The culture loves to big-up an artist who spends large amounts of money on items only attainable by the perceived wealthy population. It’s a game just as dangerous as gambling a stack in Las Vegas—just ask Sean Kingston who is constantly cappin’ for Instagram with unpaid jewelry bills or Bow Wow who frequently trends on social media for failed flex attempts to keep up an image.
The pressure to make money is high-pressure, but not impossible if the moves are right.
Take Jay-Z’s champagne brand, for instance. In 2006 the mogul purchased Armand de Brignac after boycotting then-beloved brand Cristal following disparaging comments from an executive who hinted that he didn’t like rappers associating with their product. In true boss fashion, Hov turned a seemingly unknown brand into a celebratory must-have ordered at events and parties known by a new moniker: Ace of Spades.
This week, the “Empire State of Mind” rapper flipped his investment by announcing a partnership with Paris-based LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton who purchased a 50% stake in the company. The sale is set to yield millions in profit — read more on that here.
Jay-Z and his business acumen isn’t an anomaly, though. We know of a couple of artists who also scored big in their deals. Check out six artists who hit a lick through smart investments. Let us know in the comments who else should have made this list.
1. Drake – $10 million
What’s one thing Drake has in common with ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez and fellow Canadian Celine Dion? A Las Vegas residency, duh. In 2019, the Toronto native inked an exclusive deal with Wynn’s XS Nightclub to run a 10-show performance worth about $10 million. The venue would allow for an intimate performance for as many as 4,800 fans with dates running into 2020. The pandemic got in the way of some of the dates, though.
2. Travis Scott – $20 million
Travis Scott secured a bag and a plate thanks to his deal with Mc Donald’s last year. The clever partnership paid the rapper $5 million for the endorsement and another $15 million for the exclusive merchandise sales that sold out despite its weird graphics. Somewhere on this planet, someone is walking around with a weird brown McRib t-shirt that is now impossible to cop because hypebeats gonna hypebeast.
3. 50 Cent – $100 million
Back in 2007 Queens native, 50 Cent was the talk of the town for his investment stake in Vitamin Water. Cocoa-Cola acquired the energy drink brand for $4.1 billion, netting Curtis Jackson an estimated $60 million to $100 million from the sale.
4. Diddy – $100 million
For over 10 years, Hip-Hop has been getting tipsy on Ciroc Vodka thanks to a lucrative deal between the liquor company and Diddy signed in 2007. Through their exclusive 50/50 multi-year deal, Sean Combs Enterprises runs all brand management decisions for the company in exchange for half of the future profits. Now you understand why Ciroc is everywhere, even spotted recently in Verzuz battles despite the fact that nobody drinks it during filming. Not bad for a $100 million deal, right?
5. Dr. Dre – $500 million
Legend has it that Jimmy Iovine convinced Dr. Dre to collaborate on a speaker venture instead of a sneaker line in 2008. The idea eventually birthed Beats by Dre, a then-headphone line that was marketed on the elite listening experience calibrated by one of the greatest ears in the game. After a couple of years of dominating the industry, the headphones company caught the attention of Apple where they later acquired the brand for $3 billion in 2014. Forbes estimates that Dr. Dre walked away with at least $500 million from the sale.
6. Kanye West – $1.3 billion, allegedly.
Kanye West’s fashion ventures have catapulted his net worth into billionaire figures. The Yeezy brand has garnered such a cult following that it may very well be on trend to Jordan Brand’s earning potential. In 2019, Ye was on track to earn a whopping $1.3 billion in footwear revenue. Following that, The Gap Brand inked a 10-year deal with Yeezy’s fashion line last year that’s expected to earn $1 billion in annual sales.