Hip-hop music, also known as rap music originated in the 1970s in Bronx, New York City. DJ Kool Herc (popularly known as DJ and founding father of rap) is given huge credit for making rap music famous in the US. He along with his sister Cindy started hosting school parties in their building. Nobody knew that these parties would start a new culture we know today as rap music or hip-hop. Since its inception in the 1970s, rap music has evolved a lot and over the years, some popular rappers have become extremely wealthy. Rappers are known to have fancy cars, and big luxury houses, and live extravagant lives. The Hip-Hop industry is growing every year and is worth billions of dollars. So, it’s no wonder that a few famous rappers have a lot of money, and the names on the Forbes list of richest rappers keep changing every year. From Jay Z to Pitbull, here is a list of the richest rappers and their net worth.
Top 20 richest rappers in the world, their net worth & early life
Akon Net Worth: $80 million
Akon is a popular American rapper, songwriter, singer, actor, record producer, and businessman. He has made a lot of hit songs and he rose to fame with his album “Locked Up” released in 2004. After that, he never looked back and kept giving back-to-back hits.
His second album Konvicted was released in 2006 and became an instant hit. The album received three Grammy Award nominations for Best Rap Collaboration for the song “Smack That”, “I Wanna Love You”, and Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Both singles were the top ten hits on Billboard Hot 100, followed by two other songs “Sorry, Don’t Blame It on Me” and “Don’t Matter.”
Then, in 2008, Akon released his third studio album Freedom, led by the single “Right Now (Na Na Na).”
Akon is the first-ever solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots at the same time on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice. His name is also in the Guinness World Records for being the no.1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world.
He has received numerous awards for his music and is one of the richest rappers in the world.
Akon has also acted in several movies including Tanked, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Black November, Miracles Across 125th Street, and so on. He has made guest appearances in many shows such as Home & Family, Free Radio, Chelsea Lately, The Andy Milonakis Show, etc.
He is highly talented and his music is very soothing to the ears.
Akon’s early life
The full name of Akon is Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam. Akon’s birthday falls on April 16 and he was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1973. He spent most of his childhood in Senegal and learned to play musical instruments including guitar, djembe, and drums.
After some time, the family moved to New Jersey where he attended William L. Dickinson High School.
Timbaland Net Worth: $85 Million
Timothy Zachery Mosley, professionally known as Timbaland is one of the most influential rappers in the world. He is an American singer, rapper, DJ, record producer, and songwriter.
His first-ever full credit production work was for R&B singer Ginuwine for his debut studio album Ginuwine..the Bachelor in 1996.
After that, he became a prominent name in hip-hop music and released various hit songs including The Way I Are, Give It To Me, If We Ever Meet Again (featuring Katy Perry), Morning After Dark (Featuring Nelly Furtado & SoShy), Bounce, and so on.
Timbaland has a distinctive “stuttering” rhythmic style that he is known for.
He founded Mosley Music Group (MMG) in 2006 and his record label featured various artists such as Nelly Furtado, One Republic, etc.
He has written various US and UK hit songs and also created a webcast series Verzuz with Swizz Beatz in 2020.
Out of 21 Grammy Award nominations, Timbaland has won four awards including Best R&B Song for the song “Drunk in Love” (2016), Best R&B Song for the song “Pusher Love Girl” (2016), Best Dance Recording for the song “LoveStoned/I Think She Knows” (2009) and Best Dance Recording for the song “Sexy Back” (2008).
All in all, he has received 25 award nominations and won 8 out of them.
Timbaland’s net worth is $85 Million and is one of the richest rappers in the world.
Timbaland’s early life
Timothy Zachery Mosley was born on March 10, 1972, in Norfolk, Virginia, the U.S to Latice and Garland Mosley. Timothy has a younger brother and sister and he graduated from Salem High School of Virginia Beach. His cousin Pharell Williams is also a known American singer and rapper.
