You’ve already got your own ideas about who’s got the freshest lyrics, who can spit, and who can battle the best. But do you know the 20 richest rappers in the world? In case you want to know whose rhymes and records have earned them the most money in the game, I’ve broken down the top 20 list for 2023.
Of course, not all of these artists built their fortunes only out of their music. Most of them are also talented businessmen and women who have invested in the music industry and other ventures. But they share one thing in common, they all got more money than you!
20 – Kendrick Lamar (Net Worth $75 million)
Let’s start with a rapper straight out of Compton. With a net worth of $80 million, that was a long time ago. Now he’s a multi Grammar Award-winning artist, has won a Pulitzer Prize for music, has been nominated for an Academy Award, and is widely considered one of the best rappers of all time. Maybe it’s just in his DNA?
If you look back on his career, he has pulled in a total of $178 million over the years. With his net worth now estimated at $80 million, it looks like he has spent a bit of cash already. Damn!
19 – Timbaland (Net Worth $80 million)
Production legend Timbaland started out humble as Timothy Zachary Mosley before he began DJing under the name DJ Tim. After getting a start from Missy Elliot, DJ Tim was turned into Timbaland and began a career in production.
This would see him write and produce some of the biggest tracks for the hottest artists in hip-hop, R&B, and even pop. We’re talking Missy herself, Madonna, J-Lo, Jay-Z, L’il Kim, Justin Timberlake, and many more.
Like Kendrick Lamar, Timbaland has got some Grammy’s up on his shelf. Most of his awards are for the songs he writes and produces. But Timbaland has laid down his own vocals, like on Shock Value I and II, though it’s been a while. More often, you’re going to see him up in other artists’ videos, showing off his style and unique beats.
18 – Pitbull (Net Worth $90 million)
I’ll be straight-up honest with you. I didn’t expect Pitbull to be on this list. But I guess he’s always rapping about how much money he’s blowing while he parties on yachts, so he has to have a fair bit of it.
Pitbull, aka Armando Christian Perez, started as a rapper and singer in different genres. Latin hip hop, reggaeton, crunk – he tried it all. But when he made the move into the pop world, his career exploded. By now, he has sold over 25 million albums and over 100 million singles worldwide.
But that’s not where all his money comes from. On top of his music career, Pitbull owns a vodka brand, a radio channel, and even a NASCAR team. Still, I wonder if he’s happy. I know you want him, but is it just for his money?
17 – Ad-Rock (Net Worth $90 million)
I knew that if I threw the name Adam Horovitz up here, not many people would know who that was. But Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys is a lot more recognizable.
As one of two Adams in the group (the other being MCA or Adam Yauch, RIP), Ad-Rock was instrumental in the Beastie Boys’ unique sound. Instrumental because he laid down the guitar tracks, but also because of his unusual, high-pitched, even screechy voice, which is pretty unusual in the world of rap, to say the least.
The Beastie Boys shook up the world of rap with their punk sensibilities and New York attitude. But they also established themselves for a 30-year career that allowed them to amass huge piles of cash. What’s Ad-Rock up to now? Since the end of the Beasties, he’s been acting and contributing guitar and vocal tracks here and there. But mostly just having a good time.
16 – Mike D (Net Worth $90 million)
I guess you would hope that the other guys in your crew for 30 years would make the same money as you, so you’d have no friction to worry about. Luckily, Mike D, aka Michael Diamond, is worth the same as his Beastie Boys bandmate. Mike D was a founding member of that legendary group, acting as MC, singer, and drummer too.
I have to wonder why he ever changed his name from Michael Diamond to Mike D. His old name sounded like a stage name anyway and definitely fits with his current financial status.
15 – Nicki Minaj (Net Worth $100 million)
I’m going to try to keep this short, cuz there’s too much to say about Nicki Minaj. First of all, I’m happy to see her represent as the only female rapper to make the list of the 20 richest rappers in the world. And with a net worth of 100 million dollars and a career that shows no signs of ending, we should expect to see her inch up the list year after year.
This Trinidadian-American got fired from up to 15 jobs in a row for being rude before her rap career took off when she was discovered by Lil Wayne. She likes to speak her mind, but now she does it as a rapper and singer. She worked to completely reinvent herself as a pop icon and, in 2010, blew up as one of the biggest and most in-demand artists around.
But she’s more than just a rapper. This savvy businesswoman has made handfuls of dough with endorsement deals. MAC cosmetics, Pepsi, Nokia, Roberto Cavalli, and H&M, are just a few of the companies flocking to cash in on her fame.
14 – Birdman (Net Worth $100 million)
Bryan “Baby” Williams, better known as Birdman, hasn’t put out one of his own records in a while. But he’s keeping himself relevant, making collaborations with artists like Lil Wayne, Jacquees, and Juvenile. But even aside from his rap career, the Birdman made massive money by bouncing into the record company business.
His Cash Money Records label has represented himself, Blueface, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj. So we know he’s making his money from these big names as well. But Birdman has also tried out ventures into oil and gas exploration and even a clothing line. Apparently, he has netted earnings over $200 million, but living large has brought his net worth down a fair bit.
