Jay Z hot on P Diddy's heels in hip-hop rich list

Against all odds, Tidal is turning out to be a shrewd investment...

Sean "Diddy" Combs remains the wealthiest person in hip-hop, though the Bad Boy Entertainment star is now facing stiff competition from fellow New York native Jay Z as the genre's big players chase that billion dollar milestone.

Combs, who came to fame in the 1990s as a producer and label boss of late, iconic rapper The Notorious BIG, has an estimated worth of $820 million (over €752 million).

The fortune, according to Forbes' latest rich list, is thanks partly to his Sean John clothing line, as well as the success of his recent Cîroc vodka deal with Diageo and shares in the Revolt TV network.

Jay Z is in pursuit and ranked just behind Combs in second place, leapfrogging Dr Dre for the first time since 2014 with a net worth of $810m (€746m). 

Though his Tidal music streaming service is still lagging far behind rivals Spotify and Apple Music when it comes to subscribers, it has had a positive impact on the Brooklyn rapper's bank balance.

A $200m investment from January reportedly valued the company at $600m, which is over 10 times the amount Jay Z paid for it two years ago.

The performance of his Roc Nation entertainment company and Armand de Brignac champagne also boosted his earnings. 


Just below Beyoncé Knowles' husband is Dr Dre, the G-funk pioneer whose Beats headphones company, founded with producer Jimmy Iovine in 2008, made him a fortune when Apple bought it for $3bn in its largest ever acquisition deal in 2014. 

While he's not quite hip-hop's first billionaire, as he proclaimed in the wake of the deal, he is worth a cool $740m. 

There's a considerable drop in wealth when you move beyond that power trio (though the rest of the top five aren't doing too badly for themselves). 

In fourth spot is Bryan "Birdman" Williams. The co-owner of Cash Money Records alongside his brother Ronald "Slim, Birdman is worth $110m. His label can count heavy hip-hop hitters Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne among its roster.

Speaking of which, Aubrey Drake Graham rounds off the top five with $90m to his name. The 30-year-old Canadian is hip-hop's reigning champion when it comes to chart hits and smashing streaming records.

His album Views became the first record to receive over one billion plays on Apple Music last year. In the live arena, his latest world tour was raking in over $1m every night.