Every year Forbes pulls out the Top 20 ranking for Hip-Hop Cash Kings and we just got hands on the 2010 Hip-Hop Cash Kings (List Of Only Earnings For The Past 12 Months).
1. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter – $63 Million
Says he’s not a businessman; he’s a business, man–and it’s not idle boasting. Rapper-turned-mogul retains his crown as hip-hop’s cash king thanks to a new album and investments in 40/40 nightclub chain, Broadway show “Fela!” and New Jersey Nets basketball team. Biggest boost comes from Blueprint 3 Tour, which grossed over $1 million per concert this year. Still makes less than wife Beyoncé.
2. Sean “Diddy” Combs – $30M
Ageless hip-hop impresario has changed name from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy to Diddy. Now, he occasionally goes by “Ciroc Obama,” after his lucrative vodka joint venture with Diageo. Still shills Sean John clothing, Bad Boy Records, and more; released Last Train to Paris, his first album since 2006. Acting career on the rise after appearance in 2010 flick Get Him to the Greek, where he plays a record executive.
3. Aliuane “Akon” Thiam – $21M
Senegalese-American hip-hop singer/songwriter/producer has been profiting from a range of business ventures this year. There’s his Konvict Clothing, his Pepsi soccer ad campaign and Kon Live, his Interscope-backed imprint that’s home to Lady Gaga and others. Still has time for traditional musical ventures, including an international tour and a new album, Stadium Music.
4. Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter – $20M
Not even jail could stop Lil Wayne from cracking the top five on our list. Sentenced in March to a year in the pen for weapons possession, the rapper managed to earn his hefty total from new album Rebirth, proceeds from guest appearances and a healthy dose of touring, where he grossed over $500,000 per show. Already making plans for a new album, Tha Carter IV, upon his release.
5. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young – $17M
Legendary rapper-producer is also one of hip-hop’s savviest–unlike many who sell away the rights to their songs, Dr. Dre hangs on to most of his. Still collects royalties on multiplatinum albums like 1992 classic The Chronic, which sold nearly 10 million copies worldwide. Also rakes in cash from his headphone line Beats by Dre, a partnership with Interscope Records. Served as executive producer for Eminem’s “Recovery,” which sold over 1 million U.S. copies in its first two weeks; solo album Detox is slated for release this fall.