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Your Favorite Rapper is Broke

In which we investigate the truth behind hip-hop's glittering finances.

"Your Favorite Rapper is Poor," the ongoing series in which I investigate the truth behind hip-hop's glittering finances, is back. The last time around we tackled the "10 Richest Rappers," so I thought it was only appropriate that this time around we flip the script and look at three ballers who in actuality are completely broke.

In ascending order of brokeness:


Nas on "Success": "Google Earth Nas I got flats in other continents." 

Nas' lawyer in court: "My client makes substantially less than that amount." 

While Nas has never been the most swaggerish, he hasn't been shy about occasionally flashing that cash—cash that his divorce trial with Kelis has revealed he doesn't actually have. After a judge ruled that Nas owed the former Mrs. Milkshake over $300,000 in child support and alimony, Nas argued that paying so much would bankrupt him before eventually settling and agreeing to monthly installments of $10,000. The original 300 grand was predicated on Kelis' claim that Nasty Nas' monthly income was $150,000, a number which his lawyers said was outrageously high and they worked to reduce. Now even if Nas does indeed make "substantially less," say $75,000 a month, that's still some pretty serious bank, but at the very least we know he doesn't have half a million sitting around he can use to make a messy divorce trial go away.

Swizz Beatz

Swizzy on "Gucci Time": "A hundred thou on the wrist ain't nothin." 

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Swizzy in court: "We have been discussing the issue with the government for years and are currently negotiating an amicable resolution of the dispute." 

Yep, the newly minted Mr. Alicia Keys is broke, and he's broke on a level only rich people can be broke (when's the last time you saw a homeless guy with millions of dollars in debt?) 

In addition to the $2.2 million in unpaid bills he and his ex-wife Mashonda are being sued for by creditors, and the $500,000 he owes Mashonda in unpaid child support and alimony, Mr. Beatz also allegedly failed to pay the government nearly $1 million in taxes, which the IRS isn't exactly happy about. With all the production he's doing he's obviously raking in some serious cash, but it's economics 101; when you spend more than you make, you're broke.

Damon Dash

Damon Dash in "Big Pimpin" poured bottles of Cristal over models on his private yacht. 

Damon Dash in real life? MC Hammer-ish. 

The former Roc mogul who once bragged about his butler and private chef may soon be forced to declare bankruptcy. 


Here we go: Dash's lawyer dropped him for failing to pay bills, his SUV was seized after he failed to pay the $700 monthly bill, the bank foreclosed on two of his condos after he failed to pay his mortgage, he owes $2 million in taxes to the state of New York, he's being sued for failing to pay rent on two Manhattan offices, and he's fighting off suits from a design company and security company whom both say Dash never paid them for their work. If there was ever a time to go crawling back to Jay, this is it.



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