Net Worth: $1 billion
American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer Kanye West, is the wealthiest rapper in the world right now. He has sold some 20 million albums and 140 million singles. He is also on Forbes’ list of billionaires since 2020, a position which he claims he should have been placed on a long time ago. When Forbes did increase his net worth to $1.3 billion dollars, Kanye’s response was: “It’s not a billion,” West reportedly text them. “It’s 3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count.”
He had no qualms about quickly taking on the title of “billionaire”, either. “When people say it’s crass to call yourself a billionaire, I might legally change my name to Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West for a year until y’all understand exactly what it is,” — Kanye West
Even so, as a musician, Kanye has won 22 Grammy Awards and a list of other awards, including the Billboard Artist Achievement Award and a joint-record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist.
He has also been named by Rolling Stone as one of 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
Married to Kim Kardashian since 2014, the couple has received plenty of attention. Kanye made even more headlines by declaring that he was running for the US Presidential election. While that didn’t pan out, he got 60,000 votes out of an estimated 160 million possible votes. What is working for him is his entrepreneurial pursuits and his various business activities and other investments.
In 2015, Kanye founded Adidas Yeezy. A collaboration between the famous rapper and Adidas, that earned revenues of $1.7 billion in 2020. From that Kanye earns a 15% royalty check on the profits which, after deducting expenses, was $191 million before taxes in 2020.
He also made a shrew investment into his wife’s shapewear company, Skims. The company that in January 2022 received a valuation of $3.2 billion, although highly speculative, has added an estimated $250 million to Kanye’s net worth.
One should remember that Kanye West was $53 million dollars in debt in 2016. Since then, when we factor in his music sales, stock and other securities, real estate, Skims investment, profit from Yeezy as well as the value of the Yeezy brand itself. Kanye West’s assets are incredibly valuable.
All told, and despite net worth estimates that we feel are massively inflated, like Bloomberg’s $6.6 billion. We estimate that Kanye West has a net worth of $2 billion dollars, as of 2023. Forbes has estimated his net worth at $2 billion, but we feel that the brand equity and future proof business model of selling shoes, must be given more value and when taken into account, makes for a net worth closer to $1 billion.
Kanye was born June 8, 1977.
Net Worth: $1.3 billion
American rapper, songwriter, record executive, entrepreneur Jay-Z, is in some ways side by side with Kanye in his musical career and has also struck it rich in business and investments as well. While he hasn’t shown himself as such a creative entrepreneur, he has made some investments that can make your eyes roll back in your head.
Born as Shawn Corey Carter, this rapper and hip-hop artist is one the world’s best-selling artists with over 50 million albums and 75 million singles sold. He holds 22 Grammy Awards and is listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Away from hip-hop, Jay-Z is a shrewd businessman, with his clothing company Rocawear and his luxury sports bar chain 40/40 Club becoming multi-million-dollar businesses.
In 2015, he acquired the tech company Aspiro and now leads their media streaming service Tidal which was estimated to be worth $100 million dollars at the time.
Tidal is owned by Aspiro which is owned by Jay-Z and majority owned by by Jack Dorsey’s Square. Tidal was valued at $600 million 2020, we estimate that, after Square’s $297 million Tidal deal the valuation is closer to $750 million in 2022.
Jay-Z invested $2 million into Uber, an amount that is now worth over an estimated $70 million today.
In fact, Jay-Z became the first hip-hop rapper to become a billionaire, although he has of 2023 been pipped at the post by Kanye. Still to command a fortune of $1.3 billion as of 2023 is far from being second-best. Jay-Z was born December 4, 1969.
Net Worth: $700 million
Sean Johns Combs known as Puff Daddy or P. Diddy or just Puff was an American rapper and is one of the most successful hip-hop artists of his time. He has won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards and is the producer of MTV’s Making the Band.
These days, Puff is focussed on his business and other ventures. His Ciroc Premium Vodka has been a cash cow for a long time. A UK company now produces the drink and distributes it, but Puff is responsible for marketing and is entitled to half of the profits.
Born November 4, 1969, Puff is estimated to have a net worth of some $700 million.
