Forbes: Jay-Z Is Hip Hop’s Cash King!

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“I’m not a business man, I’m a “business”, man,” are lyrics that have reverberated in the headphones of many on the Diamonds are Forever remix. While just another clever punch line to some, these words are a lifestyle to Jay-Z. Stepping slightly away from the musical forefront in 2008, Jay focused on making strategic business moves that continued to build his brand. Jay was able to sign an unparalleled 150 million dollar deal with concert promoter Live Nation, expand his NYC based night club the 40/40 to Atlantic City and New Jersey, become a stakeholder in a professional basketball organization, facilitate the sale of Swedish vodka “Armadale” in the US, and dip his fingers into the New York City real estate market. 

Like any good investor, Jay-Z’s portfolio is well diversified, so things like a “recession” weigh less on the Hip Hop moguls mind. Even with watching his revenue stream plummet by 57%, Jay was still able to be at the top of Forbes’ Hip Hop Cash Kings 2009 list with 35 million dollars. The economy has had a major effect on everyone, but with Jay-Z’s impressively diverse business structure, he will be able to cushion the economic blow and be in a great position to capitalize when the economy turns around. With the music industry going digital, record sales are at all time lows. Artists and A&R’s are racking their brains trying to keep music profitable. Jay-Z, like other artists have been able to take their musical celebrity into other markets and strike gold.  It’s a shame that the purity of the music industry is suffering, but “rapping” is still a “job”, and the name of the game is profit.

Full List:

Jay-Z – 35 Million

Diddy – 30 Million

Kanye West – 25 Million

50 Cent – 20 Million

Akon – 20 Million

Lil’ Wayne – 18 Million

Timbaland – 17 Million

Pharrell – 16 Million

T-Pain – 15 Million

Eminem – 14 Million

Dr.Dre – 13 Million

Snoop Dogg – 11 Million

Ludacris – 10 Million

Common – 8 Million

Will.I.Am – 8 Million

T.I. – 8 Million

Swizz Beatz – 8 Million

Andre 3000 – 7 Million

Big Boi- 7 Million

Flo-Rida – 6 Million

Rick Ross – 6 Million

The Game – 6 Million

Young Jeezy – 6 Million

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  1. Valerie

    July 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Nice article. Just listened to an interview with Maxwell on the radio, he explained that he believes the music business is suffering right now. Artists spend so much of their time “diversifying” that the art of making music takes a backseat to the other opportunities to profit. Curious to know if people think the quality of Jay-Z’s music has declined since he became a “business” man. Or, is he one of the few that is able to maintain his artistic integrity while venturing out?

  2. Caramel26

    July 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    How is Game at 6mill? When’s the last time he dropped an album???

  3. Erica Valcourt

    July 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I think you make a good point Valerie. I can honestly say that Jay has maintained his artistic integrity tho. Listen to ‘Death of Autotune’ and you’ll see what I’m talking about — He’s still creative and always comes at us from left field. He’s doing what everyone’s NOT doing and still giving us quality lyrical content. Now for the other 75% of that list..I just don’t know.

  4. BrianBK

    July 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    We paperchasin! Get em Brooklyn! We go Hard!

  5. Tiff

    July 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Gotta love Jigga’s tenacity…get it Jay!

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