Being part of the Forbes “Five” club for any category is, to say the least, a mighty achievement. Where hip-hop artists are concerned, there have been a few minor changes to the 2017 list order, but it’s still the same five artists who are bringing home the big money as a year ago.
The reshuffle has only taken place in the top three section of the list, with one artist losing his spot to another.
Maintaining his fifth place is Drake, with earnings of $90 million (R1,18 billion). The Hotline Bling hitmaker recently released More Life, his first playlist offering featuring 22 tracks – one of which is a re-worked version of Black Coffee’s Superman.
Drake was first featured in the top five in 2016 in a spot that was previously held by 50 cent.
Birdman also held onto his spot in fourth on the list with earnings of $110 million (R1,44 billion). He is the co-owner of one of the USA’s most successful hip-hop record labels – Cash Money Records, which is home to Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.
In a previous interview with Forbes, Birdman said that he’s working towards becoming a billionaire.
“As a child, I always felt if I could make $1 million, I could make $100 million. If I could get $100 million, I’m just nine steps away from being a billionaire and that’s the goal,” Birdman told Forbes.
And now for the change. The third spot on the list is held by Dr Dre, who held the number one spot in 2014, after Apple bought his Beats brand for a whopping $3 billion (R39,3 billion). To this day, this is still the highest amount received by a musician over a single year. Dre’s earnings are now estimated to be around $740 million (R9,71 billion), making for a $630 million (R8,26 billion) gap between third and fifth spot!
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In 2016’s list, Dr Dre held the number two spot, but he has since been overtaken by Jay-Z, who’s earnings have increased by a significant 30% in the past year. The massive growth was spurred by Sprint’s $200 million investment in Jigga’s Tidal streaming service, which pushed up the value of the streaming service to $600 million (R7,87 billion). This is almost 10 times more than the price Jay-Z paid for the business for back in 2015. The New York-born rapper earned $810 million (R10,62 billion) over the past year.
The top spot is still held by Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy and a dear friend of Black Coffee. Diddy’s earnings are sitting at $820 million (R10,75 billion), a mere $10 million (R131 million) more than J-Hova.
Diddy also has a water-tight, long-standing deal with Diageo’s Cîroc Vodka. This, together with other revenue streams, including alkaline water company Aquahydrate, the significant stake he has in TV network Revolt and DeLeon Tequila, an alcohol brand which Diddy acquired together with Diageo, mean he’s well on his way to becoming a billionaire.
Additional source: Forbes