A little over ten years ago, Eminem jokingly rapped that his peers “act like they forgot about Dre.” Even with his tongue planted firmly in cheek, he couldn’t possibly have imagined quite the level of domination that his veteran colleague would go on to achieve as the decade progressed.
That’s according to this hip hop-oriented version of the many Forbes rich lists that do the rounds from time to time, which shows the man otherwise known as Andre Young as the undisputed king of the genre’s highest earners.
Forbes’ Top Ten Biggest Names in Hip Hop
1. Dr. Dre – $620 million
2. Jay Z – $60 million
2/3. Diddy – $60 million
4. Drake – $33 million
5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – $32 million
6. Kanye West – $30 million
7. Birdman – $24 million
8. Lil Wayne – $23 million
9. Pharrell Williams – $22 million
10. Eminem – $18 million
Stunningly – or perhaps not surprising at all if you watch the stock market and understand his relationship with Apple - Dr Dre alone is worth more than twice as much as the rest of these household names. Even with the star couple status of Beyonce alongside Jay Z, or the contemporary TV appeal of Pharrell, none comes close to touching hip hop’s most established artist.
This says a lot about the appeal of brand partnerships and the lucrative potential they bring for music makers. On the flip side, the brand gains an otherwise elusive level of credibility that often holds equal value in terms of reaching their target market.
For all the talk of money flowing out of the music industry, the right hook up with a brand name is clearly a powerful strategy to bring those dollars back.