'Hip-Hop's Wealthiest' loaded with New York stars
The kings of hip-hop are certainly making a lot of scratch.
Sean "Diddy" Combs is worth approximately $580 million and heads the list of "Hip-Hop's Wealthiest Artists," Forbes announced Wednesday.
Three of the five richest rappers have New York City roots: Diddy was born in Harlem, Jay-Z, No. 2 on the list, is from Brooklyn, and 50 Cent (No. 5) hails from Queens.
"While the Bronx is the cradle of hip-hop, it didn't birth any of these rappers, but its influence can be seen in the work of all five," said Zack O'Malley Greenburg, author of the piece and Forbes senior editor.
The secret to piling up so many Benjamins? The richest rappers all "diversified away from recorded music over the last decade and as a result weathered all the changes," in the music industry that demolished the incomes of so many other musicians, observed Greenburg, who is also author of the Jay-Z financial biography, "Empire State of Mind." "They're all full time business men now and musicians on the side," Greenburg added. Many not only invested wisely, but created their own private companies that attracted outside investment.
Here is Forbes' list of riches rappers. Their net worths were calculated based on an analysis of past earnings, the current value of their various holdings, financial documents, interviews with analysts, attorneys and business managers, and, in some cases, the moguls themselves:
1. Sean "Diddy" Combs -- $580 million
2. Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter -- $475 million
3. Andre "Dr. Dre" Young -- $350 million
4. Brian "Birdman" Williams -- $150 million
5. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson -- $125 million