They have the rhyme and the reason they do it is because of all the money they earn. They provide us with the beat and music that we all dance and groove along to and, in return, they get to bring home tons of money for all their hard work and effort. Here is a list of the highest paid and richest rappers in the world for 2012.
20. Akon – $6 million
His real name is Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam. Born in Missouri, Akon spent his early childhood in Senegal before the family moved to New Jersey. He holds the distinction of being the first artist to hold the top two spots of the Billboard charts simultaneously twice. He also owns the music labels called Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution.
19. Mac Miller – $6.5 million
His real name is Malcolm James McCormick. Mac Miller used to go by the name of EZ Mac. He started rapping when he was just 14 years old. He started attracting interest when he was 17, with several companies bidding for his services. He eventually chose Rostrum Records because of its location and association with Wiz Khalifa. The label eventually released his album called “Bllue Slide Park” in 2011.
18. Young Jeezy – $7 million
His real name is Jay Wayne Jenkins. Young Jeezy hails from Georgia and used to be associated with Boyz n da Hood. He is also part of the USDA, or the United Streets Dopeboyz of America. He has worked with artists like Akon, Christina Milian, Rihanna and Usher. He has been the recipient of four nominations from the Grammy Awards.
17. Pharrell – $7 million
His full name is Pharrell Williams. Pharrell is one half of the famous production duo called The Neptunes. He is also a member of N.E.R.D. and V.A. Playaz. The latter is a supergroup that also counts among its members the likes of Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Magoo, Skillz, Clipse and Fam-Lay. Pharell is also the co-founder of Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Clothing.
16. Swizz Beatz – $7 million
His real name is Kasseem David Dean. Swizz Beatz has been hailed as one of the greatest producers in the history of hip hop recording. Kanye West calls him the best rap producer of all time. He and rapper Cassidy are the moving forces behind the label Full Surface Records. He is now married to R&B singer and songwriter Alicia Keys.
15. 50 Cent -$7.5 million
His real name is Curtis Jackson III but he adopted the name 50 Cent, which was derived from a thief in Brooklyn that went by the name, as a metaphor for change. At the age of 12, he was already dealing drugs. He also started bringing guns to school. These only stopped after he got caught in school at the age of 16. He then started rapping when he was 21 under the tutelage of Run-DMC. He got signed to Columbia Records when he was 24. Eminem then introduced him to Dr. Dre after the former heard his recording.
14. Snoop Lion – $8 million
His real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. Snoop Lion used to go by the names of Snoop Doggy Dogg and Snoop Dogg. He made his debut in 1993 after being discovered by Dr. Dre. He is currently the chairman of Priority Records, a label under EMI.
13. Wiz Khalifa – $9 million
His real name is Cameron JibrilThomaz. He made his debut in 2006 with the album called “Show and Prove.” After a stint with Warner Bros., he signed with Atlantic Records where he released the single entitled “Black and Yellow,” a song that went all the way to number one in the Billboard charts. He is an admitted user of cannabis, spending as much as $10,000 monthly to sustain this smoking habit.
12. Rick Ross – $9 million
His real name is William Leonard Roberts II. Rick Ross also goes by the names of RICK RO$$ and Rozay. The MTV network considers him as the hottest MC in the business. He was also the first artist signed by the Ciroc Entertainment group of Sean Combs. Ross is also the founder of the Maybach Music Group.
11. Pitbull – $9.5 million
His real name is Armando Perez. Pitbull first appeared in the 2002 album by Lil Jon called “Kings of Crunk.” He then had his own debut album in 2004 called “M.I.A.M.I. (Money is a Major Issue).” In 2009, he hit the charts with songs like “I Know You Want Me (CalleOcho).” He is the co-founder of Bad Boy Latino, a label that focuses on Latin and tropical music.
10. Ludacris – $12 million
His real name is Christopher Brian Bridges. Ludacris started rapping at the age of nine. He is one of the first and most influential artists that made up the Dirty South to achieve mainstream success. He has won both Grammy and acting honors for his performances.
9. Eminem – $15 million
His real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III. Eminem is considered to be one of the best selling artists in the world today. Rolling Stone magazine actually crowned him as the King of Hip Hop and named him as one of the 100 greatest artists of all time. He has had 10 number one albums in his career.
8. Nicki Minaj – $15.5 million
Her real name is Onika Tanya Maraj. Nicki Minaj is an artist of Young Money Entertainment who has the distinction of being the first female solo artist to have seven singles in the Billboard charts at the same time. Her fast-rapping style was best featured in the song “Super Bass.”
7. Birdman – $20 million
His real name is Bryan Williams. Birdman also goes by Baby. He is the co-founder of Cash Money Records and is part of the duo called Big Tymers. He is also part of YMCMB, or Young Money Cash Money Billionaires.
6. Drake – $20.5 million
His real name is Aubrey Drake Graham. Drake has recorded 12 songs that went to number one in the Billboard rap charts, the most by any rapper. He also has 10 songs that went to the top of the R&B charts. He once occupied the top three spots of the R&B charts.
5. Lil Wayne – $27 million
His real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. Lil Wayne is the founder of the Young Money family. He owns the honor of being the male artist with the most number of songs to have made it to the Billboard Hot 100 charts with 109 songs.
4. Kanye West – $35 million
He first made a name producing for artists like Jay-Z, Ludacris, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson. He is considered to be one of the most awarded and best selling digital artists of all time. He is also the owner of GOOD Music, the label behind artists like John Legend, Common and Kid Cudi.
3. Jay-Z – $38 million
His real name is Shawn Carter. He is considered as one of the greatest rappers of all time. He has won 17 Grammys and has sold over 50 million albums. Rolling Stones magazine considers his albums called “Reasonable Doubt” and “The Blueprint” as two of the greatest albums of all time.
2. Diddy – $45 million
His real name is Sean Combs. He also used the names Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and Diddy. He founded Bad Boy Records in 1993. He has won three Grammys and is considered to be a successful businessman because he has his own clothing line, restaurants and movie production company.
1. Dr. Dre – $110 million
His real name is Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainent. He has overseen the careers of successful artists like Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and Zxibit. He is also the founder of Beats Electronics, LLC, a California-based firm that produces audio products and equipment.