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Forbes names hip-hop’s biggest earners for 2008

Forbes has named the 20 biggest earners in hip-hop for 2008 (technically, it’s from June 2007-June 2008), and there are very few surprises.


Vitamin Water genius 50 Cent tops the list at $150 million, with former Def Jam head Jay-Z coming in at a meager $82 million behind 50. The third place finsher is making peanuts behind Jay—that’d be Diddy with $35 million (Kanye came in a close fourth with $30 million).

Dr. Dre, despite barely working (or “working” on The Detox, as it were), somehow made $15 million. Lil Wayne, the mastermind behind Tha Carter III tied with T.I. for number 11 with $13 million, and OutKast, who haven’t put an album out in two years, made $10 million.

The most surprising person on the list is Common (tied with Eminem and Akon at $12 million), who is apparently making serious bank for being a back-packer. Those acting roles he’s taking must be worth more than I expected.


Here’s the full list:
1. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson: $150 million
2. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter: $82 million
3. Sean “Diddy” Combs: $35 million
4. Kanye West: $30 million
5. Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley: $22 million
6. Pharrell Williams: $20 million
7. Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean: $17 million
8. Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus: $16 million
9. André “Dr. Dre” Young: $15 million
10. Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges: $14 million
11. Clifford “T.I.” Harris: $13 million (tie)
11. Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter: $13 million (tie)
12. Marshall “Eminem” Mathers: $12 million (tie)
12. Lonnie “Common” Lynn Jr.: $12 million (tie)
12. Aliaune “Akon” Thiam: $12 million (tie)
13. Jermaine Dupri: $11 million (tie)
13. Jonathan “Lil Jon” Smith: $11 million (tie)
14. OutKast: $10 million (tie)
14. Hakeem “Chamillionaire” Seriki: $10 million (tie)
14. Jayceon “The Game” Taylor: $10 million (tie)
[Forbes via Real Talk NY]

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50 Cent
Snoop Dogg
Swizz Beatz

Diddy only makes $5 million more than Kanye? I thought he would've earned more given he owns a big clothing line, produces reality tv shows and a record label.

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I find it amazing (and perhaps inaccurate?) that Eminem could be on this list with a reported income of ~$12,000,000 when he hasn't released a full studio album since 2004, hasn't been on mixtapes for years, hasn't appeared in film for years, and is generally out of the public eye.

Song royalties must be treating him very well - or the Forbes info is spurrious.


Eminem also has shade 45, shady unlimited LTD. Shady records; which takes percentages of 50 cent, obie trice. I don't think he would have made any money from ca$his or stat quo since they havent put anything out$his released the county hound ep but i would imagine that didnt move any units although i liked it. I heard something about an eminem book deal as well.


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