September 23, 2014


Who Are The Highest Paid Artists in Hip Hop?

Getty Images
Getty Images

Forbes' annual Hip Hop Cash Kings list is out, and the group of highest earners topping it isn't all that shocking. Dr. Dre had an incredible year with the sale of Beats to AppleJay Z spent most of 2014 continuing to hype Magna Carta Holy Grail and taking the On The Run Tour on the road with BeyonceDiddy is riding high on the Revolt wave. Everyone who left their mark on hip hop this year is present and accounted for, from Nicki Minaj and the expansion of her pink dynasty to Kanye basking in the glow of his fashion-forward glory.

Where do the surprises come into play? Dollars, cents and the rankings themselves. There's a crazy bonkers huge insane gap of $560 million between the No. 1 and No. 2 earning Hip Hop Cash Kings. (Yes. It needed that list of adjectives is necessary.) Before taxes, Dr. Dre earned $620 million for the sale of Beats, with Jay Z and Diddy sharing the second slot with $60 million each. 

When you take a look further down the list, that's where the rankings on the moneybags spectrum highlight indie heavyweights like Tech N9NE and Mac Miller, who shouldered up to up-and-comers like Kendrick Lamar and even outperformed industry vets like 50 CentRick Ross and Lil Jon in some cases. Take the No. 16 tie, for example: We've got Fiddy, Ludacris, Tech and Swizz Beats all pulling in $8 million for their various 2014 endeavors, with Tech earning the distinction of Hip Hop's Secret Music Mogul for his lucrative year.

Other thoughts: It was a good year to be Cash Money, Her Minajesty is set to have a huge 2015 and Pharrell's "Happy" has him laughing (or crying) all the way to the bank.

Here's the Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings list in full, complete with earnings:

1. Dr. Dre - $620 million
2. Jay Z - $60 million (tie)
3. P. Diddy - $60 million (tie)
4. Drake - $33 million
5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - $32 million
6. Kanye West - $30 million
7. Birdman - $24 million
8. Lil Wayne - $23 million
9. Pharrell Williams - $22 million
10. Eminem - $18 million
11. Nicki Minaj - $14 million
12. Wiz Khalifa - $13 million
13. Pitbull - $12 million
14. Snoop Dogg - $10 million
15. Kendrick Lamar - $9 million
16. Ludacris - $8 million (tie)
17. Tech N9NE - $8 million (tie)
18. 50 Cent - $8 million (tie)
19. Swizz Beats - $8 million (tie)
20. Rick Ross - $7 million (tie)
21. J. Cole - $7 million (tie)
22. DJ Khaled - $7 million (tie)
23. Lil Jon - $7 million (tie)
24. Mac Miller - $7 million (tie)