Top 3 richest in Hip Hop for 2007, Diddy #2


Annually, our staff does research to compile information for the “Richest People In Hip-Hop List.” This year, there wasn’t a significant change in income from last year’s list with the exception of the top three. Therefore, we present to you, “The Three Richest Men In Hip-Hop for 2007.”

With a power move that would make Bill Gates blush, rap mogul Jay-Z has returned to the number one spot for 2007 after losing the number one spot to P. Diddy in 2006.

Jay-Z reclaimed his spot with the sale of Roc-A-Wear to the “Iconix Brand Group,” in March of 2007 which netted him $204 million, before taxes. Jay-Z will retain his stake in the company and will continue to oversee the marketing, licensing and product development. Jigga will also receive an additional $35 million dollars in “Iconix” stock if the Roc-A-Wear brand meets certain performance requirements over the next 3-5 years.

Jay-Z also co-owns The 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar that started in New York City and has since expanded to Atlantic City, NJ. Future plans will see 40/40 Clubs in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Singapore. Roc-A-Fella also distributes Armadale, a Scottish vodka, in the U.S. He is also the president of Def Jam Records in New York.

On October 16, 2006, Jay-Z’s commercial spot with Anheuser-Busch aired, featuring his single “Show Me What You Got.” Jay-Z will serve as co-brand director for Budweiser Select while collaborating with the company on strategic marketing programs and creative ad development. He will be providing direction on brand programs and ads that appear on TV, radio, print, and high-profile events.

Jay-Z is a part-owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA team paying a reported $4.5 Million. Jay-Z is also interested in relocating the team to Brooklyn.

In October 2005, he was reported in English media as considering buying a stake of Arsenal F.C., an English football team. However, at this point, this is still speculation.

Financial breakdown

Jay-Z’s wealth for 2007 is based on the following: The Rocawear sale (after corporate lawyer fees and taxes applied) is in the $150-$160 million range, his Def Jam salary ($3 million) his endorsement deals ($9 million) his publishing rights ($10 million annually) his annual income from his 40/40 clubs is ($5 million), his income from Armadelle Vodka nets him $13 million yearly, his royalties from “Kingdom Come,’ netted him $2 million due to a high royalty rate (despite sluggish sales due to downloading ) and his consultant salary with Anheuser-Busch along with his NBA investment nets him a combined total of $5 million-and his $340 million carried over from 2006 brings the grand total to staggering: $547 million dollars. Highest dollar amount (Rocawear) calculated for overall total.


Sean “Diddy” Combs presides over a media empire that includes the record label Bad Boy Records, the clothing lines Sean John and Sean by Sean Combs, a movie production company, and two restaurants. He has taken the roles of recording executive, performer, producer of MTV’s “Making the Band,” writer, arranger, clothing designer, and Broadway actor and he has made a fortune in the process.

Last year (2006), Combs estimated wealth was $346 million dollars. Since then, he’s earned $1 million per month through his various business ventures for the last 12 months. Putting his wealth for 2007 at: $358 million dollars.

Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons (born October 4, 1957 in Queens, New York), is an American entrepreneur, the co-founder, with Rick Rubin, of the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, founder of another label, Russell Simmons Music Group, and creator of the clothing fashion line Phat Farm.

Since May 2005 he’s been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.

Russell Simmons is the third richest Hip-Hop entertainer, having a net-worth estimate of $340 Million for 2007.

Honorable mention:

*Since it was recently revealed that 50 Cent actually made $100 million and “NOT” $400 million dollars off his widely reported vitamin water deal, he moves to our honorable mention category and Russell Simmons moves into third place.

Just last week it was reported, 50 Cent, who has 10% ownership “glaceau,” is expected to make $100 million (before taxes) after Coca Cola purchased glacéau for $4.1 billion.

In November 2003, before releasing “Beg for Mercy,” with G-Unit, 50 Cent signed a deal with Reebok to release his G-Unit Sneakers brand. He also started The G-Unit Clothing Company. A video game, in which he provides the voice-over as the protagonist, 50 Cent: Bulletproof was released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and the PlayStation Portable. 50 Cent has worked with glacéau to create and market low-calorie, natural drinks called Formula 50. He also launched a condom line and plans to donate a part of the proceeds to HIV awareness. 50 also receives $3-5 million per film.

50 created a empire within seven years and reached the $100 million dollar mark within five years of success. He is one savvy businessman, no wonder Mary J. Blige and her husband Kendu asked him for tips regarding financial investments. 50 may not win all of the awards but he has the second biggest bank account in the rap game.

As we stated once before, 50 is the only rapper to perform for overseas royalty at a rate of $500,000 per show.

What a difference a year makes, last year, 50 was worth $100 million. The Coca-Cola deal more than tripled his income for 2007.

With his Coca Cola deal, numerous merchandise deals, ring tone deals, along with his film salary (3 films) and investments. 50 is now worth $200 million, after taxes.

50 will pocket additional income when his 52-room mansion in Connecticut (on the market) for an undisclosed price is purchased, it’s rumored that the asking price is $10 million.