Forbes has dropped its annual list of the top money makers in Hip-Hop music and rap mogul Jay-Z has topped the list for a second straight year.
According to the report, Jay-Z, born Sean Carter, raked in $63 million over the past 12 months.
He will pay the government about $22 million, more than any other artist earned on the entire list, excluding Sean “Diddy” Combs, the #2 earner with $30 million.
“We put together this list by applying the same rigorous methodology we apply to our research for the Forbes 400, the Celeb 100 and other specials,” Forbes writer Zack O’Malley Greenburg told AllHipHop.com.
Greenburg, who is also penning a business-focused biography on Jay-Z told AllHipHop.com that information was gathered “concrete data” provided by companies like Billboard, Pollstar, Niesen Soundscan, the Recording Industry Association of America.
Additionally, Forbes conducted its own investigative research through interviews with executives, lawyers, media buyers, label executives and various artists.
“This year’s rankings show that Hip-Hop’s most financially successful artists continue to be the ones who’ve diversified their revenue streams,” Greenburg told AllHipHop.com.
This year, the rappers earned a combined $300 million in earnings, which is almost equal to the amount that was generated last year, despite a troubled music business and an ailing economy.
Both Jay-Z and Diddy’s income was generated by their various business ventures.
Jay-Z still has a stake in Rocawear, owns the 40/40 nightclub, is still touring and owns a stake in the New Jersey Nets.
Diddy made his cash from his television businesses, including his Diddybeats earbuds and his partnership with Ciroc vodka.
“Ten or fifteen years ago, everyone had to have their own record label; a few years later, the trend was to have a clothing line,” Greenburg continued. “Now, those are prerequisites for a Hip-Hop empire, and the new must is having your own brand of alcohol. Diddy made more from his Ciroc deal than from any of his other sources of income, and Ludacris, T.I. and others are following suit.”
Akon checked in at #3 with $21 million earned through a deal with Pepsi, his Konvict Clothing line and his Kon Live record label, which is home to Lady Gaga, T-Pain, Kardinall Offishall and others.
Lil Wayne checked in at #4 with $20 million earned from his hit album Rebirth and through his endless touring schedule.
Super producer Dr. Dre was #5 on the list with $17 million earned, while Ludacris was #6 with $16 million earned off movie roles and his exclusive new line of cognac, Conjure.
West coast rap veteran Snoop Dogg’s appearances on television and in films and a worldwide tour landed him at #7.
Famed Producer Timbaland is listed at #8 with $14 million, followed by fellow producer Pharrell Williams, who raked in $13 million to take the #9 position through his Ice Cream/Billionaire Boys Club clothing line, as well as his involvement in creating the soundtrack to the animated hit, Despicable Me.
Despite a low profile over the past 12 months, Kanye West landed at #10 with $12 million earned through his various business endeavors, including producing hit records.
The rest of the Top 20 are listed below:
11. Drake $10 million
12. T.I. $9 million (Tied)
13. Swizz Beatz $9 million (Tied)
14.Eminem $8 million (Tied)
15. 50 Cent ($8 million (Tied)
16. Young Jeezy ($8 million) (Tied)
17. Common $7 million
18. Soulja Boy $ 6 million (Tied)
19. T-Pain $6 million (Tied)
20. Lil Jon $ 5 million, Tied with Gucci Mane, who earned $5 million despite being incarcerated most of the year.
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