Who are the richest rappers in the world? Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Eminem… I'm sure you know the names, but do you know their fortunes as of 2020? Are there any billionaires? Who made the top 30 cut this year and who didn't?
Let's count down the top 30 richest rappers in 2020 by net worth!
FYI: To make this year's list, the artists needed a minimum net worth of $60 million. The average fortune of these 30 hip-hop stars is $205 million. In total, their fortunes add up to $6.1 billion. The out-sized fortunes of the top 3 wealthiest rappers on this list possess 46% of that $5.8 billion. It's truly stunning levels of wealth.
The 30 Richest Rappers In The World 2020:
After stepping on the scene in 2006, Pittsburgh-rapper Wiz Khalifa didn't start earning huge money until 2011 when he personally grossed $11 million. He has earned $20+ million in many recent years. His lowest earning year of the last near-decade are $9 million (earned in 2012). As of this writing, Wiz Khalifa's total career earnings are $150 million. His $60 million net worth makes him the 30th richest rapper in the world.
He is somewhat of a one-hit wonder in the United States, but globally PSY has continued to be a juggernaut. He has been releasing music for nearly two decades but he first gained international fame after the July 2012 release of the music video for his song "Gangnam Style". For many years it was the most-viewed video on YouTube. It was the very first video to pass one billion views on the platform. As of this writing the video has 3.55 billion views which is enough to make it the 7th most-viewed video of all time. Between iTunes downloads, YouTube ad revenue and streaming royalties, PSY earned at least $20 million off that one song. His current net worth is $60 million.
He may not have the mainstream name recognition as many of the other artists on this list, but J. Cole has the bank account to hang with the best of them. Cole was the very first artist signed to Jay-Z's RocNation label. His debut studio album was released in 2011. Thanks primarily to touring today, he is consistently one of the highest-paid hip-hop artists in the world. J. Cole grossed more than $30 million in both 2018 AND 2019.
DJ Khaled, rapper, DJ, and record producer, is worth $65 million dollars. He was born Khaled Mohamed Khaled in New Orleans and first gained attention as a radio host on a Miami hip hop station in the '90s. DJ Khaled later gained wider recognition online, using social media such as Snapchat to develop a large following and internet presence. During his career, DJ Khaled has released eleven albums to date, many of which have debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and have been certified as platinum. He continues to have a strong social media following and is a highly sought after record producer.
Nas is famous for his career as a rapper, songwriter, actor, investor, and entrepreneur, and has a net worth of $70 million. Born as Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones in Brooklyn, Nas first gained popularity with the release of his debut album, 1994's Illmatic, which immediately spawned several hit singles. Nas also made up one-fourth of the hip hop group Group Therapy. Alongside a successful music career, Nas founded QueensBridge Ventures, his own venture capital firm that has invested in big names like Lyft and Dropbox. Nas has released 11 albums and has been nominated for 13 Grammys over the years.
"You have to keep your vision clear, cause only a coward lives in fear." – Nas
Born in Queens, Joseph Ward Simmons is a rapper who is best known for being a founding member in the eighties of the hip-hop group Run DMC. Earlier projects included vocal work for hip-hop group The Force. Run DMC enjoyed much popularity in the '80s, the era of LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys. They are considered pioneers of their genre, gaining notoriety quickly and with many of their albums going platinum. Joseph Simmons has been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Simmons also appeared in the MTV reality show Run's House.
"Dreams come a couple sizes too big so you can grow into them." – Joseph Simmons
Will.I.AM, born William James Adams, Jr. in Los Angeles, is an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. His net worth is $75 million. Will.I.AM formed a rap group called Atbann Klann and were signed to Ruthless Records in 1992. In 1995, he formed the group that would later be called The Black Eyed Peas. Outside of the obvious success of The Black Eyed Peas, Will.I.Am has released four solo albums and has won seven Grammy awards. He's also worked as a judge on The Voice UK since 2012.
