Rappers not only enjoy an exalted status in the world of celebrities, but they get to compose raps about their fellow celebrities, too, in Taylor Swift fashion.
Rap artists are also sought after for their collaboration because this usually triples the money-making potential of a mainstream album like Britney Spears’ or Ariana Grande’s. But since the world of rappers is still widely considered to be an enclave, it’s important to define terms before going into any serious matter about the subject.
After all, rap music and, to a bigger extent, rap culture has a lot of purity hounds that ensure that only the finest qualified rap material comes through for production. As such, the quality control employed by rappers and hip-hop culture members alike is a very stringent measure that tends to oust anything that is not considered hip-hop.
Take, for example, music artist Iggy Azalea’s recent experience at the airport. According to HipHopDx, Azalea is thanked by an unidentified camera-wielding man.
“Are you Iggy Azalea? I would like to thank you so much for ruining hip-hop.”
The man reportedly trains his camera on Azalea, giggles and then leaves.
Obviously, Azalea is a minority in the rap environment. To this day, very few Caucasian musicians have been able to penetrate the exclusive subculture. Eminem is another example.
The dictionary defines hip-hop as “the popular subculture of big-city teenagers, which includes rap music, break dancing, and graffiti art.”
Therefore, hip-hop is an encompassing term. In contrast, rap music is just one aspect of hip-hop. Urban Dictionary dichotomizes hip-hop and its popular variant as follows.
“Hip-Hop Music is: Run DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Gang Starr, Wu-Tang Clan, Pharcyde, Hieroglyphics, Aceyalone, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Public Enemy, Common, Mobb Deep, Nas, Rakim, and many more old school and underground acts. Hip-Pop Music is: P. Diddy, Ja Rule, Nelly, 50 Cent, G-Unit, Cash Money Millionaries [sic], and other mainstream money making oriented acts.”
It is no wonder that rappers are still predominantly black as hip-hop was born in South Bronx, NYC, in the 1970s. Following the above definitions, Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj in his “Beauty and the Beat” hit will fall under hip-pop music and not strictly hip-hop.
The exclusivity of hip-hop antedates Brexit by a wide margin. And yet the zeal to “leave us alone” is just as potent. Is it this exclusivity that makes rappers who belong to the hip-hop realm not only so distinguished but also very rich?
Time to Break recently identified 19 of the richest rappers in the world. But here’s the bad news: All such rappers are black with the exception of Eminem who surpasses all expectations by rising to the No. 6 spot. Certainly, it was a climb fraught with much struggle and frustration. To begin with, the source explains that Eminem was initially laughed at for the elementary-school rhyme of his early raps.
Now Eminem is a member of the exclusive club and perhaps an honorary member at that. The rapper’s net worth is said to be in the $210 million mark. He reportedly sold 50 million actual rap albums and 40 million digital downloads.
But what is $210 million, really, compared to Sean Comb’s $750 million net worth which has propelled the preeminent rap artist to the No. 1 position in the list of wealthy rappers? Definitely peanuts, right?
Diddy is trailed by Dr. Dre’s $710 million, making him the No. 2 man in the story of oozing rappers’ wealth. Here is the rest of the list for your review.
3. Jay Z : $610 million
4. Master P: $350 million
5. Russel Simmons: $325 million
7. Usher: $180 million
8. Ronald Slim Williams: $170 million
9. 50 Cent: $155 million
10. Birdman: $150 million
11. Lil Wayne: $150 million
12. Kanye West: $147 million
13. Snoop Dog: $142 million
14. Ice Cube: $120 million
15. Pharrell Williams: $120 million
16. LL Cool J: $100 million
17. Drake: $100 million
18. Timbaland: $80 million
19. Akon: $80 million
So there you have it, the list of the top 19 highest-earning rappers in the music industry. While it remains predominantly black culture-wise, there are silver linings in the horizon as shown forth by breakthrough rapper Eminem. Also, Justin Bieber’s affinity with Usher and Drake is another opening that can make way for a white infiltration of the industry. As it is right now, the land of rappers is as Brexit as can be.
However, now that the word is out on the pay grade in this industry, even someone like Taylor Swift might be tempted to get her very white feet wet in this otherwise very exclusive field. With Swift being able to write a song in under 30 minutes, she can have a field day doing what rappers do. And so for infiltration purposes, she is the next best candidate after rapper Eminem, TaySwift willing.
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]