Forbes has just released its short list of hip hop’s wealthiest moguls, and Sean “Diddy” Combs tops the list with a net worth of $550 million.
Jay-Z and Dr. Dre follow at No. 2 and 3, respectively, while Cash Money Records cofounder Bryan “Birdman” Williams and 50 Cent round out this year’s “Forbes Five.”
Diddy, founder of Bad Boy Records, receives double-digit millions annually as a share of profits from Diageo-backed Ciroc vodka. Sales of the spirit spiked 122% last year in the wake of strong demand for new flavor Ciroc Peach; he is entitled to a nine-figure chunk of cash if the brand is ever sold. Diddy also boasts stakes in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, marketing firm Blue Flame, record label Bad Boy and a handful of tech startups. But it’s his deal with Comcast to launch cable channel Revolt in 2013 that could push him into billionaire territory. 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.