"Music is my therapy and my straitjacket. Music keeps me sane and keeps my mind on something. It's fragile up there." – Will.I.Am
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, born in Compton, is one of the most popular and highest-paid rappers on the planet. He has a net worth of $75 million dollars. Inspired by his idols Dr. Dre and Tupac Shakur, Lamar began rapping when he was just an elementary school kid. He released his first mixtape at age 16. Lamar's first studio album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released in 2012 and sold over 1.1 million copies across the U.S. His four albums over the course of his career have gone on to do extremely well on the charts, and Kendrick has racked up 37 Grammy nominations and 13 wins.
Nicki Minaj, a Trinidadian-American rapper, songwriter, model and actress, has a net worth of $80. She was discovered by fellow rapper Lil Wayne after trying unsuccessfully for years to make it as an actress. Minaj released several mixtapes before releasing her debut album, Pink Friday, which sold 4 million copies worldwide. Minaj's second album and third album went platinum. Nicki has been nominated for ten Grammy awards and has won over 100 notable accolades. Minaj also endorses many big-name brands including MAC makeup and has a successful line of fragrances.
Founded in Georgia, Migos is an American hip hop trio who have a combined net worth of $80 million, mostly thanks to their live tours. Migos was formed in 2008 by Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset. They did not see their first breakthrough until 2013, when their single Versace peaked at No. 99 on the Billboard chart. Versace was met with much critical acclaim and was included on many year-end best-of lists. Their mixtape Rich Nigga Timeline landed on Rolling Stone's list at No.7 of Best Rap Album of 2014. Migos have two studio albums and each member has a lucrative solo career.
"If you real from the heart, you real from the heart. That ain't got nothing to do with sex or gender."
R&B singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer Akon was born Aliaune Thiam in Missouri and has a net worth of $80 million. He spent the majority of his youth in West Africa, and settled in Jersey City, NJ when he was a teenager. Akon was signed with Universal and released his debut album ("Trouble") in 2004, which shot to the top of the charts with his leading single "Locked Up". He co-founded record label Konvict Muzik and launched his own clothing line, Konvict Clothing, in 2007. Akon has enjoyed chart success over the span of his career and has gotten to the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Billboard charts twice.
"I don't want to know I'm getting older. Then I'll start to think about getting checkups and insurance. I don't want that." – Akon
Timbaland, an American rapper, songwriter, and producer, has a net worth of $85 million dollars. Timbaland was born Timothy Zachary Mosely in Norfolk Virginia and rose to prominence in the late '90s when he produced a series of hits for the group Ginuwine. He went on to produce record-breaking tracks for artists like Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliot, Jay-Z, Nas, and Snoop Dog. Timbaland eventually started his own record label, Beat Club.
"I'm trying to do something real different; I'm trying to bring the street to real pop. I'm trying to bring the street to pop. Not watering it down, no nothing." – Timbaland
Pitbull is a successful Cuban-American rapper and songwriter who lands in the top 20 richest rappers with a net worth of $90 million. He was born Armando Christian Perez in Miami, Florida. Pitbull was first signed to Luther Campbell's Luke Records in 2001, and then went on to work with Lil John. Pitbull released his debut album, "M.I.A.M.I" in 2004 and it reached #2 on the Billboard US Rap chart. During his music career, Pitbull has released 11 albums, several of which have gone to the top of the charts and been certified platinum.
"I'm taking all the negatives in my life, and turning them into a positive." – Pitbull
Michael Diamond, AKA Mike D, has earned his $90 million net worth as a founding member of the American hip-hop group the Beastie Boys. Born in NYC, Mike D dropped out of Vassar to pursue a career in music. Mike D, John Berry, Adam Yauch, and Kate Schellenbach were the original four members of The Young Aborigines in 1979, which eventually became the Beastie Boys (Adam Horovitz replaced Schellenbach). The Beastie Boys have sold over 40 million records worldwide and have reached Platinum status seven times. They have won three Grammy Awards.
