Soulja Boy- Estimated net worth $23 million
Worth an estimated $23 million, Soulja Boy Tell’Em must be doing something right, despite all the hate directed at him and his music. The “Crank That” rapper, who made Forbes’ Hip Hop Cash King list in 2010 with $7 million earned, has his hands on a variety of side projects, including his own record label (Stacks on Deck Entertainment) and clothing line (S.O.D. clothing). On the musical front, Soulja Boy rakes in money from producing other artists and stands to earn more playing Bishop in the remake of the classic Tupac Shakur movie “Juice.”
Lil Wayne- Estimated net worth: $135 million
Although he is no longer Lil in age, Dwayne Carter has more than done his share of amassing an empire during his childhood. And with him being one of the top rappers out now, the Young Money leader shows no sign of slowing down.
Lil Wayne has earned much of his income through music and tours, particularly his 2009 “I Am Music” and “America’s Most Wanted” tours, which made $42 million and his “I Am Still Music” tour in 2011, which pulled in $47 million in the US. Among those collaborating with the ESPN the Magazine blogger on the business side are Beats by Dre (Tunechi Beats pro headphones line) and Bogey Cigars (YM Cigars) . To make extra sure he doesn’t run out of money anytime soon, Lil Wayne developed his own clothing line (Trukfit) to keep him swimming in dough as a shoe line with SUPRA called Spectra. A memoir (“Gone Til November”) detailing his time in prison in 2010 further adds fuel to the Weezy fire that is far from being extinguished.
Kriss Kross- Estimated net worth (Chris Kelly): $100,000/Estimated net worth (Chris Smith): $200,000
First off, RIP to the late Chris Kelly. The current net worth of this rap duo doesn’t paint an accurate picture of what they would have been worth in their heyday.
One of the most successful kid rap acts in hip-hop, Kriss Kross personified young, rich and rhyming in the ‘90s with a classic hit song (“Jump”) and a 4x platinum debut album (1992’s “Totally Krossed Out”). “Totally Krossed Out”, on its own, sold over 4 million copies. Add to that a massive payday opening for Michael Jackson on his Dangerous World Tour in 1992 as well as video game (“Kris Kross: Make My Video”) and recording the Rugrats Rap for Nickelodeon.
Bow Wow- Estimated net worth: $10 million
He may be Mr. 106th & Park nowadays, but Bow Wow’s fortune was earned some years back from his days of having “Lil” attached to his name. The rapper’s 2000 debut album (“Beware of Dog”) garnered a Billboard top 10 entry at number eight with 101,000 copies sold in its first week of release. Bow Wow’s platinum streak continued with his sophomore release, “Doggy Bag,” which debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart with first week sales of 320,000. Musical success soon gave way to other ambitions for the former So So Def rhymer with a boys clothing line called Shago and acting roles in Like Mike, Johnson Family Vacation, Roll Bounce and The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Chief Keef- Estimated net worth: $500,000
Easily the one of the most controversial artists on the list, Chief Keef is known more for his activities outside the recording booth than his actual music. Still, the Chicago rapper is making his dough by signing a $6 million deal with Interscope Records. The three-album deal resulted in Keef receiving his own record label (Glory Boyz Entertainment). Keef’s first Interscope release, “Finally Rich,” sold 50,000 copies in its first week of release.
Romeo Miller- Estimated net worth: $5 million
The No-Limit colonel made his presence known at age 12 with a hit single (“My Baby”) and more than 200,000 copies of his debut album (“Lil Romeo”) sold in its first week. The 2001 offering, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, paved the way for Romeo to go out side of his musical upbringing to find his way in the acting world. Roles in “Max Keeble’s Big Move” and “Honey” as well as voice work on the small screen in the animated show “Static Shock” followed. Beyond entertainment, Romeo made marks in 2010 with launching a clothing line called College Boyys, founding his own record label The Next Generation Entertainment and taking the reigns of the No Limit empire with the independent label No Limit Forever.
Lil Mama- Estimated net worth: $6 million
Since releasing her debut album “VYP (Voice of the Young People) in 2008, Lil Mama hasn’t made much noise on the level of her hit song “Lip Gloss.” Instead the rapper, who has logged in studio time with Chris Brown, T-Pain and Avril Lavigne, has achieved a portion of her $6 million net worth through non-music ventures such as her time on “America’s Best Dance Crew” as a judge and playing Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in VH1’s upcoming TLC biopic.
Lil Twist- Estimated net worth: $2 million
Another artist in the Lil family, Lil Twist may be best known currently for being a friend of Justin Bieber, but the Young Money Entertainment rapper has done a few things musically. A string of mixtapes and a debut arriving this summer (“Bad Decisions”) have made Twist someone to look for as well as his contribution to the YME’s “We Are Young Money” in 2009.
Wu-Tang’s rugged child was among a wave of kid rappers in the ‘90s who were mentored by their legendary adult counterparts. Apart from his breakthrough hit single “On and On” and collaborating with his Wu brethren and Big Daddy Kane, Shyheim took the road to acting riches with roles in “The Preacher’s Wife,” “In Too Deep” and “The Parent Hood.”
Diggy Simmons- Estimated net worth: $3.75 million
Being the son of a rap icon is more than enough to get your foot in the door. With a BET Hip Hop Awards cypher and four mixtapes to his credit, the son of Rev. Run is laying the foundation for longevity in rap. More than 100,000 people downloaded the rapper’s first mixtape, “The First Flight in 2009. Two years later, Diggy made the coveted XXL Freshman list. The day before his 17th birthday, Diggy released his debut album, “Unexpected Arrival” in 2012. Non-musically, Simmons took his swag to the world of fashion with his Chivalrous Culture urban sneaker line as well as AT&T, which featured the Simmons’ song “Great Expectations” in a commercial.
Jaden Smith- Estimated net worth $8 million
Jaden’s musical endeavors haven’t been much (one mixtape and notable collaborations with Justin Bieber), but we have faith that he will come through in the not too distant future with a profitable foray into rap. But it’s not like he’s living from check to check. With being Will and Jada’s son and successful acting roles in “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “The Karate Kid,” Jaden won’t be starving anytime soon. So we’ll just keep hope alive that he’ll follow his dad’s lead and carve out his own niche in the rap world. To borrow a title from one of Bieber’s hits: Never say never.
Presenting a list of rap stars who hit the jackpot at a young age, courtesy of HNHH.
Rap is a young man’s game. No matter how much you may disagree, the fact remains that there are a good bit of rhymesayers who have secured their financial future from making a successful entry into the rap arena and conquering other avenues.
Whether it’s starting a clothing line, appearing on the big and small screen or touring and associating with a music icon and one of the most influential rap groups of all time, it’s good to be young, rich and rhyming. Journey with HNHH as we take a look at young rappers past and present who elevated their income through the occupation of rhyme.