After creating some of the most classic albums hip-hop fans have ever heard, Dr. Dre shifted tactics and tackled exactly how those fans heard them, and his efforts have landed him on top of Forbes' list of top hip-hop cash kings.
With $110 million in earnings in 2011, Dre blew away the competition, more than doubling second place earner Diddy's $45 million due to the income generated from royalties from "The Chronic" and 2001, as well as other past projects, production credits, and his wildly popular Beats By Dre headphone and speaker line created alongside Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine. Diddy's revenue also benefited from non-music-making income, with his Ciroc vodka profits augmenting his Bad Boy Records imprint and landing him behind his west coast counterpart.
Following close behind is Jay-Z, whose "Budweiser Made In America" festival made waves last weekend in Philadelphia, raking in $38 million on the strengths of his sponsorship deals with the brewing company as well as Duracell and his mammoth Watch The Throne Tour with Kanye West, who himself landed at number four on the list at $35 million. West, of course, is tied heavily into the fashion scene, with his line of women's clothing and a shoe deal with Nike adding to the WTT cash cow and production royalties.