Hip-Hop and fashion go hand in hand. So much of the rapper lifestyle has to do with how you look, what you drive, the shoes you wear and the jewelry you own. That’s the reason why most Hip-Hop stars leverage their popularity in the music arena into starting their own fashion brands and making tons of money. Below is a list of ten rappers who also own successful clothing brands …
and his brother No Malice have been active participants in the rap industry for over a decade, and they own a clothing line together called Play Cloths. The inspiration for the brand was channeling the clothes that kids are allowed to wear when they get home from school and are granted permission to play outside. So there is a definite hint of nostalgia attached to the brand. It has been around since 2008 and it continues to be a strong seller among urban and street-savvy teens.
Tyga: Last Kings
Tyga is one of the leaders of the new school in the rap industry. He is signed to Lil Wayne’s YMCMB label and he has joined substantial success in the music game. The LA-based rapper is also very serious about fashion and style, and last year, he launched his own streetwear brand named Last Kings. The brand is inspired by ancient Egyptian mythology and imagery, and he actually spent over a $100K designing and building an impressive retail store for the collection. Last Kings is regularly worn by huge celebrities like Chris Brown, and as long as Tyga keeps making hits, legions of fans will certainly support his brand.
Big Sean: Aura Gold
Big Sean is only 26-yrs-old and he has already made a huge mark on the Hip-Hop game. The Detroit rapper is a protégé of the omnipresent Kanye West, and he has certainly been taking all his lessons seriously. To date, he has released two successful albums and two clothing brands. His first brand was the short lived Finally Famous, and his present clothing project is called Aura Gold. Apart from the music, Big Sean is actually seen as a style and culture influencer, and all this bodes well for the continued success of his clothing line.
Puff Daddy: Sean John
The rapper/mogul who created the original blueprint for making the transition from Hip-Hop to creating a globally successful clothing brand is Puff Daddy. He started his Sean John brand in 1998, and over the years, it has grown by leaps and bounds. It is a full lifestyle fashion brand offering men’s, women’s and kid’s clothing in addition to a full collection of accessories and perfumes. Sean John is carried in major department stores all over the world, and it’s definitely a big part of the reason why Sean “Diddy” Combs is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Pharrell: Billionaire Boys Club
Is there anything Pharrell Williams can’t do? He’s a producer, singer, rapper, visual artist and he’s currently one of the celebrity judges on NBC’s hit reality show, The Voice. Did you also know that Pharrell has his own clothing brand called Billionaire Boys Club? The brand was founded in 2005, and in 2011, Jay-Z and a mammoth clothing manufacturer named Iconix partnered with him to take the brand to the next level. 9 years after its formation, BBC continues to be a staple street wear brand for cool urban kids, and it’s probably going to remain popular for many more years.
Jay-Z is sometimes referred to as “The Black Sinatra.” He has deftly maneuvered his way from a street level rapper to one of the most sought after entertainers and business tycoons in the world. Together with his wife Beyoncé, they have a net worth of over a billion dollars! The business venture that really set Jay-Z on his way to making so much money is his clothing brand Roca Wear. Even though it’s not the coolest brand on the scene right now, it still brings in revenue. He also recently unveiled a new division of the brand called Rocawear Blak to target and offer cool styles to the current generation of young Hip-Hop kids.
T.I.: Akoo and Hustle Gang
Often referred to as the “Jay-Z of the South,” T.I. is a rapper that continues to augment his clout and profile in the rap industry. It seems that he has a hand in everything: acting, music, owning a record label, reality shows and the list goes on and on. When it comes to clothing lines, he actually owns 2 successful brands: AKOO and HUSTLE GANG. This guy was born to make money and he’s very successful at it.
Nicki Minaj: Nicki Minaj for Kmart
Often times, when rappers and other influencers decide to go into the clothing business, their first choice is to create collections that are exclusive and expensive. Even though this approach might increase demand, it really doesn’t translate into that much earned revenue. The more profitable approach is taking the mass market route and that’s exactly what Nicki Minaj is doing with her K-Mart collection. The prices are affordable and the styles still capture the Hip-Hop queen’s flashy style. All of these factors equate to a boatload of sales and big bank deposits for Ms. Minaj.
Jim Jones: Vamp Life
Jim Jones may never ever be referred to as one of the best rappers in the industry, but he is definitely one of the top hustlers in the game. All through his career, he’s been able to position himself to make a very good living through his street smarts and sharp business instincts. His latest project is the clothing brand called Vamp Life – an urban streetwear brand that was started in 2012. It has a catchy “VL” logo that actually plays off the popular Louis Vuitton “LV” logo – and this clever graphic has caught on with consumers. It’s only been around for about two years, so it will be interesting to see if the brand’s popularity continues over the years.
Lil Wayne: Trukfit
Rapper Lil Wayne is one of most unique and individual personalities in the realm of Hip-Hop. Even though he has been active in the Hip-Hop scene since the mid-90s, he has always been able to evolve and stay relevant with the times. His current image is that of a heavily-tattooed, dreadlocked skateboarder and he has a clothing line called Trukfit that reflects this persona perfectly. It consists mainly of cool skater-style baseball hats and t-shirts with bold and appealing graphics. The brand has been around since 2012 and it’s performing very well in stores.