddy, Jay Z Lead Race For First Hip-Hop Billionaire

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Sean Combs popularly referred to as P. Diddy is currently the richest hip hop star alive as confirmed by the Forbes ranking of richest Hip-Hop artists for 2017.

According to the latest rankings, P. Diddy is currently worth $820 million (his net worth based on the 2017 Forbes ranking).

Shawn Carter aka Jay Z, who is second to P. Diddy, is a shock entrant into the top three.

The latest rankings show he is valued at $810 million and even though that is below what the Bad Boy Entertainment founder brought to the table in the year under review, is a huge leap upward from the $550 million he raked in last year.

Read Also: P. Diddy: Rap Mogul Sued By Ex Chef

Besides P. Diddy and Jay Z, other hip-hop moguls who made the top five in the Forbes ranking for 2017 include Dr. Dre, Birdman and Drake.

Andre Young aka Dr. Dre at the number 3 spot may come as a surprise to many. But a better reason to be surprised maybe the fact that Jay Z has gone one ahead of the legendary rapper and record producer for the first time since 2014.

With his net worth at $740 million, however, Dr. Dre would need no much sympathy even though he was top of the list in 2015.

He is third on the 2017 Forbes ranking, many thanks to his sharp business and entrepreneurial acumen which saw him sell off his company – Beats Electronics to Apple Inc. for a whopping $3 billion.

Forbes Ranking

Bryan Williams aka Birdman comes in at a distant fourth with $110 million. He owns the record label, Cash Money Records ) alongside his brother, Slim (Ronald Williams).

The reason for the rich bank account of the Cash House owner may not be unrelated to the fact that the record label houses three of the biggest names in hip-hop music – Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Drake.

Read More: Check Out How Much Jay Z Made In 10 years 

Aubery Graham aka Drake completes the top 5 list at fifth spot with his net worth placed at $90 million. At 30, he has defied age to gain himself a place amongst the money bags.

The mammoth success of his 2016 “Views” album and endorsement deals with Apple, Nike and Sprite surely played a role in no small measure to this feat.

The album became the first to top 1 billion spins on Apple Music.

Who Will Be The First Hip Hop Billionaire On Forbes Ranking?

Which rapper will hit billionaire status first? Hard to say.

Forbes has predicted that American rapper, Sean “Diddy” Combs will be the first to hit that mark and here is why…



The 3-time Grammy award winner, P. Diddy is an extremely successful entrepreneur and also the Chairman and CEO of Combs Enterprises. He seems not to be relaxed on his music career which has produced several chart toppers since shooting out in the 1990s.

His business empire cuts across every potential money breeder including fashion, beverages, cosmetics etc.

With $820 million, Diddy has kept his place atop Forbes rankings annual list of wealthiest hip-hop artists. That amount, as announced by the business magazine, represents an upward projection in the net worth of the American rapper.

Read Also: Why Jay Z Is Selling Off 33% Of Tidal 

In 2016, the “Last Night” artist was estimated by the Forbes rankings to have a net worth of $750 million but thanks to a mouth-watering deal with Ciroc vodka, and stakes in Aquahydrate, DeLeon and TV network, Revolt.

Forbes ranking

Jay Z, meanwhile, is a strong challenge as his fortune jumped 30% in the last year after he sold a part (about 33%) of Tidal to Sprint for $200 million.

This reportedly catapulted the valuation of his music-streaming service company at $600 million, more than 10 times what he paid for it in 2015.

We expect the upward progression to continue as he is a fine businessman, and also has in his financial arsenal the champagne brand – Armand de Brignac and also a fast growing entertainment company, Roc Nation.

Dr. Dre hasn’t quite achieved the billionaire status despite claiming so initially after the Beats to Apple $3 billion deal in 2014.

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Birdman has alway made public his dream to hit the billion-dollar mark. The New Orleans-born rapper-turned-mogul who is the co-owner of Cash Money Records told Forbes some time ago:

“I just felt $100 million was low. With all the different entities, I think I should still be a lot more than that. $500 million. $250 million, easy.

“As a child, I always felt if I could make $1 million, I could make $100 million. If I could get $100 million, I’m just nine steps away from being a billionaire. And that’s the goal.”

In another interview, he disagreed with the notion that P. Diddy will be the first hip-hop billionaire as predicted by Forbes. He said:

“I think Young Money Cash Money would be the first billion-dollar brand in hip-hop. We strong and growing every day as a brand and fast. Within the next few years, we will be billionaires.”

As the race rages on, BuzzNigeria will be here to crown the new billion dollar king of hip-hop wealth when that time comes – a time which we know will not be so far away.

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