Sean “Diddy” Combs rose to mainstream fame in the late 1990s rapping about his desire for Benjamins, otherwise known as $100 bills. A decade and a half later, he might need to consider some larger denominations — McKinleys, Clevelands and Madisons, perhaps—to express his wealth.
Diddy ranks No. 1 on this year’s Forbes Five, our list of hip-hop’s wealthiest artists, with an estimated net worth of $580 million. The bulk of the Bad Boy Records founder’s wealth comes from non-musical ventures, namely his deal with Diageo’s Ciroc. The agreement entitles him to eight-figure annual payouts and a nine-figure windfall if the brand is ever sold — and Ciroc’s value has never been higher.
“It is one of the fastest-growing brands within vodka,” says Jack Russo, an equity analyst at Edward Jones & Co. “Consumers are feeling a little bit better about their situation, and with that, they’re willing to spend more on premium products.”
The No. 2 spot goes to Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, with a net worth of $475 million. He’s still rolling in cash from megadeals like his $204 million Rocawear sale in 2007 and his $150 million pact with Live Nation the following year. He continues to hold stakes in Roc Nation, Carol’s Daughter, the Brooklyn Nets — and, more significantly, the Barclays Center itself — while adding new partnerships with the likes of Duracell, Budweiser and Bacardi’s D’ussé Cognac.
Read More: Ebony.com