Real cash isn’t in records for rich rappersRap star Jay-Z came first on a list of the richest rappers in 2010, earning more than double that of runner-up Sean “Diddy” Combs.
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter took in $63 million in personal income between June 2009 and June 2010, according to Forbes.com.
Diddy took in $30 million, followed by Senegalese-American rapper Aliuane “Akon” Thiam at $21 million. Despite beginning a jail sentence in March for weapons charges, New Orleans-born rapper Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter came in fourth, earning $20 million, ahead of California rap icon Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, who took in $17 million.
Almost all stars at the top of the list all share a common strategy - diversification.
The top-earning rappers pulled in cash from alcohol sponsorships, clothing lines, nightclub properties and film appearances, in addition to concert tours and record sales.
Jay-Z co-owns the 40/40 nightclub chain. Diddy promotes Ciroc vodka and appeared in the feature film “Get Him to the Greek.” Dr. Dre and Lil Wayne have record labels. Akon appeared in a Pepsi World Cup ad. The real money isn’t in records, said Zack O’Malley Greenburg, a Forbes writer who compiled the list.
“Eminem tied at number 14, even though he’s sold more records than any artist since 2000,” Greenburg said. “Compared to his peers, he doesn’t really do much outside of music.”
The full list can be found at www.forbes.com/hiphop.