This was a huge financial year for Dr. Dre and he absolutely destroyed the Hip-Hop Cash Kings list for Forbes with a stunning $620 million dollar payday, thanks to Apple Computer. Dre, who has been criticized for being unwilling to give at least a portion of his money to HBCUs, still came out on top financially, besting Jay Z, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Birdman, andKanye West.
In 2006, before launching Beats by Dre, the beat maker had originally thought about launching a line of sneakers. It was Interscope Records CEO Jimmy Iovine who opened the door for Dre to make his money, securing the deals and financing he needed to push the product to the public. Just a few years later, the two were able to sell the firm for $3 billion dollars, instantly making him the richest rapper alive.
Jay-Z and Diddy was number two on the list, each pulling in an impressive $60 million. Jay-Z has the most diverse portfolio of business interests. He still makes money from his music, but he has also parlayed that into other ventures, including night clubs, sports agencies and real estate ventures.
These men are all in their late thirties and forties, setting the stage for an adjustment in the aging of hip-hop music. Now, the industry is being challenged by the backlash coming from objectionable content that promotes images of violence against black males, drug and alcohol use and serious misogyny. The question for some is whether this is going to affect the corporate relationships of hip-hop artists in the future who refuse to let go of old trends in the genre.