Have you ever wondered what sets apart the richest rappers from the ordinary ones? It’s their ability to produce soul-shaking music with their direct lyrics and build such a magnetic aura that makes them rebel leaders among the youth.
Besides sporting the glitzy chains and the oversized outfits, rappers have become living brands and are raking in all the moolah not just with their music but also with their multiple investments. So, here’s taking a look at the 25 richest rappers of 2021 who showed us that rap is a lot more than music, yo!
List of 25 Richest Rappers in the World
25. 50 Cent- $30 Million
There was a time when millionaire rapper 50 Cent was literally reduced to a worth of 50 cents. But not anymore though! Having sold cocaine for a living in New York, 50 Cent found an inclination towards rap (not uncommon for a Jamaican though) and learned the art from Jam Master Jay.
In 1998, he released his first album Shut ‘Em Down and has made hit music such as Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and The Massacre. Despite all the fame and success that he has attained, his personal life has been in tatters which include prison sentences for selling drugs and his tumultuous relationship with ex-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins.
24. Chamillionaire- $50 Million
Only a swagster rapper like him knows the true value of being Cha Millionaire! Part of a boy band until 2005, Chamillionaire already had other plans for himself and decided to venture out as a solo artist in 2002. His first song The Sound of Revenge was a success and was one which had zero profanity in it.
There was more to follow through for the Washington-based rapper. His songs Turn it Up and Ridin became monster hits with the latter winning him a Grammy. While he doesn’t produce much music these days, his global tours and his record label Chamilitary Entertainment haven’t stopped his bank balance from growing.
23. J Cole- $60 Million
You can credit his birth in a military base for his tough, nail-like lyrics! Considered to be one of the most influential figures in the industry, J Cole’s debut album gave him much-needed recognition to kickstart his rapping career. His career graph rose and in 2011, his album Cole World: The Sideline Story topped the US Billboard 200.
Also a self-taught piano player, J Cole has produced music for the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Janet Jackson and founded Dreamville Records to start his own music production company. That’s classic J Cole for ya!
22. Wiz Khalifa- $60 Million
Upon releasing his debut album in 2006, he made his intent very clear, to be one of the finest when it comes to rapping. He struck a partnership with Warner Bros and released a string of albums that did fairly well on the charts.
However, he is best remembered for the Fast and Furious 7 track See You Again with Charlie Puth which remained atop of the Billboard Charts for 12 weeks. Khalifa also has a YouTube Channel and various brand endorsements which gives him his healthy injections of dollars.
21. Nas- $70 Million
Adding another big name to our list of richest rappers in the world is an American rapper and entrepreneur Nas. Belonging to the New York Rap Scene era, he began his career in 1989 and launched his debut album in 1994 which has made the Nastradamus singer a renowned name in the rapping circuit.
Nas’ list of accolades has probably no end to it with some of his famous ones being The Greatest MC’s of All Time in 2012 and Billboard’s 10 Best Rappers of All Time. And while rappers are known for being courageous souls, this man took it to another level when he ran into rap mogul Jay-Z and had a feud with him for nearly 5 years! Takes a man of steel to do that kind of stuff!
20. Kendrick Lamar- $75 Million
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth has a rare distinction of achieving plenty of fame and success at such a young age. All of 34, Lamar had to hustle for a while before landing his major record release in 2012 which made Good Kid, M.A.A.D City a critical and commercial success.
However, it was his 2017 single Humble which gave him his booster shot to recognition and smashed the US Billboard Hot 100 for weeks. Since then, Lamar has won major awards such as the Pulitzer Prize and the Grammys and was recently praised for his work in Black Panther. Long way to go Mr. Lamar!
19. Akon- $80 Million
Smack that all on the floor, smack that give me some more. Rings a bell, doesn’t it? Having made this song a childhood memory for the 90s kids, Akon’s hit tracks like Konvicted and Locked Up made him an instant hit among the masses.
Known for experimenting with his craft, he has tried his hand at Hindi and Spanish music and is a Guinness World Record holder for selling the most number of ringtones globally. With music being his top-most priority, Akon also finds time in engaging in philanthropic work and has done plenty for his ancestral land of Senegal. After all, golden music comes from a heart of gold!
18. Timbaland- $85 Million
A pioneer of the stuttering rhythmic rap style, Timbaland has his work majorly revolving around production. In his initial days, he had released several albums with the likes of Magoo and Justin Timberlake before making a full-time switch to production.
