News: Jay-Z Knocks 50 Cent From No. 1 Earner's Spot, Tops All Rappers W/ $35 Mil

Thursday, Jul 9, 2009 5:47PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Jay-Z, Diddy, Kanye West and 50 Cent have landed atop Forbes' annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings List this year leading the pack ahead of rappers including Lil Wayne, Eminem and T.I.

The Brooklyn, New York-based rapper led all rap artists in estimated sales.

Hova raked in a reported $35 million starting in June 2008, from touring and other business ventures. Although his earnings were down substantially from last year's $85 million, he still managed to edge out fellow mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, who came in at No. 2, with $30 million. Third place went to Kanye West with a respectable $25 million, earned through profits from his '808's and Heartbreaks' album and 'Glow In The Dark' tour. 50 Cent landed at No. 4 with approximately $20 million, a steep drop from $100 million in 2007. (The Boom Box)

The Top 20 list also featured a variety of hip-hop producers.

The rest of the list proves that rappers are making a great deal of money doing things that have nothing to do with actual rapping. Even the producers on the list -- like Pharrell Williams ($16 million) and Timbaland ($17 million) have their hands in accessory lines and film production. If all else fails, you just need to create a timeless album, which is how Dr. Dre came in at #11 on the list. Though he executive-produced Eminem's platinum Relapse, the producer's $13 million came primarily from royalties collected on classic releases like The Chronic. (MTV)

Additional rappers included Outkast, Flo Rida, Snoop Dogg and more.

No. 5 Akon ($20 million), No. 6 Lil Wayne ($18 million), No. 9 T-Pain ($15 million), No. 10 Eminem ($14 million) No. 12. Snoop Dogg ($11 million), No. 13 Ludacris ($10 million), No. 14 Common ($8 million), No. 15 ($8 million), No. 16. T.I. ($8 million), No. 17 Swizz Beatz ($8 million), No. 18 Andre 3000 ($7 million), No. 19 Big Boi ($7 million), No. 20 Flo Rida ($6 million), No. 21 Rick Ross ($6 million), No. 22 The Game ($6 million) and No. 23 Young Jeezy ($6 million). (NahRight)

This year's drop in combined sales reportedly stems from 50 Cent's 2007 VitaminWater sale to Coca-Cola.

Last year, the top 20 Hip-Hop Cash Kings made $500 million; this year they made $300 million, a 40% drop. 50 Cent's VitaminWater stake was responsible for one-fifth of the total take last year. Its absence accounts for half of hip-hop's year-over-year decline. Similarly, concert promoters have stopped pursing big "360" deals like the one signed by Jay-Z and LiveNation last year. "Those deals are pretty much done for now," says Chris White, an entertainment analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities. (Forbes)

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