Dr Dre #1 on Forbes’ Top Earners in Hip Hop | Equal to Diddy, Jay-Z & Lil Wayne combined
Editor in Chief
Aka VincentDa & RedApples fka Expiredpineapples. My alter-ego is a digital-marketing guy in Houston. Won editing awards & created obsolete flash websites that have been featured in mags like Sports Illustrated. Studied film & women at FSU during the golden age of hip-hop. Collects records, laserdiscs, sports memorabilia & toys. Father of 2 daughters that are more athletic and popular on YouTube.
Follow @David Astramskas
Six years ago Dr. Dre was walking along the beach with Interscope Records chief Jimmy Iovine, pondering whether or not he should launch his own shoe line. “[Forget] sneakers,” said Iovine. “Let’s sell speakers!”
Thanks to Beats headphones which sold 51% of it’s stake to HTC for $300 million earlier this year, Dr Dre is sitting on top of the hip hop world with the same earnings as Diddy (45mil), Jay-Z (38mil) and Lil Wayne ($27mil) combined.
Dre’s involvement with Monster’s headphones probably ranks 2nd behind only 50 Cent’s investment in Vitamin Water as the best business deals in hip hop history. I also believe the success of the Beats Headphones is a big reason why you wont be seeing the Detox album anytime soon or maybe ever. I’ll elaborate in another post but basically if you have a sure thing cash cow to milk why bother putting out a hyped beyond belief product that is sure to disappoint no matter how well made it is. Especially when you consider the minimal profits from selling music and that Pandora and Spotify look like Hemophiliacs bleeding money. Detox has been delayed for a decade and since the demand for the album is pretty much within a small age group then multiple target markets have already outgrown the desire for it. Also consider the artist. Look at the top 20 list below and look at how many of them were around 10 years ago or even 5. How many of them were much higher 5 years ago. This also means that a lot of tracks with “hot artists” that were made for Detox over the years will have to be scratched or remixed with new artists to stay relevant and appeal to the latest age group that desires the album. Touring is also the key money maker for most artists now and Dre could make the same amount of money touring with or without any new tracks.
Back to the list and newcomers. It was shocking to see internet sensation Mac Miller break the top 20 and I expect Nicki Minaj to be much higher next year once she starts her American Idol gig.
Forbes’ Top 20:
1. Dr. Dre – $110 million
2. Diddy – $45 million
3. Jay-Z – $38 million
4. Kanye West – $35 million
5. Lil Wayne – $27 million
6. Drake – $20.5 million
7. Birdman – $20 million
8. Nicki Minaj – $15.5 million
9. Eminem – $15 million
10. Ludacris – $12 million
11. Pitbull – $9.5 million
12. Rick Ross – $9 million (tie)
13. Wiz Khalifa – $9 million (tie)
14. Snoop Dogg – $8 million
15. 50 Cent – $7.5 million
16. Swizz Beatz – $7 million (tie)
17. Pharrell – $7 million (tie)
18. Young Jeezy – $7 million (tie)
19. Mac Miller – $6.5 million (tie)
20. Akon – $6 million
[youtube id=”JiST3RVKBtA” width=”600″ height=”350″]