Including his role as president of Def Jam Recordings and co-founder of its Roc-A-Fella Records imprint, plus top-notch endorsements, Jay-Z, or Shawn Carter, banked roughly $34 million in 2006, ensconcing him at the top of Forbes magazine's inaugural list of hip-hop Cash Kings, released online Thursday.
At No. 2, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, presides over G-Unit, a portfolio that includes apparel, ring tones, video games and a line of fiction, earning an estimated $32 million last year.
Sean "Diddy" Combs, at No. 3, has a hand in music and TV production, clothing, fragrances and restaurants, bringing $28 million.
Unlike other music genres where artists make the bulk of their money selling albums and touring, hip-hop has generated a list of musicians who used their fame to move into other lucrative entertainment ventures, the magazine said.