While Rihanna and Teyana became the talk of the Twitter-loving town, trading jabs in an online feud that features ruthless responses, typically over-dramatic instigation and lots and lots of Photoshop, Nicki Minaj may have grabbed the only headline that truly matters when she was ranked at no. 4 on Forbes' annual Hip Hop-Cash Kings.
The list, which was released yesterday, saw industry bad boy and Ciroc mogul, Diddy, Roc Nation commander-in-chief Jay Z (dropped hyphen and all), and Beats creator Dr. Dre ranked ahead of Nicki Minaj, who was the only woman to make it on the list and has been the only woman to do so since Forbes first began keeping score in 2007.
The $29 million that she earned in the past year put her ahead the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Snoop Lion, proving once again that she can mix it up with the best and actually come out on top in an industry that has traditionally been a man's world.
“I’ve never been afraid to walk into the boy’s club,” the artist told Forbes. “Ever. Ever, ever, ever.”
So what, exactly, made Nicki that much richer this year? Well, like all great money makers, the MC's wealth is diversified and comes from a range of sources. Her career as a performer obviously brings home the bread, but her role as an "American Idol" judge and endorsements with Mac Cosmetics, OPI and Pepsi provide her with great streams of revenue, as well.
Meanwhile, the hip hop icon is moving towards the path of undisputed money king Diddy, hoping to emulate the success he's had with Ciroc with her own stake in Myx Fusions Moscato. In a similarly business-savvy move, the star just debuted a clothing line through K-Mart last week to round out a financial portfolio that is as unique as the star itself.
“Nicki’s just got it,” music attorney Lori Landew told Forbes. “Part of the reason she’s so authentic is because she’s so chameleon-like, which could come across as cartoonish and not attractive to a brand, but it works for her.”
Nicki's earnings in the past twelves months not only signify a great year, but great improvement as well, as she nearly doubled the $15.5 million she made the previous year. Overall, Forbes' ranking has her well ahead of her Cash Money label affiliates Lil' Wayne and Birdman.
And while Drake, who has also fallen in line behind Minaj on the Cash Kings list, may be the flavor of the month after the official release of his latest album this week, Nicki has proven that Cash Money may be the company, but this year she's the boss.
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