Nas Has Made The Forbes Hip-Hop List For The First Time In His Career
Nas told his fans what he would do if he ruled the world. In the 22 years since his Lauryn Hill-assisted single, Nasir Jones has stacked paper in a way that has put him in a very powerful position. Like peers JAY-Z and Eminem, one of Hip-Hop’s most respected MCs has the bills that match his skills.
In the September 30 issue, Forbes magazine has published its annual “Hip-Hop Cash Kings” list, ranking the highest-paid rappers of the last year. More than 25 years after a flame-broiled breakthrough verse on Main Source’s “Live At The Barbeque,” Nas makes his debut on the Forbes list, compiled by Zack O’Malley Greenburg. He’s not starting small either.
The publication estimates that Nasty Nas built up his 2017-2018 bands through stakes in Lyft, Coinbase, Genius, and Mass Appeal. The mag attributes some of these tips to a chance dinner-party meeting-turned-friendship with venture capitalist Ben Horowitz. However, Nas’ portfolio is more diverse than just those companies. Through his QueensBridge Venture Partners firm, the MC backed pharmacy startup PillPack. In July, that company was reported to be acquired by Amazon for more than $1 billion. Previously, in March, reports speculated that Nas could earn as much as $40 mill from the sale of doorbell company Ring. Amazon was also the buyer of that startup. During all of these investments and dealings, Nas also released his 11th solo album, Nasir. That Kanye West-produced LP debuted at #5.
In late 2016, Nas spoke on Jimmy Kimmel Live! about QueensBridge Venture Partners. “We take pitch meetings,” said the MC. “They’re mostly good. They’re smart people.” On ABC, Nas joked that his brother and Bravehearts member Jungle pitches more ideas than anybody else.
Nas’ foe-turned-friend JAY-Z tops the list, with an estimated $900MM pulled in. Esco’s “Hate Me Now” collaborator Puff Daddy is next up, with an estimated $64MM racked up this last calendar. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar is close behind, rounding out the Top 3 with an estimated $58MM.
Along with Nas, the list featured financially-minded debuts by Logic, Meek Mill, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, and Russ. Notably, feuding females Nicki Minaj and Cardi B are both absent. Minaj has become a Forbes fixture throughout the decade.
The full rankings (including ties), per Forbes:
20. Swizz Beatz
20. Meek Mill
18. Lil Wayne
17. Lil Uzi Vert
15. Travis Scott
14. Chance The Rapper
11. DJ Khaled
10. Kanye West
6. Dr. Dre
5. J. Cole
3. Kendrick Lamar
2. Puff Daddy