Hip-Hop’s Money Makers

In light of this so-called recession, Jay-Z still tops the Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings List for 2009.

According to MTV News:
Even though he took a 57 percent pay cut compared to last year, Jay-Z still managed to come in at #1 as the richest rapper of the year. By Forbes’ estimate (based on earnings between June 2008 and June 2009), Jigga pulled in $35 million in the past year, owing mostly to his international tour and his ownership stakes in the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and New York’s sports/strip club 40/40. Why did Hova take such a huge pay cut? Because last year’s figure was boosted heavily by the $150 million deal the rapper signed with Live Nation, which provided him with an immediate cash windfall.

Last year’s winner, 50 Cent, slipped to fourth place with $20 million. Again, 50 owes most of his fortune to diversification, such as his Vitamin Water deal, G-Unit clothing line and numerous licensing deals (including a video game). Between 50 and Jay stands Kanye West (who cashed checks on his multiplatinum album 808s & Heartbreak and his juggernaut Glow in the Dark Tour) with $25 million and Diddy (whose ever-expanding portfolio includes a brand of premium vodka and his Sean John clothing line) with $30 million.

The rest of the list proves that rappers are making a great deal of money doing things that have nothing to do with actual rapping. Even the producers on the list — like Pharrell Williams ($16 million) and Timbaland ($17 million) have their hands in accessory lines and film production. If all else fails, you just need to create a timeless album, which is how Dr. Dre came in at #11 on the list. Though he executive-produced Eminem’s platinum Relapse, the producer’s $13 million came primarily from royalties collected on classic releases like The Chronic.

Click to see the full list.

1. Jay-Z- $35 Million
2. Sean “Diddy” Combs- $30 Million
3. Kanye West- $25 Million
4. 50 Cent & Akon- $20 Million each
6. Lil Wayne- $18 Million
7. Timbaland- $17 Million
8. Pharell Williams- $16 Million
9. T-Pain- $15 Million
10. Eminem- $14 Million
11. Dr. Dre- $13 Million
12. Snoop Dogg- $11 Million
13. Ludacris- $10 Million
14. Common, will.i.am, T.I., & Swizz Beatz- $8 Million each
18. Andre 3000 & Big Boi- $7 Million each
20. Flo Rida, Rick Ross, The Game, & Young Jeezy- $6 Million

Say what you wanna say about Jay-Z "men lie, women lie, numbers DONT"