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Forbes drops list of hip hop's biggest money makers

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Posted at 9:54 AM, Sep 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-24 10:54:06-04

Forbes has released its annual list of hip hop’s biggest money makers — and there aren’t a lot of surprises.

Coming in at No. 1 is Beats-maker Dr. Dre, who co-founded the company purchased by Apple this year for $3 billion with Jimmy Iovine. Dre tops the list with pre-tax earnings of $620 million.

This amount is the highest annual total of any entertainer evaluated by Forbes, and Dre makes more than the other 24 artists on the list, combined.

At the No. 2 spot, Jay-Z and Diddy are tied, with estimated annual earnings of $60 million apiece.

Similar to Dre, these two artists aren’t necessarily making the most money off their music, but have a combined income from a variety of side ventures.

Diddy has an agreement with Diageo’s Ciroc Vodka that accounts for the majority of his earnings. His other ventures include DeLeon tequila, Blue Flame marketing, Sean Jean clothing and Revolt TV.

Jay-Z’s combined earnings of $60 million put him at his highest total since 2010. His list of ventures includes Roc Nation, a wildly successful tour, with 68 concerts in Forbes’ scoring period; D’Usse cognac and his latest album, “Magna Carta… Holy Grail.” Recent reports indicate that Jay-Z is set to release yet another album, either at the end of 2014 or early 2015, with his wife Beyonce.

Drake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis round out the top 5 on the Cash Kings list, making $33 million and $32 million, respectively.

To form the list of this year’s Cash Kings, Forbes considered income from touring, record sales, publishing, merchandise sales, endorsements and additional ventures. Earnings are calculated from June 2013 to June 2014.

Click here to see the full list of hip hop’s biggest money makers.