Net Worth: $500 million
Andre Romelle Young born February 18, 1965, is professionally known as Dr. Dre. He was very popular in the early 90s, having released The Chronic in 1992 which made him one of the best-selling American music artists of 1993.
From the 2000s, he focussed on producing other artists, having signed Eminen, in 1998 and 50 Cents in 2002. Since then he has produced and developed the careers of many rappers including Snoop Dogg, Xzbit, Kendrick Lamar, and Anderson Paak.
The winner of 6 Grammy Awards, Young actually made a lot of his money from selling his company “Beats by Dr. Dre” to Apple.
As of 2023, his total net worth is estimated to be in the region of $500 million.
Net Worth: $200 million
Bad boy Eminem, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is a global success. He is credited for bringing hip-hop to middle America.
Eminem is among the best-selling music artists of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 220 million records. He was the best-selling music artist in the United States of the 2000s and the best-selling male music artist in the United States of the 2010s. Billboard named him the “Artist of the Decade (2000–2009)”
The winner of 15 Grammy Awards, 8 American Music Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, an Academy Award and a MTV Europe Music Global Icon Award, Eminem’s career has brought him wealth beyond his Missouri background, and as of 2023 is estimated to have a personal fortune of some $200 million. Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born October 17, 1972.
Net Worth: $150 million
Percy Robert Miller (Master P) initially rose to fame in the mid-90s with his hip-hop group TRU. His single Make Em Say Uhh went platinum and his single Mr. Ice Cream Man went on to seal his popularity. He is still current in the hip-hop scene, having released in 2017 his sixth collaboration mixtape called We All We Got with his group No Limit Boys.
He is currently the owner of No Limit Forever Records, and at one time, No Limit had a conglomeration of different and varied businesses ranging from clothing and communication to properties and travel. He is the CEO and founder of P. Miller Enterprises.
Outside of music, Miller was signed to two NBA contracts in the 90s playing for the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors.
Born April 29, 1967, Percy Robert Miller ranks among one of the wealthiest rappers with an estimated fortune as of 2023 of about $150 million.
Net Worth: $140 million
In the late 90s, Usher Raymond IV shot to fame with his second album My Way (1997). The album’s single Nice & Slow took the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 and two other singles You Make Me Wanna and My Way took the number two spots.
His album titled Confessions (2004) established him as one of the best-selling artists of the 2000s. He has so far sold over 23 million albums and 40 million digital songs in the US. Globally, he has sold over 80 million records and is one of the best-selling artists of all time.
He has bagged eight Grammy Awards, 34 ASCAP Awards, nine Soul Train Music Awards and eight American Music Awards, making him the fifth most awarded artists at the Billboard Music Awards.
As of 2023, Usher, born October 18, 1978, is thought to be worth a personal fortune of some $140 million.
Net Worth: $160 million
Born in the True North, Aubrey Drake Graham first became popular in a teen television drama: Degrassi: The Next Generation which ran from 2001 to 2007.
Drake has sold over 170 million albums worldwide and is ranked as the world’s highest-certified digital singles artist by the RIAA.
With four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, 27 Billboard Music Awards, two Brit Awards, and three Juno Awards under his belt, this rapper is among the world’s most successful artists.
In business, Drake founded OVO Sound in 2012 with collaborator Noah James Shebib (40), Drake has also collaborated with Brent Hocking to develop the bourbon whiskey, Virginia Black.
As of 2023, he is estimated to have accumulated a personal wealth of over $160 million. Drake was born October 24, 1986.
Net Worth: $150 million
Ice Cube is well-known for his politically charged lyrics. He has collaborated with other rappers like Dr. Dre with whom he formed N.W.A in 1987, which was a pioneering gangsta rap group at the time.
In the early 1990s, he began a solo career, releasing two solo albums: AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted in 1990 and Death Certificate in 1991. These two albums were controversial for its “attacks” on whites, blacks, women, gay men, and Korean store owners, among others. His lyrics spoke of black struggle and black nationalism along the ideology of the Nation of Islam.