3. Adam Horovitz
Adam Horovitz Net worth: $90 million
With a net worth of $90 million, Adam Horovitz, popularly known as King Ad-Rock is one of the richest rappers in the world.
He is not only a rapper, but also an American producer, guitarist, actor, and musician.
Ad-Rock is hugely popular worldwide for being a member of the famous hip-hop group the Beastie Boys.
The group disbanded in 2012 (following the sudden demise of Adam Yauch), and then Adam participated in various projects related to Beastie Boys – he worked as a producer, remixer, and guest musician for other artists.
Ad-Rock has worked as an actor in various film and TV projects such as Godspeed, Roadside Prophets, and Lost Angels.
Adam Horovitz’s early life
Adam Horovitz was born on 31st October 1966 in New York, USA to Israel Horovitz and Doris Keefe. He was raised in Manhattan and comes from a Jewish family.
Adam Horovitz’s net worth is $90 million.
4. Michael Diamond
Michael Diamond Net Worth: $90 Million
Michael Diamond, popularly known as Mike D is one of the most famous and richest rappers in the world with a net worth of $90 million.
He is a renowned American musician, rapper, and music producer and founded Beasties Boys (a famous hip-hop group) in 1992.
He not only provides vocals but also plays drums with the group. He has also produced various remixes and albums for various acts.
Some of his most popular songs are Licensed to Ill (1986), Check Your Head (1992), Hello Nasty (1998), The Mix-Up (2007), and so on.
Michael Diamond’s early life
Michael Diamond was born in New York City, the US on 20th November 1965. He married music and television video director Tamra Davis in 1993 and they have two kids together, Skyler Diamond and Davis Diamond. They have legally separated and their kids formed the group Very Nice Person.
He knows how to play drums and keyboards and is one of the best rappers in the world.
Pitbull (Net worth: $100 million)
Armando Christian Pérez, professionally known as Pitbull is a well-known rapper and singer. He started his career by recording Latin hip-hop, and reggaeton. He rose to fame when he moved into the pop world
His debut album M.I.A.M.It was released in 2004 on TVT Records and was an instant hit. It peaked at no.14 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart.
Some of Pitbull’s popular songs are Give Me Everything, I Like It, I Know You Want Me, On The Floor, Hotel Room Service, and so on. He has sold more than 100 million singles and 25 million albums across the globe.
He is not just a singer and rapper, but also an entrepreneur and owns a radio channel, a vodka brand, and an auto racing NASCAR team.
He is one of the highest-paid rappers and his net worth is around $100 million.
Pitbull’s early life
Amando Christian Pérez was born in Miami, Florida on 15th January 1981 to Cuban immigrant parents. He chose the stage name ‘Pitbull’ because he said that dog is too stupid to lose and they “bite to lock.”
Birdman Net Worth: $100 million
With a net worth of $100 million, Bryan Williams, officially known as Birdman is one of the richest rappers in the world in 2022.
He is a renowned American record producer, rapper, and entrepreneur and is best known for co-founding Cash Money Records. He is also the co-founder of Young Money Entertainment.
He had done a lot of solo work with the Big Tymers, but he became immensely successful by working with fellow rapper Lil Wayne.
The popular songs of Birdman include Baller Blockin’ with Cash Money Millionaires (2000), Rich Gang with Rich Gang (2013), Lost at Sea 2 with Jacquees (2018), Just Another Gangsta with Juvenile (2019), and so on.
He has won various awards and is a phenomenal rapper.
Birdman’s early life
Birdman was born on 15th February 1969 in New Orleans, the US to Johnnie Williams and Gladys Brooks. He married Toni Braxton in 2016 and they have 2 children together.
7. LL Cool J
LL Cool J Net worth: $120 million
James Todd Smith, known by his stage name LL Cool J, is a prominent actor, rapper, author, and entrepreneur. He has released 13 studio albums and is regarded as one of the forefathers of pop-rap.
His single “I Need a Beat” gained immense success and he became an overnight sensation with the song.