The next Beastie Boy to enter our list of the top 20 richest rappers is Adam Horovitz, also known as Ad-Rock. He joins the ranks of Mike D with a net worth of $90 million. Ad-Rock started his career playing alongside the Beastie Boys in the punk rock band The Young and the Useless. Adam joined the Beastie Boys as a guitarist and fellow rapper when he was just 16. Horovitz is said to have helped craft the band's new sound, taking it from a mainly punk song to straight hip-hop.
Swizz Beatz, born Kasseem Dean, is an American record producer and composer who began his career as a DJ, producing tracks at just 16 years old. He is married to Alicia Keys, who contributes to his net worth of $100 million. Swizz Beatz moved to Atlanta, GA as a teenager and worked for his uncles who were CEOS at the music label Ruff Ryders. Dean sold his first beat, "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" to DMX. He went on to produce popular hits for Jay-Z while he was still a teenager. Swizz Beatz' record label, Full Surface, was founded in 2001. His first major client was Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. He was called "the best rap producer of all time" by Kanye West.
Birdman was born Bryan "Baby" Williams, and is the CEO and founder of Cash Money Records. He founded it in 1989 with his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams. Birdman has gone multi-platinum as an artist and producer, and has worked for huge names such as Lil Wayne and Juvenile. He was nominated for two Grammys in 2001 for hit song #1 Stunna. Cash Money Records is the most commercially successful hip-hop label in history with 50 million records sold. At its peak, it was pulling in $100 million per year. Birdman had already amassed a net worth of $40 by his 22nd birthday.
"I'm a hard worker, and everything with me is, if I work hard, I should get paid for it. Everything with me, I try to symbolize something flashy like jewelry or a car. The rubbing hands is a symbol of hustling, so it goes back to the money."
LL Cool J is an American rapper and actor, born James Todd Smith in New York. He began recording his own songs and sending them out to recording companies at just 16. His demo wound up in the hands of producers at Def Jam Records and signed him immediately. LL Cool J's stage name stands for "Ladies Love Cool James." His single "I need a beat" sold over 100,000 copies, prompting him to drop out of high school to record his debut album, which went platinum with 1,500,000 sales. Since 2009, he has appeared in NCIS: Los Angeles, earning $350,000 per episode.
"When adversity strikes, that's when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on." – LL Cool J
Snoop Dogg, otherwise known as Cordozar Calvin Broadus, is a West Coast rapper, singer, actor, producer, director, and entrepreneur who is worth $150 million. He was discovered by Dr. Dre and is widely considered to be one of the wealthiest and most successful rappers to come out of the thriving '90s rap scene. He still records today. His debut album Doggystyle was produced by Dr. Dre and debuted at No. 1. By 1994, Doggystyle was certified quadruple platinum. Snoop Dogg has recorded 14 albums, many of which have gone platinum and debuted at No. 1, and has collaborated on thousands of tracks with various artists. His commercial endorsements for companies like Boost Mobile and Orbitz Gum, as well as his career hosting numerous shows and appearing in many films, have contributed to his net worth.
"If it's flipping hamburgers at McDonald's, be the best hamburger flipper in the world. Whatever it is you do you have to master your craft." – Snoop Dogg
Pharrell Williams is a hugely successful musician, producer, and fashion designer. He is the lead vocalist and drummer for rock band N.E.R.D. As a solo artist, he's well known for his singles Happy (which went 7x platinum) and Money Maker. Williams has won several Grammys and his albums are universally critically acclaimed. Pharrell Williams is also a music producer, producing enormously popular singles Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Get Lucky by Daft Punk. In addition to a thriving music career, his two clothing lines Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream footwear contribute to his immense wealth.
