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forbes hip hop listIf you are tired of hearing about rappers and their money, don’t look for a respite from their bombastic claims anytime soon. Forbes just released their “Forbes Five” list that ranks hip-hop’s top-5 wealthiest for this year. Leading the charge is Diddy, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre, but Cash Money cofounder Bryan “Birdman” Williams and 50 Cent rounded out the rest of the list, according to Forbes.

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The wealthiest hip-hop mogul for 2012 and the closest to becoming a billionaire is Diddy who has been able to sustain his Bad Boy empire with lucrative investments in alcoholic beverage Ciroc, which reportedly spiked 22 percent in 2011, and successful clothing line Sean Jean and cologne Unforgivable, which was the No. 1-selling men’s fragrance in 2006. What promises to take his wealth to billionaire  status, though, is his new cable channel, Revolt, which will debut next year. Forbes report:

He’ll own the channel outright, and based on projected viewership totals, its value could soar into the low-to-mid nine figures within the next few years.”

Diddy’s net worth is $550 million.

forbes hip hop listNext in line is Jay-Z (pictured left), whose empire rests on his 2007 sale of his clothing line Rocawear for $204 million and signing a $150 million 10-year deal with Live Nation. Obviously, Jay-Z continues to make considerable profits off of his rap career.

Jay-Z’s net worth is $460 million.

Hip-hop icon Dr. Dre (pictured below right), whose international fame started as a part of N.W.A., racked up when a handset maker paid him handsomely to buy a stake in Beats Electronics. Forbes reports:forbes hip hop list

In August, handset maker HTC paid $300 million to buy a 51% stake in Beats Electronics, the company founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008.

Sources say each owned a third of the company before the deal, placing Dre’s cut at $85 million after taxes. The agreement also values Dre’s remaining stake at $100 million, which could increase rapidly as the company continues to expand.

Dr. Dre’s net worth is $270 million.

Read about Birdman and 50 Cent, who are in fourth and fifth places, respectively, here.


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