Each year, Forbes magazine releases the unofficial hip-hop power index via the Forbes Five, a ranking of the world’s richest rappers. This year, Diddy’s empire—valued at $700 million—led the charge, followed by Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Birdman, and 50 Cent. (Next year, though, Dre should be leading the charge, after his sale of Beats to Apple made him hip-hop’s first billionaire.)
Naturally, the millions each rapper ears would go to anyone’s head—and it’s impacted what Diddy and co. rap about. So, Forbesbroke down what the five richest hip-hop stars rapped about—and here’s what they found.
Dre’s empire was built off music and electronics, but the topic he raps the most about? Cars, even if Dre’s been spotted in a lowly $53,000 Hummer H2. Still, more than a quarter of the time, he’s rapping about a topic he knows more about: Riches, natch.
At the bottom of the spectrum, Diddy flirts with things we all love—namely, guns, art, and jewelry. But he’s most comfortable tackling real estate, which is no surprise, considering he’s flipping a $10 million mansion in Beverly Hills and an $8 million condo in New York.
One per cent of the time, Birdman’s rapping about private planes and yachts, but 64 per cent of the time, he’s rapping about the stuff he needs to fuel that lavish lifestyle: Greenbacks.
Like Birdman, ex-Vitamin Water magnate 50 Cent mostly raps about money. Still, a quarter of his rhymes hint at 50’s more tumultuous past—he’s talking guns.
Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grailwas crammed full of art references, but writ large, only 1 in 10 of his rhymes references his obsession with the MoMa. The things he raps about most, though, all represent the good life: Aside from money, dude likes his clothes.