Dr. Dre Leads Forbes’ 2012 Hip-Hop Cash Kings List

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Hip-hop icon Dr. Dre has certainly proven that he has the Midas touch.  The mogul of all-that-is-rap has managed to crank out not only classic albums. He’s also dabbled in acting and has been the mastermind behind such successful concerts as Coachella, which took place earlier this year with a cast of crème de la crème performers.

But when Dre shifted gears and decided to give the music listening public a premium line of headphones and speakers, “Beats by Dr. Dre,” he took the rap game to another level. With $110 million in earnings for 2011 from the headphones deal alone, he topped Forbes’2012 list of hip-hop cash kings.

Although Dr. Dre reigns supreme on the much-anticipated list of wealthy rappers, here are four more hip-hop moguls who are also making it rain.

In the number 2 spot at $45 million is Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs who has made quite a mint from his non-music related ventures. Ciroc-vodka is now pretty much his cash cow. He receives double-digit millions in yearly profits from the popular alcoholic beverage and, if it’s ever sold, he stands to make nine-figures. Combs also has a clothing line, “Sean John and Enyce,” a marketing firm and his record label, “Bad Boy.”  He also has some tech start-ups and a cable channel, Revolt, slated for 2013

All aboard the money train!

Beyonce’s baby daddy, Jay-Z, is number three on the Forbes’ wealthiest rap moguls list.  At a mere $38 million, the rapper turned entrepreneur extraordinaire is climbing steadily to the top. Not only does he pull in dollars from his music and tours; he also has a stake in the beauty line Carol’s Daughter, owns the ad firm, Translation and the popular nightclub chain, 40/40.  He has his hand in many other business ventures, but one of his most lucrative to date is his 10-year $150 million deal with Live Nation in 2008 and a stake in the New Jersey Nets.

The ‘Empire State of Mind’ boy has certainly moved on up in a big way!

Kanye West holds the number four spot on the list with $35 million. The Louis Vuitton Don who can be seen riding around with his “Perfect Bitch,” Kim Kardashian, struck gold when he collaborated with Jay-Z on the ‘Watch the Throne’ tour, which raked in millions for him. West’s record label, which is home to hit-makers such as John Legend, Common and Kid Cudi, also helps to uphold his image as ‘fashionisto.’

Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter, Jr. sits in the fifth position, coming in at a not-too-shabby $20.5 million. As a Cash Money crew member since the ripe old age of nine, Lil Wayne has gone on to shine big time. As a kid he hustled and parlayed his mixed tape biz into multimillion platinum sales for studio album releases.

These Hip-hop stars are proving that the days of the Five Heartbeats when artists were being pimped out of their well-deserved millions are no more.

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