… Jay-Z. Surprised? Yeah, we didn't think so. Hov topped Forbes magazine's list of top earners in the rap game for the third consecutive year. The runners-up were Sean "Diddy" Combs in second place, and Kanye West in third.
Though the list itself is completely unsurprising, here are a few interesting facts unearthed by Forbes:
- This is the first year since they were married in 2008 that Jay-Z has out-earned his wife Beyoncé.
- Less than twenty percent of Diddy's $475 million net worth comes from the music business. The rest of his change comes from his lucrative Sean John clothing line, his stake in Ciroc vodka and his ownership in the successful marketing firm Blue Flame.
- Coming in at number four, Lil Wayne earned $15 million last year even though he spent eight out of those twelve months in prison.
- Weezy's boss Birdman tied for fourth, but is planning a coup of the throne: “If we ain’t number one now, we’ll be there soon,” he said.
- Wiz Khalifa didn't crack the top ten, but he was surprised to even make the list. “I’m one of them?” he said upon hearing the news. “That’s what’s up!”
Randy Phillips, CEO of concert promoting giant AEG, claims the line-up is no surprise if you look at who fills arena seats these days. “There are four hip-hop artists that sell hard tickets: Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye and Lil Wayne,” he says. “Those are the big four. In the past, it hasn’t really been a live medium … Is it changing? When you look at the business Jay and Eminem did in Yankee Stadium, I think it is.”