He has acted in several movies and TV shows including In Too Deep, S.W.A.T., Any Given Sunday, Halloween H20, Mindhunters, NCIS: Los Angeles, and so on.
He is also the host of Lip Sync Battle on Paramount Network.
He is known for his songs such as “I’m Bad”, “All I have”, “Hey Lover”, “I Need Love”, “Rock the Bells” and “Around the Way Girl.”
He has won two Grammys and is the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.
LL Cool J’s early life
James Todd Smith (LL Cool J) was born on 14th January 1968 in Bay Shore, New York, US. He and his parents James Louis Smith and Ondrea Griffthi lived in Queens. He started rapping at the age of 10 and is currently one of the richest rappers in the world.
8. Snoop Dog
Snoop Dog Net worth: $150 million
With a net worth of $150 million, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr aka Snoop Doggy Dogg or Snoop Lion is a popular American songwriter, media personality, rapper, actor, and businessman.
He has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide, acted in various movies and TV shows, and is known for his melodic flow and ultra-smooth flow.
His debut studio album is Doggystyle which was released in 1993 by Interscope Records and Death Row Records.
Snoop Dog’s famous albums are Doggystyle (1993), No Limit Top Dogg (1999), R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece (2004), Malice n Wonderland (2009), Bush (2015), Bible of Love (2018), From tha Streets 2 tha Suites (2021), and so on.
He has also acted in numerous films including Half Baked (1998), Hot Boyz (1999), Pauly Shore Is Dead (2003), The L.A. Riot Spectacular (2004), Singh Is Kinng (2008), Mac & Devin Go to High School (2012), The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 (2021), and so on.
Snoop Dog has been nominated for a Grammy 17 times but never won it, but he has won various other prestigious awards.
Snoop Dog’s early life
Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. aka Snoop Dog was born on 20th October 1971 in Long Beach, California, US to Vernell Varnado and Beverly Tate.
He began singing and playing piano at a very young age at the Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church and began rapping in sixth grade.
Today, if anyone asks ‘who is the rich rapper?’, Snoop Dog will always be on the list because he is wealthy and highly influential.
9. Swizz Beatz
Swizz Beatz Net worth: $150 million
Kasseem Daoud Dean, professionally known as Swizz Beatz, is an eminent American rapper, businessman, record producer, and record executive.
He knows how to play drums, turntables, and keyboards.
He started his musical career as a DJ at the age of 18 and started getting recognition in the rap music industry through his family’s record label, Ruff Ryders.
With a career spanning over 3 decades, he has produced over 160 albums, including soundtracks, mixtapes, compilations, and studio projects. He has 81 singles to his name as a producer, and a few of his solo songs are certified gold or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
He has been nominated for Grammy 8 times and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group for 2009’s “On To The Next One” at the 53rd GRAMMY Awards.
He has even acted in a few movies such as Dumb and Dumber To (2014), Empire (2015), etc. He is one of the richest rappers in the world and has a net worth of $150 million.
Swizz Beatz’s early life
Kasseem Daoud Dean was born on 13th September 1978 in New York City, US. Dean spent most of his childhood in the North East Bronx, where he first encountered hip-hop music. He got married to Alicia Keys in 2010 and are living happily since then.
10. Ice Cube
Ice Cube Net worth: $160 million
O’Shea Jackson Sr., known as Ice Cube, is a popular American actor, filmmaker, and rapper. With a whopping net worth of $160 million, he is one of the richest rappers in the world.
Jackson began his career as a member of the famous hip-hop group C.I.A and then joined N.W.A.
In 1989, he left N.W.A to pursue his solo career in music and acting.
He began his career as a member of the hip-hop group C.I.A. and later joined the N.W.A.
Some of his famous albums are War & Peace Vol. 1: The War Disc (1998), I Am The West (2010), Kill At Will (1990), Raw Footage (2008), and so on. He has also featured in Boyz n the Hood, Dangerous Ground, I Got the Hook-Up, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, and numerous other films.
