Last year, Dr. Dre made the most money in hip-hop after Apple purchased his company, Beats Electronics, for $3 billion. A year later, Dre has slid into fourth place behind Diddy, Jay Z, and Drake.
According to Forbes, after coming off the big $620 million personal payday from Apple, Dre’s checks have shrunk a bit, essentially reducing his cash flow. Dre is still massively rich, regardless.
Aside from his newfound wealth via Apple, Dre executive produced the N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” (which has netted about $160 million in the US to date) and released an album that coincided with the film. Those numbers, however, weren’t factored into the current rankings.
With Dre’s fall, Diddy moved right into the first spot, even though he rarely ever performs or makes music anymore. He’s all about business, and it’s paying off.
Jay Z — to the surprise of no one — moved up a spot as well, to No. 2. The rap mogul simply knows how to make money. Leading the charge for Jay is his Roc Nation music label. Roc Nation also has a sports division that contributes to Jay Z’s earnings. Though Jay Z’s newest business — the music streaming service, Tidal — has been hammered by rumors of an imminent demise, it has remained afloat thus far.
The biggest surprise perhaps was rapper Drake coming in at No. 3 — the highest ranking he’s achieved in his young career. Drake was fourth last year, but after selling over a million copies of his “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” album released in February, the “Trophies” rapper moved into the upper echelon.
Check out the entire list below, complete with how much each artist made over the past year.
Diddy landed in the No. 1 spot, raking in $60 million.
Jay Z was ranked No. 2. The hip-hop legend earned $56 million.
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Drake climbed to No. 3. The Toronto native pulled in $39.5 million over the past year.
Dr. Dre is No. 4. The rapper/producer made $33 million.
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‘Happy’ singer Pharrell Williams is No. 5, eclipsing the $32 million mark.
Eminem held down No. 6 with $31 million.
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Kanye West locked down at No. 7. The rapper/fashion designer made $22 million over the past year.
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Wiz Khalifa hits the No. 8 spot. The ‘Taylor Gang’ rapper stacked $21.5 million.
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Nicki Minaj swerves in at No. 9. Her album ‘The Pinkprint’ helped propel her to $21 million.
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Cash Money CEO Birdman swoops in at No. 10 with an $18 million haul.
Latin sensation Pitbull rolled up to No. 11 with his $17 million.
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Easily one of the most iconic rappers of his generation, Lil Wayne is No. 12 on the list. The ‘A Milli’ rapper took in an astounding $15 million.
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Kendrick Lamar and his $12 million in earnings carve out the No. 13 spot on the list this year. Lamar released his first album, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city,’ in 2012 and ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ earlier this year. Look for him to keep moving up the list.
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‘Dreamville’ rapper J. Cole grabbed No. 14. He made $11 million last year while releasing ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive,’ an album detailing his adolescent years.
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Rap legend Snoop Dogg sits at No. 15. Even though he hasn’t put out much music lately, he still managed to pull down $10 million in the past year.
‘I’m a Boss’ rapper Rick Ross tags No. 16. The 39-year-old rapper released his project ‘Hood Billionaire’ in 2014 and welcomed another $9 million into his wallet over the past year.
Tech N9ne blasts in at No. 17. The rapper released ‘Special Effects’ early in 2015, helping him peel off a cool $8.5 million.
Ludacris rolled out to No. 18. The ‘How Low’ musician hasn’t put out any super relevant music in a while, but has been known to pursue other business ventures. He also appeared in the hit movie ‘Furious 7’ earlier this year. All of that helped him secure $8 million.
T.I. pops in at No. 19, tucking away $6 million over the past year. The Atlanta rapper plans to release ‘The Dime Trap’ in the coming weeks
Last but not least, rapper/producer duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis snap up spot No. 20. The two made $5.5 million over the past year.