"You don't know what people are looking for. What you know is what you feel like might be missing. It's up to the people to agree with you or disagree with you, and you'll know in their reaction." – Pharrell Williams
Lil Wayne, known privately as Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., is an American rapper, songwriter, record executive and actor worth $150 million. He began his career when he was just 13, after he joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the record label. Lil Wayne's first solo album Tha Block is Hot was certified platinum. Over the years he has released 13 albums, selling over 100 million records worldwide. Lil Wayne is one of the world's best-selling artists. He's won numerous awards and, in 2012, Lil Wayne became the first male to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Hate is only a form of love that hasn't found a way to express itself logically." – Lil Wayne
Los Angeles-born O'Shea Jackson, better known as his stage name Ice Cube, is a rapper, actor, writer, producer, and director. Ice Cube first gained fame in 1996 as a member of hip hop group NWA, which he formed alongside Eazy E and Dr. Dre. After he left NWA in December 1989, Ice Cube began a successful solo career. His first two albums went platinum. Ice Cube started his acting career by starring in Boyz in the Hood in 1991, a role in which he was met with heaps of praise. He also wrote and starred in the Friday film franchise. Ice Cube is often called the best rapper of all time. In addition to a successful music career, Ice Cube also founded his own clothing line Solo by Cube.
"Truth is the ultimate power. When the truth comes around, all the lies have to run and hide." – Ice Cube
Dallas-born Usher Raymond IV earned his impressive net worth as a successful singer, songwriter, actor and dancer. Usher's first U.S. Billboard No. 1 single was "Nice & Slow". His 1997 album My Way sold eight million copies worldwide and won him his first two Grammys. 2004's confessions solidified Usher as one of the best-selling artists of the oughts. To date, Usher has sold 23.8 million albums and 38.2 million digital songs in the United States alone. He has sold 75 million records worldwide and has racked up eight Grammy Awards.
"Success is about dedication. You may not be where you want to be or do what you want to do when you're on the journey. But you've got to be willing to have vision and foresight that leads you to an incredible end." – Usher
Canadian-born Drake earned his fortune with a successful career as a rapper, singer, producer, and actor. His debut studio album debuted at No. 1 and quickly went platinum. In 2016, his single One Dance topped the charters in several countries and led the Billboard charts for eight solid weeks. His best selling album to date, Views, which contains the lead single Hotline Bling, has achieved quadruple platinum status. Drake is ranked among the world's best selling artists with over 170 million records sold. Drake has broken numerous streaming records and has won four Grammy Awards.
"Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination." – Drake
Rap mogul Master P claimed his fortune as part of the music group TRU, a successful solo career, and by becoming the founder of record label No Limit Records. By 2009, Forbes had listed Master P's net worth at almost 700 million, making him the third richest figure in hip hop history. He catapulted to fame with his single Make 'Em Say Uhh! Master P has released 15 studio albums, most of which have gone multi-platinum. He's also a successful actor and has starred in many films and TV shows.
"I think my thing is I grew up in the ghetto, and I was able to get a second chance. That's what I'm trying to tell kids." – Master P
Marshall Bruce Mathers II, otherwise known as Eminem, is one of the most successful artists of the 21st century. He signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment and exploded with popularity in 1999 with The Slim Shady LP and its hit single My Name Is. His next two releases were also massive hits and nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys. Eminem won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself" after he starred in 2002's 8 Mile. Eminem has sold over 150 million records in the U.S, has won ten Grammys, and has had ten No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200.
"The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed." – Eminem
Dr. Dre has amassed his large fortune and gained himself a spot at number 3 with a successful career as a rapper, record producer, actor, and audio engineer, among many other ventures. He's the founder and CEO of Beats Electronics and, before that, had been the co-owner of Death Row Records. He found fame with influential West-coast gangsta rap group NWA. In 1993, the success of Dre's solo album The Chronic made him one of the top selling American musicians of 1993. He won the first of his six Grammys that year. Dr. Dre has also produced for and helped form the careers of many successful rappers like Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and 2Pac.
