50, Jay-Z, and Diddy Top Forbes Hip-Hop Earnings List

For the second straight year Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Diddy top Forbes’ second annual “Hip-Hop Cash Kings” list, but there is a new reigning king for 2008.50 Cent usurped Jay-Z as the top earner with $150 million grossed in the last year.The cornerstone of 50’s portfolio is his stake in VitaminWater’s parent company Glaceau, which was bought for $4.1 billion by Coca-Cola.The Queens native’s investments also include video games, G-Unit clothing/records, and a pending partnership in South Africa with billionaire mining baron Patrice Motsepe.Jay-Z bows in at number 2 generating $82 million in earnings.Off the strength of last year’s platinum album American Gangster, Jay brokered a 10-year, $150 million dollar deal with concert promoter Live Nation.The partnership will have the organization assisting Jay in promotion of all his business endeavors, which begins after his pending last Def Jam album Blueprint 3.Bad Boy CEO Sean “Diddy” Combs generated $35 million in revenue behind the success of premium vodka Ciroc, the Sean John clothing line, and Bad Boy releases from Danity Kane and Day26.The boundless entrepreneur has taken over TV, with Combs’ highly successful reality shows in Run’s House, I Want to Work for Diddy, and Making the Band.Rounding out the top five are producers Kanye West and Timbaland, who’ve earned $30 and $22 million respectively.Along with the success of their 2007 albums Graduation and Shock Value, the highly sought-after boardsmiths increased their net worth with production credits for Madonna, Bjork, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, and Diddy.Completing the top 10 on Forbes’ “Hip Hop Cash Kings 2008” are Pharrell Williams ($20 million), Swizz Beatz ($17 million), Snoop Dogg ($16 million), Dr. Dre ($15 million), and Ludacris ($14 million).

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