Jay-Z- Rocawear: The obvious, and a classic. Jay-Z started Rocawear with Damon Dash, which rakes in a steady $700 million a year. Offering lifestyle clothing for pretty much anyone, the brand's face is none other than R&B darling Ciara. Definitely the biggest of the brands, Rocawear serves as a business model and inspiration due to its wide success.
Snoop Dogg- Perhaps one of the most ambitious and experimental of entrepreneurs, Snoop Dogg doesn't seem to be all that picky. He's had his hand in quite a few endorsements, including AOL and Colt 45, along with recently being named President of Serious Pimp Clothing & Sunglasses (lest we forget he was actually a pimp in the early 2000's). To boot, he's had a slew of fun products bordering on self-obsessed, such as "Snoop Doggs" hot-dogs and marijuana-flavored "Chronic Candy." My personal favourite though is the short-lived line of accessories for pets he ran in 2006 in partnership with Jakks Pacific around the release of Tha Blue Carpet Treatment. Dogg for dogs. It sells itself!
Pharrell Williams- Billionaire Boys Club / Ice Cream: BBC and its sister brand Ice Cream were both established by Pharrell and Nigo, so you know the duds are crispy. Plus they're produced mostly in Japan. The lines feature clothing and accessories for men, including sneakers. The items run in very small quantities and will put a dent in your wallet, doing the brand's name justice. On top of having collaborated with Rocawear, the brands just branched out into women's wear with the aptly named Billionaire Girls Club.
Lil Wayne- Trukfit: Best story behind how this brand got its name. When Weezy was nuthin but a youngin, mock-designer clothing was sold to those who couldn't afford the real deal, out the back of a truck. “If you were known to have that outfit, then it was not called an 'outfit,' it was called a 'truck fit.'” Hence TRUKFIT. One of Tunechi's favorite hobbies is skateboarding, so the colorful brand is heavily inspired by it. On top of that, it's affordable, staying true to tradition.
Nicki Minaj: It was only a matter of time before Nicki Minaj launched her own line. Though it's still in the works, judging by her wild onstage get-ups and general fashion sense, her soon-to-be-launched clothing line promises to be interesting. She's already got a fragrance to her name and endorses MAC make-up, so she's no stranger to branding products. About her upcoming line, she's even gone so far as to say "Lil Wayne will be asking me for a job!" In the meantime, she's repping Adidas with designer Jeremy Scott by her side.
Kanye West- DW: A renowned mama's boy, Kanye West named his brand after his mother, who passed away a few years ago. The line features a lot of beige, black, fur, and plunging necklines. All very Kim K, before they even dated. His runway shows at Paris Fashion Week the last couple of years were poorly received, and he line won't be making an appearance on the catwalk for Spring 2013. No word yet on whether the line is thoroughly discontinued. Frankly I wouldn't mind seeing what other weird, ornate heels he and his team can come up with.
Yelawolf- Famous Stars And Straps by Country Fresh: Yelawolf teamed up with Country Fresh to launch Famous Stars and Straps, a line of t-shirts in collaboration with Travis Barker of Blink-182 fame. Yela also designed a shoe inspired by his Native American roots, described as a high-top with a detachable fringe and bright colors. Sounds either like a clownish lion or the dopest shoe ever. I'm psyched to see this one.
T.I. - A.K.O.O.: T.I.'s got his own line called A.K.O.O., which stands for A King Of Oneself. The King of journalism himself, Larry King, was spotted sporting some of their goods, gifts from T.I. after an interview. B.o.B is the currently repping the brand of urban yet casual upscale apparel. To boot, many fans have aligned their projects with the brand, likeMeek Mill and Tristan Wilds from The Wire.
Nelly- Vokál: Less known than Apple Bottom Jeans, Vokál (“Very Organized Kids Always Learning”) was launched in 1997 by Nelly and a couple of partners. The goal was to create a line with strong designs, which the name echoes. "Vokál" means 'speak for yourself' and this clothing speaks for itself.” If Nelly says so!
Beyoncé- House Of Déréon: Time to come full circle, with Jay's own wife, Beyoncé. Fine, she's not a rapper, but she's got great style. She started the company with her mother Tina Knowles, who used to design Destiny's Child's onstage outfits (remember how they matched... My, how things have changed!). She must have inherited that skill from her own mother who was actually a seamstress, and after whom the brand is named. Beyoncé says starting a line "was a natural thing for us to do," because she grew up picking fabric with her mother to make clothes.
HNHH gives you the scoop on ten hip-hop artists who own clothing lines.
Most rappers tend to wear their money, showing off the goods with flashy jewelry and eccentricity. Many have ventured into actually designing and producing clothing, resulting in meagre results. Only a few have actually been successful at maintaining and managing a retail business long-term. Check out our favorite rapper-owned clothing lines.