"You just have to find that thing that's special about you that distinguishes you from all the others, and through true talent, hard work, and passion, anything can happen." – Dr. Dre
"The only two things that scare me now are God and the IRS." – Dr. Dre
New York born P. Diddy, also known as Puff Daddy, Puffy, Diddy, or Sean Combs, worked at Uptown Records before forming his own record label in 1993, Bad Boy Entertainment. He then embarked on a career as a musician himself, releasing No Way Out in 1997, which has since been certified seven times platinum. P. Diddy released three more albums before forming the group Dirty Money and going on to release more commercially and critically successful music. Combs has won three Grammys and two MTV Video Music Awards. He also serves as the producer of MTV's Making the Band. Contributing to Diddy's immense wealth is his work as an entrepreneur, releasing clothing lines, fragrances, restaurants, vodka, and even an umbrella company.
"Success doesn't just land on your lap. You have to work, work, work, work, and work some more." – Diddy
"Don't be afraid to close your eyes and dream but then open your eyes and see." – Diddy
Brooklyn-born American rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z is the richest rapper in the world. Born Shawn Carter, Jay-Z has become the first billionaire in hip hop history, with a net worth of $1 billion. Combined with his wife Beyonce Knowles, the couple together first cracked the billion-dollar mark in July 2014. It's not just his hip hop talent that has made him worth a billion dollars; the majority of Jay-Z's wealth comes from his endorsements and his investments in sports teams, record companies, clothing lines, night clubs, and more. And that $1 billion is just Jay-Z's wealth. When combined with Beyonce, the couple has a net worth of $1.5 billion.
"I will not lose, for even in defeat, there's a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me." – Jay-Z
"Money and power don't change you, they just further expose your true self. People look at you strange, say you changed. Like you worked that hard to stay the same. You can want success all you want, but to get it, you can't falter." – Jay-Z
One of the most critically acclaimed rappers in history, Kanye West's creative and wide-reaching musical styles have broken barriers. His success in the fashion industry has also added to his immense net worth, as well as his marriage to Kim Kardashian. West has released 9 studio albums, with most of those going multi-platinum and topping the charts for weeks to months. He's sold over 100 million records worldwide, placing at in the top five of the richest rappers in history. Kanye West regularly tops critics' lists of greatest albums and rappers of all time. But, as you may know, Kanye's out-sized fortune mostly comes from non-musical endeavors. His Yeezy apparel partnership with Adidas has resulted in a brand that reportedly generates over $1 billion in revenue per year, paying Kanye a 2019 royalty of $100-115 million. Kanye has said in a number of interviews that he is already a billionaire because Yeezy is worth $4 billion.
"I was never really good at anything except for the ability to learn." – Kanye West
"For me, money is not my definition of success. Inspiring people is a definition of success." – Kanye West
Out of curiosity, I just took a look back at Celebrity Net Worth's inaugural list of richest rappers from way back in 2012. No other publication in the world had ever produced a list of rappers by net worth. There were plenty of outlets covering total annual earnings, but we were the first to do a list of about overall wealth.
At the time Diddy was the richest rapper with a net worth of $500 million. Jay-Z was #2 with $475 million. Fast forward 8 years and Jay-Z's bank account has more than doubled, Diddy's has increased by $385 million. At the time Dr. Dre "only" had $260 million. As you know this was before he sold Beats by Dre to Apple for $3 billion. That's a increase of 215%! But it's Mr. Kanye West whose net worth has seen the most explosive growth, from $100 million in 2012 to today's $3.2 billion. That's a 3,100% increase!
The richest rapper in the world 2020 Kanye West with net worth of $3.2 billion. That is just his own personal net worth. When combined with his wife Kim Kardashian, they two are worth a mind-numbing $3.6 billion.
Here is a quick-hit list of the 5 richest rappers in the world:
|The 30 Richest Rappers In The World 2020|
|#13||LL Cool J||$120,000,000|