Ice Cube has received nominations for various movies and songs and has won awards including
Ice Cube has received nominations for several films in the past. To date, he has won two awards: Blockbuster Entertainment Award: Favorite Action Team (for Three Kings) in 2000, MECCA Movie Award: Acting Award (2002), VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2006, and so on.
Ice Cube’s early life
O’Shea Jackson was born on 15th June 1969 in Los Angeles, California, US. He went to William Howard Taft Charter High School and was good at his studies, but he loved music since his young days.
He got married to Kimberly Woodruff in 1992 and the couple has four children together.
11. Ronald Slim Williams
Ronald Slim Williams Net worth: $170 million
Ronald Slim Williams is a famous entrepreneur, record producer, and rapper. He co-founded the record label Cash Money Records with his younger brother Bryan Williams (Birdman) and is the executive producer of almost all albums of Cash Money’s record label. He is known as “The Godfather” or “Slim Tha Don” and has a net worth of $100 million.
Ronald Slim William’s early life
He was born on 11th November 1964 in New Orleans, US to Johnnie Williams and Gladys Brooks.
12. Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne Net worth: $175 million
Lil Wayne is one of the richest rappers in the world and is a popular record producer and entrepreneur as well.
Lil Wayne started his career at the age of 16 as a member of the rap group Hot Boys.
The first solo debut album of Lil Wayne Tha Block Is Hot was released in 1999. Lil Wayne’s net worth is $170 million and his success mostly comes from his merchandise, music sales, and touring.
Lil Wayne’s popular albums include Tha Block Is Hot (1999), 500 Degreez (2002), Rebirth (2010), Tha Carter IV (2011), Free Weezy Album (2015), Funeral (2020), and so on. He has also featured in various movies such as Who’s Your Caddy?, Freaknik: The Movie, etc.
He has won five Grammy Awards and is one of the best rappers in the world.
Lil Wayne’s early life
The real name of Lil Wayne is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. and was born on 27th September 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
He studied at the University of Phoenix and was interested in music since his childhood. He got married to Denise Bidot in 2020.
Drake Net worth: $180 – $200 million
Drake is one of the highest-paid rappers in the world who achieved major success when he released his first hit single “Best I Ever Had.”
He is a Canadian songwriter, actor, rapper, singer, and producer. He also gained worldwide recognition as an actor in the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
He has a clothing line and his liquor brand. He is a brand ambassador for the Toronto Raptors and does ads for Apple and Nike as well. Drake is the co-founder of DreamCrew and 100 Thieves.
Drake’s net worth is estimated to be around $180 – $200 million and he is known to live an extravagant life.
Drake’s early life
His real name is Aubrey Drake Graham and was born on 24th October 1986 in Toronto, Canada to Dennis Graham and Sandra Graham.
14. Master P
Master P Net worth: $200 million
Percy Robert Miller is a popular American record producer, rapper, entrepreneur, actor, philanthropist, author, and former basketball player.
He is known by his stage name Master P and with a net worth of $200 million, in the ‘Forbes list of rappers’, he is listed as one of the richest rappers in the world.
He is the CEO of P. Miller Enterprises and has various ventures that made him a wealthy rapper.
Master P’s early life
Percy Robert Miller was born on 29th April 1970 in Central City, Louisiana, US. He attended Booker T. Washington High School and Warren Easton High School.
15. Pharrel Williams
Pharrel Williams Net worth: $200 million
Pharrell Williams is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, singer, and entrepreneur. His music career started in 1990 with a production company named The Neptunes.
He is the lead vocalist of the hip-hop band N.E.R.D and is known for producing albums for famous artists like Britney Spears, Jay Z, and Gwen Stefani.
He also has a show brand and clothing line under his name. He designs jewelry, sunglasses, and sneakers for reputed brands like Louis Vuitton and Adidas.
In the Forbes list, he is one of the richest rappers in the world and has a net worth of $200 million.
