Its time to talk business. Last Thursday, Dr Dre officially became is the first billionaire in hip hop, acquiring a cool $3 billion ($2.6 in cash, $400 million in stock .but whos counting) in one of the most mouthwatering deals of the decade. While the rumours mounted that Apple Inc. were going to pull the plug on this trademark deal with Beats Electronics after that Facebook video announcement (Money + Rapper ? Intelligence), things seem to be all rich and rosy between the two megabrands.
The first billionaire in hip-hop, right here from the motherf**king West Coast.
But wait- the music. Where is the music in all of this? While many musicians are happy to settle with their music, their fans, their millions and their countless rehab stints, others have taken it upon themselves to trade their musical notes, for well, just notes, making their money elsewhere. Damn talented people, I probably should have really listened more in my Business 1001 classes.
Riding the wave of their multi-million dollar endorsement deals, clothing lines, book deals, restaurants, movies, and even perfumes (I mean who can resist the scent of Eau de Katy Perry) – the new millennium has seen an influx of talented musicians, or notably hip-hop moguls, trading their brand on the stock market in places you wouldnt even imagine.
Here are a cashed up hip-hop artists who have acquired all them dollar bills in the most unlikely of places.
Consumerist Teenager: Dr Dr, I am having a problem hearing my music!
Dr Dre: An Apple (Inc.) a day keeps the doctor away!
How about $3 billion of dem Apples! Thats right, Dr Dre and his business partner Jimmy Iovine have finally done it they are hip-hops first billionaires, signing a deal even grand in Apples standards. Described as a no brainer by Apple Chief Exec Timothy Cook, the acquisition of Beats Electronics is in fact Apples largest purchase to date, with the Beats subscription-based music streaming service as its main selling point.
Weve known these guys forever, Cook added, Weve dated, weve gone steady and now were getting married. Sorry Kanye and Kimmy, this may actually be the biggest wedding in hip-hop history. Dr Dre and Iovine have not only made headphones cool again since they started the company in 2008, but they entered into an overpriced market that only the big boys at Apple can afford. Well played, very well played.
Its hard to think that a hip-hip, dirty lyric, rapper named Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, would go from selling 15 million records and being shot 9 times, to being one of the richest big boys in the music beverage industry. Huh? Thats right. Jacksons beverage company Glaceau was the creator and marketer for Formula 50, a brand of Vitamin Water which Coca-Cola purchased in 2007 for a tidy $100million. How refreshing!
Half a decade later, 50 has launched his Street King Energy shot, and its already moved to number two slot in its ($2 billion) market. Just to add to his G-unit clothing company, not to mention the deal made with Reebok in 2003, his own record label, G-Unit Records and monies earned from his dabbles in acting and authoring. Hand this guy an Oscar already!
Sadly, money does not buy coordination .
Jay (remove the hyphen) Z
Jay-z sings it perfectly in Kanye Wests song Diamonds From Sierra Leone: Im not a businessman, I am a business, man!
With an estimated net worth of $475million in 2013, Brooklyn born Jigga is not only a master of music, but a myriad of businesses as well. He is a hip-hop god, a fashion exec to his own Rocawear clothing label as well as an entertainment mogul, earning double digit millions from his concerts and Roc a Fella label, and new sports news agency launched just last year. Although this hustler doesnt fully own any alcohol brand, he is associated with a number of top alcohol brands in the market, including Ace of Spades and DUssé cognac,
If that isnt success, then hes always got Beyoncés measly $300 million empire to fall back on (sigh).
Up until May this year, Sean Diddy Combs held the crown as the richest rapper in the world. Although he may have lost the illustrious title to Dr Dre, Im sure he wont be going hungry tonight with a staggering net worth of $700 million. A cool $120 million more than 2013, thanks to his deal with beverage giant Diageo and his burgeoning Revolt TV music channel.
While on stage we have seen him change his name from Puff Daddy, to P.Diddy to just Diddy, lately, this entrepreneur has adopted the moniker Ciroc Obama (his words, not mine). As Ciroc Vodkas value soars toward $1 billion, this entitles him to an eight-figure annual payout and a nine-figure windfall if the brand is ever sold, cementing himself on the cover of Forbes 400 lists alongside Warren Buffet as one of hip-hops next billionaires.
This guy has so much (non-music) money he really doesnt give any fucks if he loses a mil or two!
I OWE YOU: Diddy scrawled out an IOU for $1 million dollars after losing a shooting dice bet with Rick Ross. He aptly captioned the video I just lost a million dollars. It aint nothing #SuckMyD**kB***h
Bryan Birdman Williams
For everyone who is thinking, who the f@#k is this guy? You are not alone. This New Orleans-born rapper/producer-turned-entrepreneur was the co-founder of musical powerhouse Cash Money Records, with his brother Ronald Slim Williams over two decades ago. Starting to ring a bell? Cash Money Records inked a $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998, catapulting it to success, signing rappers such a Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. With a net worth of $160 million ($300 together with his brother), Birdman placed himself securely in the Top 5 of this years Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings. Now, Birdman and Slim seem intent on taking over the world building a new branch of their business Cash Money Sports in May 2014, signing Texan American Footballer Mike Evans to the agency.