Dr. Dre Tops Forbes’ Hip Hop Cash Kings 2012

Beats by Dre

Forbes released their yearly Hip Hop Cash Kings list for 2012 with a new face at number one. Dr. Dre, due mainly to his Beats by Dre headphone venture, takes the top earner spot this year. Dre has never been this high on the list but surpassed the $100 million level of income in a year that only 50 Cent, who is 3 places below Rick Ross in 15th this year, has ever reached.

Kevin Liles, speaking on Dre’s long awaited/forgotten/do-we-care-at-this-point album Detox, said, ““I understand why Dre didn’t finish Detox. It’s called Beats.”

Diddy’s Ciroc endorsement payed off well enough to boost his income and land him in the #2 spot. Jay-Z slips to 3rd, reportedly the lowest he’s ever been on the list.

People should take note, the big money the top earners are raking in is mainly coming from lucrative endorsement deals. It shows that records will only take you so far. Diversifying your interests is key to amassing a greater share.

Top 10 Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings of 2012

1.  Dr. Dre – $110 million
2. Diddy – $45 million
3. Jay-Z – $38 million
4. Kanye West – $35 million
5. Lil Wayne – $27 million
6. Drake – $20.5 million
7. Birdman – $20 million
8. Nicki Minaj – $15.5 million
9. Eminem – $15 million
10. Ludacris – $12 million

Forbes’ Zack O’Malley Greenburg breaks down the earnings of rap’s most successful artists.

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