Ice Cube has also ventured into films with his debut film Boyz n the Hood and he has also executive-produced a few films, like the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton about N.W.A’s story.
Born June 15, 1969, and as of 2023, he is estimated to have a net worth of some $150 million.
Net Worth: $200 million
Those who didn’t really know Pharrell Williams would know him well after he became the new coach of the talent show, The Voice in 2014. Although he is at heart a rapper, Williams is really a multi-talented artist who has composed the lead single Happy soundtrack for the animation film Despicable Me 2. He is also behind the score for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, being the co-composer.
In October 2015, the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University named Williams their artist-in-residence. In 2019, Williams worked with Ariana Grande to produce her fourth studio album, Sweetener which was released the same year.
He has also produced songs for The Lion King, collaborating again with Hans Zimmer for the third time.
Williams is also involved in various business ventures, from designing streetwear to jewelry for Louis Vuitton.
This superbly talented artist was born April 5, 1973 and as of 2023, he has accumulated an estimated net worth of some $200 million.
Net Worth: $125 million
Having made his start when he was discovered by Dr. Dre and given the opportunity to be featured in Dr. Dre’s first solo album, Snoop has gone on to sell over 23 million albums and 35 million worldwide.
Despite briefly becoming Snoop Lion after a trip to Jamaica, he returned to Snoop Dog in 2015, releasing Coolaid in 2016. Snoop has won 17 Grammy nominations but with no wins. In 2018, he announced he had become a born-again Christian and released his first gospel album Bible of Love.
Snoop Dogg acquired Death Row Records, in February 2022.
As of 2023, Snoop is thought to be worth some $125 million. He was born October 20, 1971.
Net Worth: $125 million
At only 12 years of age when he started in the hip-hop scene, having been signed on by fellow rapper Birdman, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., born September 27, 1982, is one of the most influential hip-hop artists of his generation and perhaps one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Lil Wayne released his first solo album in 1999, The Block Is Hot which quickly became Platinum certified. After his fourth album, Wayne reached even higher ground in popularity. By the time he released his sixth album, The Carter III in 2008, he was at the height of his popularity, with The Carter III selling over one million copies within the first week of sales.
He has sold over 120 million records worldwide, 15 million albums and 37 million digital tracks in the US alone.
He has won five Grammy Awards, 11 BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and eight NAACP Image Awards. On September 27, 2012, he surpassed Elvis Presley to have the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100, with 109 songs.
As of 2023, Wayne is estimated to have over $125 million in personal wealth.
LL Cool J
Net Worth: $100 million
Born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, and known by stage name LL Cool J, this American rapper is a two-time Grammy Award winner known for hip hop hits such as Going Back to Cali, I’m Bad, and Mama Said Knock You Out.
In 2010, VH1 placed him on their “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time” list. In 2017, LL Cool J became the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.
LL Cool J has also been in movies. In Halloween H20, he played the security guard Ronny. For his role a Dwayne Gittens in In Too Deep (1999), an underworld boss, he received good reviews.
He has also owned businesses in fashion apparel and record labels. On the literary front, LL Cool J is also not lacking, having written 4 books, including an autobiographical one, co-written with Karen Hunter.
As of 2023, LL Cool J is thought to have amassed some $100 million in personal fortune.
Net Worth: $100 million
He is the co-founder and face of Cash Money Records which he founded with his older brother Ronald “Slim” Williams in 1992.
Birdman released his eponymous debut album in 2002 and has gone on to release four solo studio albums in total. Aside from his solo career, he is also a member of the hip-hop duo Big Tymers, along with producer Mannie Fresh.
Birdman has famously collaborated with Lil Wayne whom he took under his wings when Wayne was only nine years of age.
As of 2023, Birdman is estimated to be worth some $100 million.
Net Worth: $120 million
Swizz Beatz or Kasseem Dean is a rapper and record producer and art collector and entrepreneur from New York City. He is an avid collector of art; his collection includes established as well as emerging artists such as KAWS, Keith Haring, and Erik Jones.
At the age of 18, he gained recognition in the hip hop industry through his friendship and work with East Coast rapper DMX and his family’s Ruff Ryders Entertainment record label.
