There’s a lot of money to be made in the music industry, especially in the glamorous and money-conscious realm of hip-hop.

Hip-hop artists frequently rap about money, expensive clothing and jewellery, so flashy items of bling have now become a large part of the hip-hop image.  Here are the top five wealthiest hip-hop artists in the world according to Forbes.com

Diddy

Sean “Diddy” Combs is worth a whopping $580 million, making him top of our list.  Diddy is known primarily for his success in the music industry as a hip-hop artist and founder of music label Bad Boy Records.  However, not satisfied with his musical success Diddy owes much of his fortune to non-musical business ventures like his involvement as brand ambassador for Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.

Jay Z

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter is a successful American rapper turned entrepreneur, investor and business man with an empire worth an estimated $475 million.  Jay Z’s biggest earner is his urban streetwear brand Rocawear which he co-found in 1999, since then he has sold the label for $204 million in 2007.  He has also made a profitable $150 million pact with Live Nation and partnerships with worldwide brands like Duracell and Bacardi’s Dusse Cognac.

Dr Dre

Andre “Dre” Young is a highly successful rapper and record producer, without whom many of our favourite rappers may not have made it as big as they have.  Artists that his label has successfully led to stardom include Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, 50 Cent and The Game.  Much of Dre’s current $350 million fortune was made with his successful range of Beats by Dre headphones which he co-found with record executive Jimmy Iovine.  Dre sold 51% of his company to HTC for $300 million in 2011.

Birdman

Bryan “Birdman” Williams has made his estimated $150 million as a rapper, record producer and entrepreneur.  Birdman’s musical success includes his solo career, releases as one half of the duo Big Tymers and collaborations with Lil Wayne.  He also co-founded the Cash Money Records label which looks after successful artists like Drake, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. 

50 Cent

There isn’t much left that Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson hasn’t tried his hand at yet.  50 Cent first rose to fame as a rapper with a number of successful albums including Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003) and The Massacre (2005).  Since then he has founded the successful record label G-Unit Records and made a small fortune from the sales of merchandise, video games and books before trying his hand as an entrepreneur, investor and actor.