The new Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings 2011 list has been unveiled! Days after rumors of a Lil Wayne car accident hit the Internet, the rapper finds himself among the top earners along with Jay-Z and Diddy.
According to 2DopeBoyz.com, Jay-Z tops the list with total earnings of $37 million over the past year. Forbes cites Jay’s $150 million Live Nation deal and his stakes in other ventures like the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and the 40/40 Club chain. It’s also noted that this is the first year Jay-Z has become the “breadwinner” between he and wife BeyoncÃ© since their 2008 marriage. It’s likely Jay-Z will continue to hold the spot for next year as he and Kanye West recently released one of the most anticipated rap albums and concert tours in some time, Watch the Throne.
At numbers 2 and 3 on the Forbes list are Diddy and Kanye West with $35 million and $16 million, respectively. Lil Wayne and Birdman are on number 4 with $15 million. Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre find themselves in a three-way tie for the fifth spot at $14 million each.
Rapper Lil Wayne spent several months in jail during the past year but still found success with his album released while incarcerated, I Am Not a Human Being. Just recently, rumors popped up on Facebook of a Lil Wayne car accident, but the rapper has said nothing of the incident and seems to be focused on his next upcoming release, Tha Carter IV, on June 29th. Wayne will also be performing live at this month’s MTV Video Music Awards, one day ahead of the album’s release.
Other rap stars finding their way onto the Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings list include Akon, Ludacris, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, and Nicki Minaj. A majority of those on the list are producers, with T-Pain and Akon the only singers on the list (unless Drake is counted as a singer). Many names on the list are not only in the music industry but have other side ventures making them money as well. This makes a strong case for diversification and the entrepreneurial spirit.
While Jay-Z has held the top spot for another year, his earnings had quite a drop off from 2010′s list. Jay was at #1 last year with $63 million, so it’s quite possible even the recession (or depression) is taking its toll on high-paid rapper businessmen!