Today, he has produced music for major names such as Ludacris and Madonna and has over 99 hits in the US as of this date. The Entertainment Weekly had termed him as a rapper who could foresee trends before anyone else and used that to produce hits after hits. Quite a clairvoyant rapper of sorts, isn’t he?
17. Ad-Rock- $90 Million
If you remember the group Beastie Boys, then congratulations, this man needs no introduction to you. But in case you don’t, no problems. Ad-Rock was an active member of the Beastie Boys before realizing that he wanted to become a solo rapper and parted ways in the late 1980s.
Post that, Ad-Rock made albums such as Check Your Head and has tried his hand at acting as well. In 2020, a documentary was made about his boy band which had him featuring in it. He is married to Riot grrrl star Kathleen Hanna and resides in his New York City residence.
16. Mike D- $90 Million
Alright then, we have a tie and it’s between the two former Beastie Boys! Mike D was always touted as a success right from the beginning but somewhere lost his path while doing so. While he did make a few average hits, he also saw hardships through his now-defunct label Royal Records.
But that didn’t deter him a single bit and he became a full-time producer for various record labels and has produced songs for bands such as Slaves. He is also the owner of a nightclub in New York City and still makes it to our richest rappers list despite his topsy turvy career graph!
15. Pitbull- $100 Million
Mr. Worldwide has become a worldwide rapping sensation owing to his talent and passion for the craft. Born and brought up in Miami, Pitbull is every bit the cool guy that he is and was influenced by rapping at a very early age, thereby writing songs in English and Spanish during his school days.
After his success with Timber, there has been no looking back for him and has performed on various tours, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He has also been the brand ambassador for Kodak and Walmart and continues to entertain his fans on YouTube!
14. LL Cool J- $120 Million
A rapping sensation of the 1980s, LL Cool J is the prime example of what hustling is. Having witnessed harsh circumstances early on in his life, he began rapping at the age of 10 and continued to make music until Def Jam spotted him and signed him for several albums.
He found his success in his second album Bigger and Defter which spent nearly 12 weeks on top of the Billboard Charts. He has also tried his hand at acting and is currently the owner of a clothing line and a record label. All of this still makes him one of the richest rappers of all time!
13. Snoop Dogg- $135 Million
Having been controversy’s and weed’s favorite child since forever, Snoop Dogg has the talent to back it up for his crazy antics. His first album Doggystyle attained critical and commercial success and was certified with a quadruple-platinum in 1994.
He has made many nearly 17 albums since and became a recent trend with his I Wanna Thank Me interview. While Dogg has made a fortune out of rapping, much of his richest rappers tag is attributed to his endorsements and his smart investments.
12. Lil Wayne- $150 Million
While Lil Wayne maybe his name, he is an absolute giant when it comes to hip hop. He started it out with his hip hop group Hot Boys which released 2 hit singles. A few years later, his solo album Tha Block is Hot paved the way for his stardom and gained massive recognition for his fifth album Tha Carter II.
He happens to be a multi-talented man with the titles of producer, director, and entrepreneur to his name. Currently one of the richest rappers across the globe, Wayne has sold more than 120 million records and is the CEO of his label Young Money Entertainment. Now that’s a man Wayne his fortunes correctly!
11. Swiss Beatz- $150 Million
Here’s yet another tie at the $150 Million mark and it is between Lil Wayne and Swiss Beatz (quite surprising though). Born and raised in the Bronx, he got into the industry through his family-owned record label Ruff Ryders Entertainment and has produced hits such as Jigga My Nigga and Upgrade U.
He has been ranked 27 in the Top 50 Producers of All Time and is also a trustee at the Brooklyn Museum since 2015. Beatz is married to musician Alicia Keys and has two children with her.
10. Ice Cube- $160 Million
Nothing is ice-cool about this man’s music for it contains lyrics that are as hot as fire. While things didn’t go exactly well for his hip hop group, his solo album streak between 1990 and 1993 was the one that made him a direct competition for many in the industry.
Besides being a rapper, Cube is also an actor with films like The Barbershop series being under his belt. He has also plied his trade in direction and has produced several films as well. Currently part of a group named Mr. Westmore, Cube has plenty of financial sources to make him one of the richest rappers in the world.
9. Drake- $180 Million
I guess it was God’s Plan to make Drake wait for a while before becoming the star that he is today. The Canadian rapper made his foothold in the entertainment industry as an actor but decided to leave that to pursue a career in music.
