Jay-Z Passes Diddy For The Top Spot On The "Forbes Five" List

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Jay-Z Passes Diddy For The Top Spot On The "Forbes Five" List

On this years Forbes Five, which ranks hip-hop’s wealthiest artists, there was a noticeable difference: Jay Z beat Diddy. Diddy’s been number one on the list since Forbes began measuring rappers’ net worth in 2011.

For 2017, Jay-Z's net worth leaped from $810 million to $900 million, in large part due to the growing values of his investment in Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Ussé cognac, on top of nine-figure ownership stakes in his Roc Nation empire and Tidal streaming service.

"We always complain about, 'We don't own this, we don't own that.' … Here he is, this man who owns that," superproducer Swizz Beatz said. "The sky is not the limit: it's just a view."


Diddy comes in at No. 2 with $825 million. His fortune has received a slight bump due to lukewarm trends in the vodka and cable TV markets, which impact his stakes in Ciroc and Revolt. But he’s seen considerable growth with DeLeon tequila—a collaboration between himself and beverage king Diageo—which has increased his net worth.

Dr. Dre, with $770 million at No. 3, can thank upward trends in Beats affecting his fortune. This summer, he’s also up for ownership of Apple stock, which is worth more than $100 million. The shares may permit him to jump past Hov and Diddy in 2019.

There’s always a considerable drop between the third spot on the list and the fourth and fifth. Drake and Eminem are tied for $100 million each, at No. 4 and 5, respectively. This is the first time Drake has broken through to $100 million, and this is also Eminem’s first time on the list, as he has surpassed Cash Money head Birdman.

Last year saw Diddy at No. 1 with $820 million, Jay Z at No. 2 with $810 mill, Dr. Dre at No. 3 with $740 mill, Birdman at No. 4 with $110 million, and Drake at No. 5 with $90 mill.

To compile the Forbes Five rankings, they follow the same procedures used to calculate the list of the world's billionaires: valuing major assets, poring over financial documents, and speaking with analysts, attorneys, managers, other industry players and, in some cases, the moguls themselves.

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