News: Diddy En Route To Become Rap's First Billionaire
Thursday, Mar 17, 2011 8:29AM
Rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs is reportedly en route to make history as hip-hop's first-ever billionaire based on a new report by financial publication Forbes.
According to the renowned financial magazine, Diddy's profit-generating brands lead him ahead of contenders like Jay-Z and Dr. Dre.
This week we've released a new list, one that measures rappers not by annual earnings, but by net worth. We've dubbed this select group "The Forbes Five." Sure enough, our original holy trinity of moneymaking is present; their fortunes total just over $1 billion. And there's plenty of room to grow, especially for Diddy, who leads the pack with $475 million. Diddy's ten-figure dreams hinge on a lucrative partnership with Diageo's Ciroc vodka. Diddy teamed up with alcohol conglomerate back in 2007 with the aim of perking up sales for the fledgling spirit. Diageo agreed to split any profits with him; if the company ever sold Ciroc, he'd be entitled to a share of the proceeds. The rationale: Why not? The brand wasn't selling, and Diddy was always known for having a flair for marketing. (Forbes)
Last week, Diddy earned the top spot on Forbes' list of wealthiest rap artists.
When it comes to net worth, Jay-Z is number two. The top spot goes to Sean "Diddy" Combs, who tops our accounting of rap's richest with a fortune of $475 million, fueled by his interests in Sean John clothing, Bad Boy Worldwide record label and, most significantly, his Diageo joint-venture vodka brand Ciroc. Jay-Z ranks a close second, with $450 million. Super producer/rapper Dr. Dre ranks third with $125 million, fueled by past earnings generated from his own career and by helping to launch those of Snoop Dogg and Eminem. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, a onetime Dr. Dre protege who reaped a nine-figure payday from the sale of Vitamin Water to Coca-Cola, rounds out the top five in a tie with Cash Money Records cofounder Bryan "Birdman" Williams at $100 million. (Forbes)
Despite the critical acclaim, Diddy downplayed his achievement.
"To be honest, on that list, I was on the cover of Forbes back in '98," Diddy explained in an interview. "I been on that list. I don't really get caught up into the list. I think people think that I have that money actually sitting at home in the basement...It's really like if I sold all my companies, and I take pride in [building] something as a black man that's worth that much...To everyone calling me for a loan today, I do not have that money today! ... It helps inspire people and it shows the power of hip-hop." (MTV)
Last year, Diddy spoke on his dominance in music, fashion and other aspects of the entertainment industry.
"I was the first on the jet. I was the first running the marathon. I was the first donating millions of dollars. I was the first. I was the first with the 10 million records sold. I was the first with the label. I was the first with the renegotiations. F*ck a Forbes list--I was on the cover of Forbes. There is going to be someone that will pass me, but as long as I'm on the court, they are not going to be badder than me, because there is too much catching up to do...There is not one muthaf*cka that's here now who is going to outwork me. That is not going to happen, not right now. Maybe if I slow down, but to this day, no one can f*ck with me when it comes to getting busy and working." (XXL Mag)
Check out a recent Diddy interview below: