Rappers are everywhere you look. You may see them in music videos, on stage at concerts, or even on television. Their songs are played on the radio and their faces are plastered all over magazines. But have you ever wondered exactly how much money these artists make? How much do they earn for a show? How much do they cough up for a new song?
We've compiled a list of the world's richest rappers. Their stories are interesting and inspiring. You'll learn how they rose from nothing to become multi-millionaires, and maybe even billionaires.
10. Lil Wayne (Dwayne Michael Carter Jr) - Net Worth: $150 Million
There is nothing little about Lil Wayne, when you realize that he has been spitting rhymes since he was 9 years old.
His first hit in 2008, “Lollipop”, has been viewed on YouTube at least 477 million times!
Sporting his iconic gold grill, Lil Wayne has since continued to stay relevant through high-level music collaborations with Chris Brown, Tyga, Bruno Mars, Jay Sean, and Grammy award-winning musician, Eminem.
Lil Wayne won a grammy himself in 2008 and even has an entry in Encyclopedia Britannica, citing his song “I am not a Human Being” as one of his notable works.
He has only been married once and has four children with fellow rapper, Toya Johnson.
9. Ice Cube - Net Worth: $160 Million
Next on the list is Ice Cube. He started as part of C.I.A. and N.W.A but has gone solo since 1989.
While he is well known as a rap artist, this Los Angeles native is also known for being an actor in at least 40 films and several television shows, including the 1990s cult classic, The Sinbad Show. He’s also done voice acting work for the popular video game, Call of Duty. All in all, he has 26 nominations, 9 entertainment awards, and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
This diversification of talent has certainly paid off- both literally and figuratively.
Unlike his irascible showbiz persona, he maintains a stable family life. He has been married to Kimberly Woodruff since 1992 and has four children, including actor-rapper OMG (O’Shea Jr.).
8. Drake - Net Worth: $180 Million
This hot Canadian rapper burst into the music scene with the hit “Over”released in 2010, but he was an actor before he became the singer we know today.
Drakeis arguably one of the most successful rappers with four Grammys under his belt and has even outsold the Beatles.
He started acting at the age of 14, taking on the role of Jimmy Brooks in Degrassi, and was paid USD $ 40,000 per year.
He went from USD $ 40,000 a year to becoming one of the highest-paid singers through hard work and determination. Drake began writing rhymes as a teen and already had a studio in his basement bedroom to hone his craft. In 2008, he decided to turn away from acting and make it big in the music scene.
Drake remains unmarried with one child.
7. Pharrell Williams - Net Worth: $200 Million
Pharrell showed the world that he had enough swag to be a front man in his performance in Snoop Dogg’s big hit, “Drop it Like It’s Hot”- a song produced and written by Pharrell as part of the Neptunes.
At the beginning of Pharrell’s career, he churned out many chart-toppers for the likes of Jay-Z and Britney Spears.
However, in 2006 he started to get serious about going solo and released his first album in the same year.
While he has indeed become a success in the music industry, he has highly diversified his sources of income.
Recent years have seen him as a coach on the reality show, “The Voice” as well as a fashion collaborator with brands like Nigo, Comme des Garcons, Louis Vuitton, Uniqlo, Adidas, and even Chanel.
Unlike many in the entertainment industry, Pharrell’s family life is going strong, and is married to his long-term partner Lasichanh.
Together, they have a son named Rocket Williams.
6. Master P - Net Worth: $200 Million
Master P first entered the hip-hop scene as part of the group, TRU (The Real Untouchables) from 1989 until 2005.
The group performed in high-profile gigs and has appeared in cult movies like Good Burger and White Chicks.
Master P hit platinum with his single: “Make 'em Say Ugh.”
Master P - Make Em Say Ugh (Dirty Version)
While he is a prolific musician with 15 albums under his belt, it should be mentioned that he is a man of many talents.
He even played in the CBA and was part of the Charlotte Hornets training camp.
He is also known for starring alongside Eddie Griffin in Foolish and has starred in many straight-to-DVD films.
Master P rocks it both in the studio as a rapper/producer as well as in business- he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.
He has been married once to Sonya C. Miller for 24 years and has 9 children.
5. Eminem - Net Worth: $230 Million
Eminem being named as one of the greatest rappers of all time is a subject of considerable controversy, as he is the only white hip-hop artist to make it big in a field dominated by African Americans.
However, few can dispute the significance of more than 220 million albums sold worldwide and his multitude of awards, including 15 Grammys and an Academy Award.
He first gained attention with his song “The Real Slim Shady” and the rest, as they say, is history.
Slim Shady has been married twice to the same woman, Kimberly Anne Scott, and has three children.
Dr. Dre - Net Worth: $780 Million
Dr. Dre is the hip-hop scene's most sought-after producer, having helped launch the careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent under Death Row Records and Aftermath Records.
While he has given hip hop fans big hits like “No Diggity” in 1996, his career was not an overnight sensation, having paid his dues as part of the notorious group, N.W.A in the 1980s.
He also entered into a high-net deal with tech leader Apple with “Beats by Dr. Dre” for a hefty sum of USD $ 3 Billion.
He was married to Nicole Young from 1996 to 2021 and has 7 children.
Diddy - Net Worth: $900 Million
Closing in on the 1 Billion mark is Sean Puff Daddy Diddy Combs. He has many hits as a solo artist but one of the biggest would be “Mo Money Mo Problems,” featuring Mase, Puff Daddy, Faith Evans, and Biggie Smalls.
Produced in 1997, it’s still one of the hottest draws on Youtube, reaching more than 93 million views.
Diddy has achieved success in almost everything he touches- either as a producer, actor or in business.
He is currently not married but has 6 children.
2. Jay-Z - Net Worth $1.3 Billion
Jay-Z, like many on the list, struck it big in business by holding the helm of big recording companies, in his case, Def Jam Records.
He has helped launch the careers of Kanye West and Rhianna.
He has 12 albums under his belt and has 24 Grammy awards, for which most were collaborations with other artists.
It comes as no surprise that the hits commonly associated with him are those with other notable artists.
His businesses are also highly diversified. He has investments in tech through Aspiro and even has a line of cannabis products called Monogram.
He is married to Beyonce and has 3 children.
1. Kanye West - Net Worth: $6.6 Billion
Topping our list of the richest rappers is Kanye West.
This controversial personality is known as the most prolific rapper of all time and is a business savant too. His wealth comes mostly from his stake in Yeezy, which has made him a certified billionaire.
He has dropped 17 albums and has won 24 Grammys.
Kanye was married to Kim Kardashian from 2014 until early 2022 and has four children.