13 – LL Cool J (Net Worth $120 million)
LL Cool J, born James Smith, is 53 years old this year, and if that surprises you, remember his career goes back to 1984. His early breakout success with Def Jam records brought him fame. And when he dropped “Mama Said Knock You Out” in 1990, his career completely blew up. Making him one of the most sought-after rap artists ever.
But if you think LL was satisfied with just rapping, you’re wrong…
Mr. Cool J is a massively successful crossover artist. He started acting in 1992 and has since worked in TV and movies. And Sesame Street. On top of raking in fistfuls of bills through rapping and acting, LL also launched a successful clothing line, Todd Smith. Is it true that the Ladies Love Cool James? With all that cash, it would be hard not to.
12 – Snoop Dog (Net Worth $150 million)
It doesn’t matter if you know him as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Lion, or Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. If you’re like me, you might be very surprised that Snoop Dogg hasn’t cracked the top 10 richest rappers in the game.
He’s been in it since 1992, when he was featured by Dr. Dre, and has since sold 35 million albums worldwide. With his ultra-smooth style and melodic flow, he’s one of the most recognizable voices in rap.
But Snoop is more than just a rapper as well. He has acted in film and TV roles and owns his own film production company. Likewise, he has also worked as a host and commentator on TV. He produces his own brand of wine, while also being a record exec for Def Jam Records. And we can be fairly sure he is making some money farming plants of some kind.
11 – Ice Cube (Net Worth $160 million)
Another one of the OGs, Ice Cube, aka O’Shea Jackson, got his start writing rap songs at age 14. When he was 16, he sold one to Easy-E, then later joined N.W.A. to begin his real rap career. Truth be told, he wrote half the lyrics on “Straight Outta Compton” but left the group when they paid him only a small part of what the album took in.
So, Ice Cube started on a solo career that is ongoing and has made him pockets full of bills. But when he acted in the film “Boyz n the Hood” in 1991, he realized he could expand and crossover into that movie industry as well.
Now he has written, acted, directed, and starred in movies across the board. Add to that a clothing line and a basketball league, and you can understand why he’s on this list.
10 – Lil Wayne (Net Worth $170 million)
After dropping his name many times on this list already, it’s time for Lil Wayne to get his recognition as one of the most successful rappers ever. I don’t know where the “Wayne” came from since his real name is Dwayne Carter. But he got the “Lil” in Lil Wayne because he was discovered and signed by Birdman at the age of 12.
Since then, Lil Wayne has grown. He has won five Grammy Awards and has sold over 120 million records worldwide. With his unique flow, Lil Wayne is known as one of the greatest rappers of all time. He even has more top 100 hits than Elvis.
Lil Wayne has also been instrumental in bringing up new talent. His company, Young Money Entertainment, has signed greats like Nicki Minaj and Drake. So you know he’s got that money, and there’s no sign it’s going to run out soon.
9 – Usher (Net Worth $180 million)
Usher Raymond the 4th is best known as a singer and songwriter, but come on, he does rap. Sometimes. But it’s really his smooth singing voice and dance moves that have got him recognized. He’s won Grammy Awards for his music and has sold over 75 million records. That should be enough to make piles of money, but Usher wasn’t done there.
He has acted in movies and won endorsements from big companies like Pepsi. He used his earnings to become co-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and Tidal streaming service. On top of that, he co-founded RBMG Records, Justin Bieber’s label, to help him get that money.
8 – Drake (Net Worth $180 million)
Drake is the only single-named Canadian star I know of, so let’s keep it that way. He got his start acting on a famous Canadian TV show, Degrassi: Next Generation. And guess what? He still pulls in tiny royalty checks from that show.
It’s not like he needs them. Drake is the highest-selling digital singles artist ever. On top of that, he still acts and pulls in lots of cash there. He has his own liquor brand, a clothing line, and an extensive real estate portfolio. He flies around in a private jet, does ads for Nike and Apple, and is a brand ambassador for the Toronto Raptors. That’s one busy (and rich) Canadian.
7 – Master P (Net Worth $200 million)
It may have been a while since Master P put out a rap album. But that doesn’t mean his net worth has gone down. Not one bit. Thanks to his enduring music and style, he is likely to always have a spot among the 20 richest rappers in the world.
This rapper was born Percy Miller and comes out of the New Orleans scene. He got his start in the music industry when his father passed on, and he inherited $10,000, which he used to buy a record store.
Eventually, that led to a record label. And that income led to acting and film production, playing professional basketball, professional wrestling, and his own burger joint.
Ugh… Na na na na!
I should also mention that his brothers, C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker, both platinum-selling rappers. And his son is the actor, baller, and label owner (Lil’) Romeo. That’s some talent and some money in that family right there.
6 – Pharrell Williams (Net Worth $200 million)
Pharrell Williams is tied with Master P at $200 million in net worth. I’m betting one of them has a dollar more than the other, but these are just the numbers that have been confirmed.
This Virginia native got his start in the music biz by starting a production company called The Neptunes and a 4-piece R&B group also with the same name. He’s also the lead vocalist of N.E.R.D., as well as having an extensive solo career as a singer and rapper.
