Will Dr. Dre Become Hip Hop’s First Billionaire? With $700 Million, He’s Not Even The Wealthiest Man In Hip Hop

In May of 2014, Dr. Dre made a bold statement. Dre, already one of the wealthiest rap moguls in the world, was on the verge of becoming a billionaire, he said.

“The first billionaire in hip hop right here from the (expletive) West Coast.”

At the time, Dr. Dre was in talks to sell his Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line to Apple. Initially, it was thought that the deal would go through for $3.2 billion, which would have put Dre’s net worth right at the cusp of $1 billion.

Instead, the deal went was finalized at $3 billion, which after taxes, allowed Dre to profit about $500 million from the sale of the headphone line. Before the sale to Apple, Dr. Dre owned about 25 percent of the Beats by Dr. Dre line.

Fast forward a year to the release of “The Forbes Five: Hip Hop’s Wealthiest Artists 2015″ list. Not only did Dr. Dre’s net worth come in at $700 million — $300 million short of $1 billion — but he isn’t even the richest man in hip hop. That honor belongs to Diddy, whose net worth now sits at $735 million. Diddy also claimed the top spot on the list in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Dr. Dre and Diddy began their careers in similar ways — as rappers and producers — before each branched out into other businesses. Both Dre and Diddy have a proven ability to make wise investments and have a sharp business sense when it comes to entrepreneurial pursuits.

But while Dr. Dre sold off one of his biggest ventures in 2014, Diddy continues to have many different businesses to keep him busy. In addition to production work, Diddy also has a stake in two clothing lines, he owns several restaurants, and has a large stake both the Revolt TV network and in Ciroc Vodka.

Looking at Diddy’s current ventures, one has to ask: Can Dr. Dre keep up with Diddy’s growing fortune and beat him in the race to $1 billion?

According to Forbes, the chances are slim, as writers from the media outlet believe that a sale of any number of his ventures could easily push Diddy’s net worth higher than $1 billion. Forbes staff member Zack O’Malley Greenberg wrote:

“…while Dre’s wealth derived from a single jackpot idea, Diddy’s is the product of his interests in a slew of companies, a handful of which could one day give him a Beats-esque exit.”

Do you think Dr. Dre has what it takes to become hip hop’s first billionaire, or do you think Diddy will beat Dr. Dre to the $1 billion-mark?

[Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]