While it is a known fact that Drake’s debut album was delayed, he took off like no one else and produced trending songs like Hotline Bling and Kiki Do You Love Me. Drake is the owner of fancy possessions which include OVO Sound, a real estate company, a clothing line, and a radio station. No wonder good things come only to those who wait!
8. Pharell Williams- $200 Million
Originally a part of Surrounded by Idiots, Pharell Williams has had the opportunity to call Timbaland and Hugo his colleagues. He was also the lead vocalist of a band named N.E.R.D which had Hugo and Shay Hayley in there.
After concentrating on writing good songs, Williams made the quantum leap with his music video Get Lucky and gained massive amounts of fame. His consistent hard work and dedication have earned him 13 Grammy Awards and a bagful of riches on the way!
7. Eminem- $230 Million
Eminem is a man that was simply born to rap! Belonging to a rare breed of white rappers, Eminem’s career took off in the late 1990s with his chartbuster Slim Shady and was later discovered by Dr. Dre who wished to collaborate with this ‘egoistic’ kid.
Ever since then, Eminem has made the public addicted to his music including his famous Rap God which had him singing breathlessly for a considerable period in the song. But ever since he has recovered from his drug addiction. there have been fewer albums from his end. Nevertheless, it still makes him one of the richest rappers in the world!
6. Master P- $250 Million
Having slam-dunked his way into the rapping industry, this former basketball star decided to quit the sport to start a career in rap. He found mainstream success with his album ‘Ghetto D’ and gained plenty of success with his hip-hop group TRU.
But it was ‘Make Me Say Uhh!’ which made him the star that he is today and also got him a platinum certification in the process. With music as his primary focus, Master P has shown us his acting chops in movies like Gone in 60 Seconds and Toxic. Today, he is the owner of a personalized record label and a basketball league which makes him one of the richest rappers alive!
5. Will Smith- $350 Million
Now that’s a name you surely weren’t expecting, were you? But you will be surprised to know that Will Smith was a rapper in his early days. He turned down an MIT Scholarship and decided to enter into the rapping world as The Fresh Prince.
He was primarily known for his light-hearted, cuss-free rap and his album Big Willie Style nearly won the Grammy. But destiny had other plans for him and he has gone on to become one of the most successful and highest-paid actors of all time!
4. Dr Dre- $820 Million
When it comes to his career, Dr Dre has barely put his foot in the wrong place. It was 1986 when a little young man named Dr Dre met Ice Cube and signed up for Ruthless Records which marked the advent of gangsta rap in Hollywood.
After leaving his group N.W.A in 1991, Dre went solo and released his debut album The Chronic which became a rage among the American public. He has gone on to produce hit music and was recently in the news for selling his record label Beats Electronics to Apple. With quick-selling albums and shrewd business decisions, Dr Dre has become one of the richest rappers in the world.
3. Sean Combs- $900 Million
Better known as P Diddy, Sean Combs was always the talented kid when it came to rapping. He worked with the likes of Christopher Wallace in his initial days and formed his own group Dirty Money in the 90s. His debut album No Way Out created a storm and was certified seven times platinum in 1997.
While he still continues to produce music to this date, he has gone on to establish his record label Bad Boy Entertainment which promotes talented artists of this genre. A majority of his $900 million fortune comes from his acting career, his clothing line, and a well-established vodka brand. He surely possesses a chest of dollars, doesn’t he?
2. Jay-Z- $1.4 Billion
Who doesn’t know of this rapper-turned billionaire entrepreneur? Born as Shawn Corey Carter, Jay-Z was a popular and successful rapper of the 1990s and had produced 12 albums by that time. He then switched to production where he became the CEO of Def Jam Records which discovered stars like Rihanna and Justin Bieber.
Although he continues to remain a part of the showbiz, the rap mogul dedicates most of his time to his multiple businesses which include clothing lines, alcohol brands, and a luxurious sports club. With his businesses succeeding extremely well, there is no reason why he shouldn’t feature on the richest rappers list.
1. Kanye West- $1.8 Billion
Let’s be honest. Most of us weren’t expecting Kanye to top the richest rappers list but there isn’t any denying that he is truly a self-made man. He is mainly a music producer and had gained most of his popularity with his label Roc-A-Fella records whilst also releasing singles simultaneously.
He was doing fairly well with all the rapping and the music but it was his footwear brand Yeezy that started getting him the big bucks. To add to that, his marriage with reality TV star Kim Kardashian and his creative content company DONDA have made him the richest rapper of 2021.