All Day, Birdman, Daily Dose, Diddy, Drake, Jay-Z -

Jay Z, Live Nation ink $200M deal which means the ‘Forbes’ richest hip-hop artists list needs to change

All Day, Birdman, Daily Dose, Diddy, Drake, Jay-Z -

Jay Z, Live Nation ink $200M deal which means the ‘Forbes’ richest hip-hop artists list needs to change

When Shawn Carter is 57 years old, he’ll still be touring.

According to Variety, Jay Z and Live Nation have signed a deal for his exclusive performance rights that’s reported to be in the $200 million range. Their previous deal together, signed in 2008, was worth $150M. At the time, when Jay was 38, many questioned the sense of such a big move for the events company. A slew of Made In America festivals later that have made their mark on the country’s pop culture landscape, and boom — they were right.

For those of you who have been following Jay’s actual recent music career, this news comes with a bit of irony. As my colleague Breana Jones said, “Guess he did not, in fact, hold out for three.” That’s in reference to his 2012 song with Rick Ross and Dr. Dre (more on him in a second) titled “3 Kings.

I ran through that buck fifty Live Nation fronted me
They workin’ on another deal, they talkin’ two hundred fifty
I’m holdin’ out for three
Two seventy five and I just might agree

Also interesting is that we might have a change at the top of the Forbes richest artists in hip-hop list, which was just released Wednesday. This list is always a fascinating one. In an era in which record sales aren’t how anyone makes big money anymore, the lists are more representative of the best businesspeople in the game. Mind you, this was released Wednesday.

  1. Diddy – $820M
  2. Jay Z – $810M
  3. Dr. Dre – $740M
  4. Birdman – $110M
  5. Drake – $90M

So, unless Sean Combs announces something before the end of the week, he’s already off the top of this list by a reasonably large margin, depending on the breakdown on the payout for Jay. Of course, this is all based on net worth. Perhaps more interesting to me, though, is how wide the gap is between Birdman and Dre. There’s an argument that while you’ve got those three at the top, an overall look at the top 10 would be far more informative as to who’s really doing the best with their talent in the hip-hop game.

Clearly, no one’s catching up with the men on the medal stand, but they’re also not really making music with any regularity anymore. Which is basically why they’re rich. They did that in an era in which record sales mattered, then parlayed that into branding opportunities and general wealth acquisition through business that was smart and fruitful. You’ll note someone who’s not on this list who once was: 50 Cent. But that’s a whole other story.

Rounding out the top five is an old tale of music industry shadiness. Birdman, who heads Cash Money Records, is being sued by Lil Wayne. And not just for Lamborghini money — we’re talking $50M. That’s nearly half of Baby’s worth, according to those Forbes numbers. Also, there’s a lawsuit involving Drake’s work with them from early in his career. Basically, the whole thing is a mess over rights and royalties, which is really sad. Particularly when you know explicitly that Drizzy is responsible for a not-insignificant portion of that label’s hits.

Point is, by next year that list will likely be very different at the bottom.


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