But he hasn’t stopped there…
As a producer, Pharrell has produced artists from Jay-Z to Brittany Spears and Gwen Stefani. He’s a big name in the biz now. Pharrell also has his own clothing line and shoe brand and has designed glasses and sneakers for major brands.
But his money isn’t just for himself. He’s known for donating to multiple charities and setting up scholarships for underprivileged kids.
5 – Eminem (Net Worth $230 million)
It’s probably no surprise that Eminem has cracked the top 5 on the list of richest rappers in the world. Marshall Mathers, the real Slim Shady, is the most popular white rapper in the business, and the first to be widely accepted by people of every color and race.
Starting his career in 1996, Eminem broke out with the help of Dr. Dre in 1999. He dropped The Slim Shady LP, which made him a household name across the country and introduced rap to middle America. In the 2000s, he was the top-selling rap artist in the world, and he has won 15 Grammys and an Academy Award on top.
Eminem has acted in several movies, owns a record label, has published his memoirs, and takes in money for advertising from brands like Lipton and Chrysler. This boy’s got some money.
4 – Dr. Dre (Net Worth $780 million)
While Eminem has made some crazy money in his rap career, he’s got nothing on the man who gave him his start. Dr. Dre, rapper, producer, and originator of West Coast G-funk, is best known for his 1992 album The Chronic. But since then, he has put out only two other albums of his own.
So while he’s made a few million from his rap career, he’s made even more as a producer and entrepreneur. He has produced countless other artists, including Eminem and Snoop Dogg, and also films. His headphone company, Beats by Dr Dre, was bought by Apple for $3 billion in 2014, and for a while, he was the richest man in hip-hop.
3 – Sean Combs / Diddy (Net Worth $900 million)
Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, or just Diddy, Sean Combs has been through a few name changes. But one thing stays the same. This is a man who knows how to make money.
As a rapper, Diddy has released four albums starting with his seven times platinum No Way Out in 1997. But more than a rapper, he has worked as a producer and record executive and has nurtured talents like Notorious B.I.G., Usher, and Mary J. Blige. Throughout his career, he has earned three Grammy Awards, but his crew has piled up a bunch more.
Outside of music, Diddy has his fingers in just about every pie out there. He’s the owner of the Sean John clothing line and has also put out fragrances. He’s tried his hand as a restaurateur, has promoted a vodka, started a gaming platform, built a sports beverage company, and many other projects. With 900 million to his name, I guess he can do whatever he wants.
2 – Jay Z (Net Worth $1.4 billion)
Surprised to see Jay-Z, aka Shawn Carter, as anything other than #1 on the list of the 20 richest rappers in the world? That’s probably because he was #1 before. He broke into the billionaire club in 2019 and has managed to stay there for three years now. Jay-Z is one of the biggest names in rap ever with his distinctive voice and New York style.
As an artist, he has managed to amass 23 Grammy Awards, sell 50 million albums, 75 million singles, and become the first hip-hop billionaire. As a record producer and executive with Def Jam, he has produced and led the way for artists like Rick Ross, Rihanna, and Kanye West. Oh, and he’s married to Beyoncé.
If that’s not enough, Jay-Z has tried out investments in clothing lines, sports teams, beverages, real estate, and colognes. He has put his money in clubs, casinos, media technologies, and even a cannabis products company. All this by a simple Brooklyn boy who grew up hard.
1 – Kanye West (Net Worth $1.8 billion)
In 2020, Kanye West bumped Jay-Z off the top of the list to take the crown as the richest rapper for himself. He started in the music business as a producer, putting together beats and writing songs for some of the biggest names in music, including Jay-Z himself.
But he wanted to pursue a career in rap, so he did. And in 2004, College Dropout dropped and made him an instant star. Since then, his star has kept on rising.
A big part of his success is his years of producing records for other people. This helped to make him a varied and versatile artist able to jump between a wide range of styles. And he’s already sold 150 million albums and won 22 Grammy’s.
Outside of music
Kanye is deep into fashion and design, collaborating with major brands like Nike and Louis Vuitton as well as producing his own lines. Like Jay-Z, his massive wealth both comes from and allows him to dip his toes into music production, media technology, and restaurants.
He’s apparently even working on building a flying car. Hey, when you’re this big, you can call yourself the Champion.
Interested in Rappers and Hip Hop?
Our experts can give you some schooling. Have a look at our guides on How Much Do Rappers Make, What is Apple doing with Beats, What Is A Sound Engineer And How Do I Become One, Steps to Start Your Music Career, Top 10 Genres in the Music Industry, and the Best Online Jamming Websites for more useful information.
Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Beat Machines for Hip Hop, the Best DJ Mixers, the Best Hardware Sequencers, the Best Portable DAC/Amp Combo, the Best USB DACs Under $100, and the Best Microphones For Recording Rap Vocals you can buy in 2023.
20 Richest Rappers In The World – Final Thoughts
That’s the list for now, but don’t forget that anything can happen in this game. Stars rise and fall, and fortunes are made and lost. Who knows who the richest rappers in the world will be next year or in five years. But I can guarantee that things will change and new talent will shake the whole thing up. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to it.
Until next time, let the music play.