Dean also has his own label called Full Surface Records which signed on various artists like Eve, Mashonda , and Thugs-n-Harmony. He has also produced many hit singles for numerous artists across different music genres, like for Beyonce, Jay-Z and Kanye West. He is also famously married to Alicia Keys.
As of 2023, Dean is thought to have a personal wealth of some $120 million. Dean was born September 13, 1978.
Net Worth: $70 million
Known professionally as Ad-Rock, Adam Keefe Horovitz was famous as part of the hip-hop group the Beastie Boys. The Beastie Boys has sold over 40 million records worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
In addition to his work with Beastie Boys, Horovitz remixes numerous tracks for other artists under the pseudonym 41 Small Stars. He also plays bass in The Tender Moments, the backing band of New York-based cabaret performer Bridget Everett.
Horovitz has acted in several motion pictures and television shows. Some of his roles include Tim ‘Chino’ Doolan in Lost Angels (1989), Sam in Roadside Prophets (1992), Repulski in Godspeed (2007), Fletcher in While We’re Young (2014), and Nick in Golden Exits (2017).
In 2020, he was featured in the documentary Have a Good Trip.
Born October 31, 1966, as of 2023, Ad-Rock is estimated to have a net worth of some $70 million.
Net Worth: $75 million
As a member of the Beastie Boys, Mike D influenced the group to move punk to hip-hop.
Mike D also remixes for other artists. In 2013, a remix of Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band’s Bad Dancer by Mike D was streamed online. He has also provided remixes for artists like Borj. In 2017, Diamond remixed Big Sur, a Jack Johnson song. Aside from music, Diamond is also a fashion designer and interior decorator. He famously designed the Brooklyn-themed wallpaper which was used in the Marquee nightclub in Chelsea.
Born November 20, 1965, as of 2023, Mike D is estimated to have about $75 million in personal wealth.
Net Worth: $70 million
Beginning in the early 2000s with reggaeton and Latin hip-hop, Armando Christian Perez has been in the music industry for over two decades. Known as Pitbull, he sang mostly in Spanish until he crossed over as a pop artist.
In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he performed alongside Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte with the song We Are One (Ole Ola).
Pitbull has sold over 7.5 million studio albums and over 100 million singles worldwide. He has over 15 billion views on YouTube as of May 2020. Pitbull was ranked by Billboard as the 45th Top Artist of the 2010s and the 24th Top Latin Artist of the 2010s.
As of 2023, Pitbull has reportedly built for himself an estimated net worth of some $70 million. Armando Christian Perez was born January 15, 1981.
Net Worth: $75 million
Born as Timothy Zachery Mosley, Mosley along with fellow rapper, Magoo were introduced by Missy Elliott to record producer DeVante Swing. It was Swing who named Mosley Timbaland.
Timbaland went on to become a very influential producer, and hip-hop and rhythm and blues performer. Having worked with DeVante Swing for a few projects, in the late1990s, Timbaland developed a distinctive sound that made him a sought after and often imitated producer. He used original beats to create complex syncopated rhythms and complemented them with quiet background rapping or obscure sounds, such as a whinnying horse.
With an astute commercial sense, he produced hits for Jay-Z, Ginuwine, Elliot, Ludacris, and Snoop Dogg. In the early 2000s, Timbaland moved beyond the genres of hip-hop and rhythm and blues to produce albums for rock and pop stars, including Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, Beck, Bjork, and Madonna.
Born March 10, 1971, as of 2023, Timbaland has an estimated net worth of some $75 million.
Net Worth: $50 million
Born in Senegal, Akon is famous for his R&B-style vocals, as well as for collaborations with other hip-hop artists.
He lived in Senegal, West Africa, as a child and attended high school in the United States. He has released hit albums which combined his R&B-style vocals with hip-hop beats. Among the famous musicians he has collaborated with are Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Lionel Richie, and Michael Jackson.
Akon has also founded two successful labels, Konvict Muzik, and KonLive Distribution.
Born April 16, 1973 as Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, as of 2023, Akon is thought to have an estimated net worth of some $50 million.