A look into the billion dollar Hip-Hop industry


A look into the billion dollar industry of Hip-Hop, and the exploitation of record labels taking advantage over rappers in a new wave of hip-hop.

Last week saw the death of controversial rapper, singer and songwriter, Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy (aka. XXXTENTACION), here we will look at the new wave of hip hop, usually originating from soundcloud, and how those; such a XXXTENTACION, have seen such success through new and unconventional means, starting from virtually nothing.

XXXTENTACION started his musical career after being released from a Floridian Youth correction center, due to multiple physical altercations. However, following his release from the youth center, Jahseh decided it was time to turn his life around; and uploaded his first release, to music sharing website Soundcloud, in June 2013. Since then, XXXTENTACION has gained millions of followers and amassed millions of dollars through an extremely popular, new wave of hip hop, predominantly known as soundcloud rap, this usually consists of: heavy distortion, third-wave emo, depressed rap, and more, however, many fans insist that XXXTENTACION’s music differentiates from what is now known as mainstream rap.

XXXTENTACION quotes life has now come to an end due to his homicide last week, there are many other Soundcloud originating rappers like him, such as ‘Lil Pump’, ‘6ix9ine’ and many more; all slightly differentiating themselves through their music and appearance, hence the reason for their success and popularity.

Rappers such as ‘Lil Pump”, usually have little or no skill in a musical sense, all the work going down to production. Record labels sign the likes of ‘Lil Pump‘ and ‘Lil xan” due to their marketability through young teenagers. The glamorizations of drug culture, which are extremely common among the lyrics of rappers in the new wave of Soundcloud rap, often further promote their music, as young adults often listen to this music, seeing it as “cool.”

In a Business sense, record labels such as “Warner Bros entertainment” and “bad vibes forever”, continually sign artists that are determined for short lived success, reflected accurately through lil pump. The record label will earn millions from the artist, and once the wave of hip hop the artist is currently riding on is over, the record label will drop them and move onto the next artist. This is why versatile rappers such as Eminem and Jay Z, are the greats of hip hop because they are constantly changing their style of music to adapt to the wants and needs of the hip hop genre.

Although the more succesful rappers can earn extremely high amounts of money, the tyrants of the rap game almost always diversify their income. Take the top 3 richest Hip-Hop artists:

1. P. Diddy
2. Dr Dre
3. Jay Z

Sean Combs (Aka. P. Diddy) made his money from a large amount of incomes, such as: Rapping, Producing, acting, songwriting, etc. Combs is worth an astonishing £750 million.

Andre Young (Aka. Dr. Dre) earned the majority of his money through being the majority share holder of LLC “Beats by Dre” an extremely successful headphone production company, sold to Apple in the summer of 2014 for a staggering $1 billion! His total net worth is estimated to be close to $700 million.

Shawn Carter (Aka. Jay Z) amassed a total of $610 million, through smart investments such as: clothing lines, record companies, nightclubs and more.

All three of these rappers prove that by diversifying their income streams, they were able to earn substantially more than those like ‘Nas’ whose income stream was solely record sales, he is estimated to be worth $50 million, Not much for an artist as large scale as him.