New Money Ballers: Forbes Lists Hip Hop’s Top Earners In 2011

Who said rappers don’t make any money? What they lack in album sales they make in endorsements, performances, appearances and more. Who do you think the #1 earner in 2011 was? Check out 2011’s Top 20 Earners in Hip Hop and see if you are right.



7 – Ludacris – Movies and endorsements have kept this hip hop blogger eating good at a blazing $12 Million in the last 12 months. This year, he earned big on movie roles including Fast Five, No StringsAttached and New Year’s Eve, as well as endorsements with Tag body spray, Trojan condoms and Conjure Cognac. Let’s not fail to mention his own headphones line. Nothing ludicrous about those earnings. 


6 – Akon – The man behind T-Pain and Lady Gaga may have stepped away from the studio in the last 12 months but his investments have definitely kept him balling at a cool $13 Million. He’s also been booking international tours and we all know that international money is sure to keep you paid. 


5 – Snoop Dogg – Uncle Snoop raked in $14 Million in the last year and you can thank his endorsements with Pepsi Max, Boost Mobile and of course, Sun Drop. Snoop has made the endorsements work for him and it’s keeping him paid. 



5 – Eminem  & Dr. Dre – Don’t be alarmed that you see #5 here twice. Dre & Em have both kept it pretty quiet in the last 12 months. With the release of his highly anticipated “Recovery” album Eminem raked in a killer $14 Million. That’s without doing a single tour. Can’t be mad at that! Make the music work for you Marshall! Beats By Dre headphones and literally, BEATS by Dr. Dre have kept Dre afloat even though “Detox” still hasn’t dropped.


4 – Lil Wayne  & Birdman tie at #4 both earning $15 Million in the last year. Like father like son. Being the CEO’s of Cash Money and Young Money has it’s perks when you’re housing other cash kings.


3 – Kanye West – Kanye can definitely afford the lavish things he raps about with his last year’s earnings coming in at $16 Million. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen Yeezy in the Top 3 but with his last album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” going platinum within a couple of weeks, we can see why the Louis Vuitton Don is here.



2 – Diddy – This isn’t much of a shocker. Music only accounts for just 20% of Sean Puffy Combs’ earnings. His company Bad Boy records, stakes in Ciroc, Sean John, Enyche and marketing firm Blue Flame all helped him pull $35 Million in the last 12 months.  


1 – Jay Z – For the last 5 years Jay Z has topped this list. In the last 12 months Jigga Man cashed in a whopping $37 million and owes it mainly to his investments. He has stakes in the New Jersey Nets (which he’ll be bringing to Brooklyn), the 40/40 club (which he’ll be launching more locations, including Dallas, TX), a 10 year $150M deal with LiveNation and many more. Jay Z shows that to really ball, you have to put your money where your mouth is.  



These ballers made the top 10, some tied, but there’s no doubt they’re definitely living the life they rap about. Other artists who made the list include Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, Pharrell, 50 Cent and Nicki Minaj which was the first female rapper in history to make the list. Read up on the rest of the list HERE.

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