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Our homeboy Zack O'Malley Greeburg at Forbes (peep his verified Rap Genius account) just released this year’s edition of the magazine’s annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings list. Thanks to Zack, we now know which rappers are really living the life they describe in their rhymes, and exactly how many racks they’re sitting on
As it turns out, all of the folks on the list have been telling us how rich they are for quite a while. Here’s the best brags about spending money from ten people with the 2012 incomes (listed next to their names) to back it up, along with how much money it would cost if you wanted to walk in their shoes
10: Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges: $12 million
The brag: “We all in together now, birds of a feather now/Just bought a plane, so we changing the weather now” — Get Back
Money spent in rhyme: Gulfstream G450 private jet ($38,250,000); Weather-changing machine (n/a). Total: $38,250,000.
Ludacris makes the list due to an incredible diversity. He has a headphone line, a cognac, he acts…oh yeah, and still raps his ass off.
9: Marshall “Eminem” Mathers: $15 million
The brag: “Speed racer, ‘97 burgundy Blazer/Wanted for burglary, had to ditch the Mercury Tracer” — Wake Up Show Freestyle
Money spent in rhyme: 1997 Chevrolet Blazer ($20,516); 1997 Mercury Tracer GS ($11,145). Total: $31,661
Eminem is one of the few rappers left who makes money selling records. Most of his guap comes from his HUGE-selling back catalog, as well as a small handful of mega-concerts and festivals. He is also the rapper least likely to brag about his money — thus the low dollar amount lines above
8: Nicki Minaj: $15.5 million
The brag: “This stone is flawless, F1/I keep shooters up top in the F1” — Did It On ‘Em
Money spent in rhyme: 1.36 carat IF diamond ($20,544); McLaren F1 sports car ($970,000). Total: $990,544
Nicki’s second year on the list finds her cracking the top ten, though she’s still well below her YMCMB cohorts. Ms. Minaj’s tour was sponsored by Pepsi, and this and other endorsements supplemented her considerable touring dough this year.
7: Bryan “Birdman” Williams: $20 million
The brag: “I just bought me a platinum football field” — #1 Stunna
Money spent in rhyme: $2,770,000,000
Perhaps the best brag on the list, we wrote an entire blog post breaking down how much it would cost to dip a football field in platinum. The final tally? $2.77 billion. Even for the #1 Stunna himself, that’s a lot of money!
6: Aubrey Drake Graham: $20.5 million
The brag: “I send the Maybach out in neighborhoods they never seen it/That shit is dangerous, but it’s so convenient” — Dreams Money Can Buy
Money spent in rhyme: 2011 Maybach 62 S Sedan ($463,000). Total: $463,000
Coming in just above his boss Birdman, Drake kept the party going this year due to touring and endorsements. Let’s hope the money made him a little less sad
5: Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter: $27 million
The brag: “Elevator in my crib ‘cause it’s five floors/I’m not expecting you to have one inside yours” — Break Up
Money spent in rhyme: Five-floor mansion in Miami, Florida ($12,900,000); Private elevator installation ($30,000). Total: $12,930,000
Weezy combines his platinum sales for Carter IV with the dough from his Mountain Dew endorsement and comes up with a pile of money so big that even he will have a hard time coming up with similes to describe it.
4: Kanye West: $35 million
The brag: “They say I’m crazy, but I’m about to go dumb again/They ain’t seen me ‘cause I pulled up in my other Benz/Last week, I was in my other other Benz” — Otis
Money spent in rhyme: Mercedes Benz GL450 SUV (3) ($62,570/ea.) Total: $187,710
Watching the throne was good for Yeezy, as most of his dough came from his duo album and tour. Next year, though, let’s hope for that Keeping Up With the Kardashians money!
3: Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter: $38 million
The brag: “I got Warhols on my hall’s wall/I got Basquiats in the lobby of my spot” — Ain’t I
Money spent in rhyme: Andy Warhol’s Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) ($23,800,000); Untitled 1981 painting, Jean-Michel Basquiat ($16,300,000) Total: $40,100,000
Hov was not at the top of the list this year, as his much-bragged-about $150 million Live Nation deal is over a year old. He still managed to do okay for himself, though
2: Sean “Diddy” Combs: $45 million
The brag: “Hamdoullilah with my billions piling/I’m just wilin', bought two islands” — Arab Money (Remix)
Money spent in rhyme: Private islands, 2 ($25,000,000/ea). Total: $50,000,000.
Diddy continues his run in the top 3 slots of the Forbes list, here ending up at number 2. He is arguably the richest person in hip-hop, and his good fortune continues this year. Let’s go!
1: Andre “Dr. Dre” Young: $110 million
The brag: “G5’s to 6-4’s, Dre got ‘em/If the bitch bad, I got her in red bottoms/Great weed, nice homes, bread proper/Tec 9, one chamber, top shotta/Bentley coupe, new yacht, my helicopter” — 3 Kings
Money spent in rhyme: Gulfstream V plane ($50 million); 1964 Chevrolet Impala ($24,900); Christian Louboutin Enclume Lace-Up Velvet Platform Bootie ($1,195); unused Tec 9 ($300); 2012 Bentley Continental GT ($189,900); 50-foot yacht ($2,000,000); Robinson R-44 Raven I helicopter ($340,000). Total: $52,556,295
Dre, who got a huge bump on the list from his headphone line, broke the nine figure barrier this year. However, if this verse from Rick Ross' “3 Kings” is to be believed, he spent almost half his pre-tax dough on a private plane. Let’s hope he rents!