By Randall Rydell Russell
You wouldn’t think ten, fifteen or even twenty years ago that names such as Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, P. Diddy, Baby aka Birdman, and 50 Cent would be named some of the richest men in the world. Each of these rappers have entertained us for years, and their business ventures beyond the world of hip hop has proven mighty lucrative for the fab five.
P. Diddy (born Sean Combs) is a Harlem native who created the east coast hip hop empire Bad Boy, clothing company Sean John, he has a part in the liquor company Circoc and just launched Revolt TV. His net worth is 700 million dollars, marking him the richest man in hip hop. Take that.
Dr. Dre (born Andre Young) hails from Compton, California, starting off as a DJ then forming the group N.W.A. with Ice Cube, Eazy E, DJ Yella and MC Ren. He then nurtured the upbringings of rappers Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar, while becoming one of the prolific producers in the industry. Also, with his partnership with Beats headphones and international acclaim as a producer, his net worth is 550 million dollars. Not bad for a rapper from the mean streets of Compton.
Jay-Z (born Sean Carter) the Brooklyn diplomat started Roc A Fella Records in the mid 90’s with former partner Damon Dash, only to breakaway and start Roc Nation and at one time was the President of Def Jam Records. He is an investor who also owns the 40/40 club, Rocawear clothing line and has recently started his own sports agency and has become a certified sports agents with clients in the NBA and MLB. His Net worth is 520 million dollars. Big Pimpin’.
Baby aka Birdman (born Bryan Williams) residing from New Orleans, is the creator and co founder of Cash Money Records which started twenty years ago. Artists that have come from the label include B.G., Juvenile, Mannie Fresh, Drake, Nicki Minaj and longest running member, Lil’ Wayne. Baby is also the owner of YMCMB clothing and GT Vodka. His net worth is 160 million dollars. Young Money.
50 Cent (born Curtis Jackson) the Queens born rapper came into the scene selling more albums than any artist at the time. His beefs with other rappers caused him to do other lucrative endeavors such as a film acting and producing career, a clothing line and a successful piece of the Vitamin Water business. His net worth is 140 million dollars.
This goes to show, hard work and determination can go a long way, even for people coming from the mean streets of the cities they’ve grown up in. For African American men to make it on the Forbes list for a music genre that most people dislike and making smart choices in the business world can change the minds of the richest people in a heartbeat. Strive for greatness, the skies the limit.