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Jay-Z, 50 Cent Top Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings List

Rappers are doing more than showing off their rhyme skills in order to make Forbes magazine’s first ever Hip-Hop Cash Kings list.With an estimated $34 million earned in 2006, rap mogul Jay-Z topped the list.The Def Jam Recordings president’s income was generated mostly through various business ventures such as his 40/40 sports bar franchise and small stake in the NBA’s New Jersey Nets.In March, the rapper sold his Rocawear clothing label to Iconix for $204 million.Forbes estimates that Jay-Z pocketed about a quarter of that amount, after taxes and other payable commitments.In addition, the New York native, who was named co-brand director for Budweiser Select last October by Anheuser Busch, raked in money from his blue-chip endorsement deals with Budweiser, Hewlett-Packard and General Motors as well as his 11th studio album Kingdom Come.Following Jay-Z at number two is 50 Cent.The G-Unit leader used his business sense to bring home an estimated $32 million last year through ventures in clothing, ringtones, video games and books.A good portion of that and future earnings will come from Coca Cola, which announced in May it would buy Vitamin Water maker Glaceau, for $4.2 billion in cash.50 Cent is expected to pocket at least $100 million once the deal is completed.The rapper, who agreed to promote VitaminWater in 2004 in exchange for a small stake, believes his business endeavors ensure a stable future outside of music.Up next at number three is Sean “Diddy” Combs, whose MTV reality series Making the Band, Sean John clothing line and Unforgivable cologne helped secure an estimated $28 million, in addition to his two restaurants, his Bad Boy album Press Play and other Bad Boy music releases from Danity Kane, Cassie and Yung Joc.Diddy’s fellow record label heads Eminem ($18 million) and Dr. Dre ($20 million) also made the list as well as producers Timbaland ($21 million), Scott Storch ($17 million) and Pharrell Williams ($17 million).Rapper Snoop Dogg stayed at $17 million, thanks to his album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment and appearances on hit singles from Akon, Mariah Carey and the Pussycat Dolls.Endorsements proved to be a successful outlet for Chamillionaire, who earned $11 million through his deal with Energizer, and The Game, who made $11 million from working with Skechers sneakers.The estimates collected for the Forbes list is based primarily on the entertainer’s income for 2006.Forbes magazine and the E! Entertainment network will give television viewers an inside look at the list during a one-hour special.The show, which features interviews with Big Boi, Lil Jon, T.I., Swizz Beats and Scott Storch, will air at 6 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 18) on E!

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