During the 1990s, Diddy, then known as Puff Daddy, became the first hip hop artist to be featured in Forbes magazine. Until Diddy, most moguls responsible for hip hop artists were not directly affiliated with the genre. While Diddy was covering mainstream media, Jay-Z was recording his debut album and 50 Cent was still in the streets, while Birdman was local in New Orleans.
It has been an incredible journey for all of the mentioned hip hop moguls, with Jay-Z joining Diddy on the list by the 2000s and taking the crown for a number of years. By 2010, most figured Jay-Z to be the wealthiest, followed by Diddy and 50 Cent. Last year, however, Diddy began to gain more attention for his business ventures, while 50 Cent disappeared from the list.
For years, Birdman has been rich, long before he was in the spotlight. With his focus on running his Cash Money Records as a major label, Birdman sells more records. The label has rapidly expanded and he is now in the Forbes conversation. Diddy was recently named the wealthiest earners, but he was followed by Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Birdman.