Monday, April 18, 2011

Hip Hop's First Billionaire?

Rap mogul and hip hop powerhouse Sean “Diddy” Combs made news earlier this month, when an article forecast that Combs is well on his way to becoming rap’s first billionaire. The financial magazine Forbes recently ranked Combs at the top of the hip hop mountain in terms of net worth at $475 million and growing. Due to Diddy’s broad marketing appeal, his Sean John clothing line, and his very lucrative partnership with Ciroc vodka, Combs is the king of the financial hip hop world. Of course, it all started with “Puff Daddy,” Bad Boy Records and hip hop music. Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter is not far behind, with Forbes calculating his net worth at $450 million.

In Combs’s own words, referencing his financial success, “I take pride in [building] something as a black man that’s worth that much . . . It shows the power of hip hop.” Indeed, Combs’s achievements are truly a testament to the staying power and broad global and corporate appeal of hip hop.

Diddy and Jay-Z are seeking to join Tiger Woods in the rarefied air of the billionaire. Woods was the first athlete in history to reach this milestone, based primarily on endorsements and prize winnings. Woods' accomplishment as the first billionaire athlete occurred prior to the scandals that have beset him of late.

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