Diddy, Drake, Dre and Jay Z raked in nearly $200 million last year

Forbes annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings roundup is here, and there are quite a few surprises.

Last year, Dr. Dre made the most money in hip-hop after Apple purchased his company, Beats Electronics, for $US3 billion. A year later, Dre has slid into fourth place behind Diddy, Jay Z, and Drake.

According to Forbes, after coming off the big $US620 million personal payday from Apple, Dre’s checks have shrunk a bit, essentially reducing his cash flow. Dre is still massively rich, regardless.

Aside from his newfound wealth via Apple, Dre executive produced the N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” (which has netted about $US160 million in the US to date) and released an album that coincided with the film. Those numbers, however, weren’t factored into the current rankings.

With Dre’s fall, Diddy moved right into the first spot, even though he rarely ever performs or makes music anymore. He’s all about business, and it’s paying off.

Jay Z — to the surprise of no one — moved up a spot as well, to No. 2. The rap mogul simply knows how to make money. Leading the charge for Jay is his Roc Nation music label. Roc Nation also has a sports division that contributes to Jay Z’s earnings. Though Jay Z’s newest business — the music streaming service, Tidal — has been hammered by rumours of an imminent demise, it has remained afloat thus far.

The biggest surprise perhaps was rapper Drake coming in at No. 3 — the highest ranking he’s achieved in his young career. Drake was fourth last year, but after selling over a million copies of his “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” album released in February, the “Trophies” rapper moved into the upper echelon.

Check out the highlights of the list below, complete with how much each artist made over the past year.

Diddy landed in the No. 1 spot, raking in $60 million.

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Jay Z was ranked No. 2. The hip-hop legend earned $56 million.

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Drake climbed to No. 3. The Toronto native pulled in $39.5 million over the past year.

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What a Time To Be Alive.

Dr. Dre is No. 4. The rapper/producer made $33 million.

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'Happy' singer Pharrell Williams is No. 5, eclipsing the $32 million mark.

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Eminem held down No. 6 with $31 million.

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Kanye West locked down at No. 7. The rapper/fashion designer made $22 million over the past year.

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Nicki Minaj swerves in at No. 9. Her album 'The Pinkprint' helped propel her to $21 million.

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Rap legend Snoop Dogg sits at No. 15. Even though he hasn't put out much music lately, he still managed to pull down $10 million in the past year.

Snoop Dogg signs a cup during a memorabilia donation to the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood .

Tech N9ne blasts in at No. 17. The rapper released 'Special Effects' early in 2015, helping him peel off a cool $8.5 million.

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Ludacris rolled out to No. 18. The 'How Low' musician hasn't put out any super relevant music in a while, but has been known to pursue other business ventures. He also appeared in the hit movie 'Furious 7' earlier this year. All of that helped him secure $8 million.


T.I. pops in at No. 19, tucking away $6 million over the past year. The Atlanta rapper plans to release 'The Dime Trap' in the coming weeks

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Last but not least, rapper/producer duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis snap up spot No. 20. The two made $5.5 million over the past year.

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