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Most Rappers Are Lying About Their Net Worth

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm / Posted by

"Magna Carta Holy Grail" Album Release PartyFlaunting wealth is nothing new in the world of rap. Namedropping designers like Gucci, Balmain, Versace, and countless others—as well as crafting rhymes about the lengths of their yachts—has become de rigueur for many hip-hop artists. The behavior has become so commonplace in fact, that Jay-Z called it out on his just-released album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” On the track “Versus,” he raps: “The truth in my verses, versus your metaphors about what your net worth is.”

Allison McCann, a graphics editor at Bloomberg BusinessWeek, took his allegation quite seriously, researching old Forbes data to compare rappers’ actual net worths with the wealth that they claim that they have in various rap verses. The results, though not entirely surprising, are pretty entertaining.

For example, in his popular party song “Feel This Moment,” rapper Pit Bull claims to be a billionaire. But as of this year, when the song came out, his net worth is actually in the $9.5 million range. Tsk tsk! Another good one: Nas, in 2012, rapped that he was worth $200 million, but because of the money he owes the IRS in back-taxes, he’s actually worth negative $6 million. Whoops! There are some pleasantly humble rappers, though. Back in 1997, Dr. Dre rapped that he planned to “grow old with his millions.” As of present day, he’s worth $350 million, so technically he was right.

In an interesting twist McCann was called out by readers on Twitter, who argued that her assertion that 50 Cent earned $7.5 million in 2012 (in contrast to his 2012 song “I’m On It,” in which he claimed to blow $100 million and earn another $100 million) was incorrect, based on the massive fortune he acquired when Vitamin Water, which he owned a minority stake in, was sold to Coca-Cola in 2007. According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, his current net worth is $260 million. The claim is technically accurate considering that McCann is sampling his earnings from a single year, but overall the numbers can be a bit misleading when you take into account that she switches between using earnings from a single year with total net worths.

Regardless, it’s a fun read. Head over to BusinessWeek.com to see the entire chart!

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