Pharrel Williams’s early life
He is an American and was born on April 5, 1973, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the U.S. He got married to Helen Lasichanh in 2013 and the couple has 4 children together.
Eminem Net worth: $230 million
Eminem needs no introduction as he has achieved worldwide recognition with his songs and fast rap style.
He is one of the most popular white rappers and is loved by all music lovers. Eminem began his career in 1996 and he got recognition with the help of Dr. Dre in the year 1999.
He is the winner of 15 Grammy Awards and has not just produced music but has also starred in many movies. He was the top-selling rap artist in the world in the early 2000s. He owns a record label and also endorses brands like Chrysler and Lipton.
Eminem’s early life
His real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III and was born on 17th October 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri, U.S. He is the only child of Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. and Deborah Rae.
He was bullied at school and moved around a lot as a child which made it difficult for him to make friends. When he started his career, he received a lot of racial hate as he was the only white rapper to be performing at his shows. However, his amazing talent helped him overcome all these problems and today he is one of the richest rappers in the world.
17. Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre Net worth: $800 million
With a net worth of $800 million, Dr. Dre is one of the richest rappers in the world. He also works as a producer, and entrepreneur and sold his headphone company Beats Electronics in 2014 to Apple. He has released various solo albums, and also produces albums for other famous artists including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and 50 Cent.
Dr. Dre has also featured in films such as “Set It Off”, “Training Day”, etc.
Dr. Dre’s early life
Andre Romelle Young, professionally known as Dr. Dre, was born on 18th February 1965 in Compton, California, the U.S. to Theodore and Verna Young.
18. Sean Combs
Sean Combs Net worth: $900 million
Sean Combs aka Diddy is a popular rapper, record producer, and businessman. He started his label called Bad Boy Entertainment in 1993 and has produced various successful singles and albums. In addition to his musical career, he is also highly successful as an entrepreneur and runs various business ventures including a record label, a clothing line, and a television network.
With all these businesses and his music career, Sean Combs’s net worth will only increase each year. As of 2022, he has a net worth of $900 million and is one of the richest rappers in the world.
Sean Combs’s early life
Sean John Combs was born on 4th November 1969 in New York City, He was raised in Mount Vernon.
His mother Janice Combs was a teacher’s assistant as well as a model, and Combs’s father Melvin Combs served in the U.S. Air Force.
19. Jay Z
Jay Z Net worth: $1.3 billion
Jay Z is one of the billionaire rappers in the world and has a net worth of $1.3 billion. He has released various hit albums such as The Blueprint, Reasonable Doubt, The Black Album, and so on. Jay Z is the owner of Roc Nation and Roc-A-Fella Records.
He is also involved in many business ventures and has invested in numerous companies such as Armand de Brignac, Uber, and D’Ussé. He is the owner of clothing called Rocawear.
Jay-Z’s early life
The real name of Jay Z is Shawn Corey Carter and was born on 4th December 1969 in New York City, U.S.
After his father abandoned his family, he and his siblings were raised by their mother, Gloria Carter.
20. Kanye West
Kanye West Net worth: $6.6 billion
As of June 2022, Kanye West is one of the richest rappers in the world.
He started his career as a producer and even wrote songs by popular singers like Jay-Z.
But, he wanted to achieve something big, so he decided to pursue a career in rap. He rose to fame in 2000 when he started producing for popular artists for the hip-hop label Roc-A-Fella Records.
He has received 22 Grammy awards and is a prominent figure in the music industry.
In addition to his music career, he is also involved in various businesses and has collaborated with brands like Louis Vuitton. Kanye West is one of the billionaire rappers and his net worth is $6.6 billion.
Kanye West’s early life
Kanye Omari West was born on June 8, 1977, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. He was raised by his mother in Chicago after his parents divorced.
The rap industry brings lots of money to the music industry and these rappers with their albums and business ventures are living a wealthy life. This was the list of the richest rappers in the world – listen to their songs and dance to the tunes.
Also Read: 12 best Will Smith movies of all time