Hip-Hop 2013 Cash Kings

jay-z_416x416Diddy topped the 2013 edition of FORBES’ Hip-Hop Cash Kings list, released a week ago, for the first time in his career. Thanks mostly to the success of his Ciroc vodka deal, he earned $50 million over the past 12 months–edging No. 2 Jay Z ($43 million) and No. 3 Dr. Dre ($40 million) to claim the annual income crown.

Of course, there were plenty of other rap stars on the list, and many of them shared their thoughts on the list. Tech N9ne made the top 20 for the second year in a row with estimated earnings of $7.5 million, tweeting: “Hard work, but this makes it all worth it!” (for more, see my story “Tech N9ne: Hip-Hop’s Secret Mogul“).

Meanwhile, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Jay Z dismissed FORBES’ work as “guesstimates.” Then again, he also said he isn’t motivated by money (as my colleague Ryan Mac points out, hasn’t he listened to his own lyrics on “Clique”?)

Before Cash Kings list came out, I offered my annual challenge: correctly guess the top ten earners and win a signed copy of my Jay Z biography Empire State of Mind. Just like last year, nobody got all ten. But all 19 contestants performed admirably: six correctly guessed all seven of the top names; every single contestant accurately predicted at least five of the top ten names.

The book goes to the reader with the closest guess– this year it’s Najieboo, the only one to name seven of the top ten and predict the top four in order.

Interestingly, none of the 19 contestants guessed that Wiz Khalifa, Pitbull or Ludacris would crack the top ten. Drake and Pharrell Williams were much more popular predictions, and, to be fair, both artists made the top 20 and were each less than $2 million from cracking the top ten.

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