Jay-Z and Kanye West Take Top Earning Throne

Even without their much-publicized and heavily-anticipated team up "Watch the Throne" tabulated into the equation, Jay-Z and Kanye West already top the list of hip hop earners, according to Forbes.

Jay-Z is the man with the scepter, topping the list with $37 million in the last year. Although his live "Blueprint 3" tour as well as the $150 million deal he struck with concert promoters Live Nation were huge factors, Jay is nothing if not multi-faceted. Forbes took into consideration the fact that Jay is part-owner of the New Jersey Nets, has a nightclub chain, and even an ad firm.

This also marks the first year Jay-Z has out-earned his wife, Beyonce, since the pair were married in 2008.

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Diversification is definitely key. Primarily a musician and producer, Kanye came in third with $16 million behind #2 earner P. Diddy. Diddy's $35 million is made up of only 20% music - his clothing line, marketing firm, and partnership with Ciroc vodka were the real factors.

Rounding out the list were Li'l Wayne ($15 million, despite spending part of last year in prison), producer Birdman ($15 million), Eminmen ($14 million) and Snoop Dogg ($14 million).

Selected Reading: MTV, Forbes, Houston Chronicle

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