The $900 Million Man: JAY-Z Is Finally Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artist

Since the Forbes Five — a ranking of the wealthiest artists in hip-hop — was launched in 2011, Diddy has come out on top every single year. At one...

Since the Forbes Five — a ranking of the wealthiest artists in hip-hop — was launched in 2011, Diddy has come out on top every single year. At one point, he was worth almost $100 million more than his closest competitor (who has long been JAY-Z). But in 2018, Hov has finally leapfrogged Puff to be crowned hip-hop’s richest man.

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In the newly published Forbes Five 2018, JAY-Z tops the list with a net worth of $900 million. The mogul from Marcy Projects earned $90 million in 2017 thanks to the rising value of his interests in Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Ussé cognac, as well as his nine-figure ownership stakes in the Roc Nation empire and Tidal streaming service.

Diddy slips to No. 2 with a net worth of $825 million. Despite downward trends in the vodka and cable TV industries affecting his interests in Ciroc and Revolt, Puff’s ownership stake in DeLeón tequila has increased his riches, upping his net worth by $5 million over the last 12 months.

Dr. Dre remains at No. 3 with a net worth of $770 million, up from $740 million in 2017. It’s been another quiet year for Dre in terms of music, but market trends have boosted his nine-figure windfall from Apple’s $3 billion buyout of Beats in 2014. Plus, Forbes reports that he’s set to receive a slug of Apple stock this summer worth well over $100 million, which could put him in pole position in the race to become hip-hop’s first billionaire (for real, this time).

According to Forbes, “Jay-Z, Diddy and Dre are not only the wealthiest hip-hop acts on the planet, but the richest American musicians of any genre.” Meanwhile, Drake and Eminem take up the last two spots on the Forbes Five with a net worth of $100 million apiece.

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