Forbes' "World's Highest-Paid Celebrities" list is always a fun read, if your idea of fun is reading about how much more money the rich and famous make compared to you. It's either a depressing or inspirational exercise, maybe both at the same time, but always interesting, especially for close followers of the music industry.
The list's latest installment is not too surprising, as perennial powers Diddy, Jay Z and Dr. Dre make their usual appearances, while Drake, Pharrell and Eminem round out the top 100 in regards to hip-hop (via Forbes).
Diddy takes a kettlebell swing to #21 on the list, and despite the fact that he's bringing the Fam back, he counts most of his earnings these days from non-music ventures such as his very successful Ciroc vodka, his TV network (Revolt), his clothing line (Sean John) and other businesses. Meanwhile, Jay Z comes in at #29, besting his wife Beyoncé by just one spot, raking in dollars from a variety of avenues including Roc Nation and, of course, Tidal.
Next up in hip-hop? Drake, who at #54 makes his debut appearance on the list on the strength of a gold album and numerous high-profile concert/festival appearances. The legendary Dr. Dre made a historic splash last year off of the strength of the sale of his Beats empire. While Dre managed only #73 this year (I assumed he'd be higher) something tells me he's not sweating the drop too hard.
Rounding out the hip-hop inclusions for this year are Pharrell and Eminem, sandwiching a surging Dwayne Johnson at #78 and #82 respectively. Pharrell continues to reap the financial rewards of his clothing lines, touring and The Voice. Em continues to make a shitload from his live appearances, as I'm sure his financial advisor puts it.
The Forbes list continues to put the massive boasting by the hip-hop community in perspective by placing its biggest stars in direct comparison with the other insanely rich folks of the entertainment world. It's easy to picture artists like Rick Ross as the biggest boss, sitting in the lap of luxury, with endless wealth, lemon pepper wings and crab meats at their disposal based on hearing their album. It's a dose of reality to realize that most often, these artists are just fish in an ocean, where larger fish and bigger earners are omnipresent. A bank account totaling $92 million gets lost in an ocean where Floyd Mayweather is raking in $300 million a year. Names like Jay Z and Diddy are eponymous with money and success, and yet only one barely cracks the top 25 - David Copperfield, the Vegas magician, makes more than both of them. So the real lesson here, kids, if you really want that money, don't be a rapper, and start practicing your magic tricks instead.
Can someone just let me take a million off their hands?
[By Brendan Varan. He was about $29 million short for this year's list. Follow him on Twitter.]