JAY-Z Tops Forbes as the Richest RAP Mogul! 3 out of 4 years str8!

For the third time in the past four years, Jay-Z has been anointed hip-hop's "Cash King" by Forbes; he is rap's highest-earning star with a bullet, according to the magazine's annual ranking.

Having taken in $63 million in the past 12 months, Hovi Baby easily bested a who's who of hip-hop rain makers that includes Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Timbaland and Dr. Dre — not to mention the only person to have financially outperformed Jay-Z in recent memory, 50 Cent, who took the Forbes list's top spot in 2008 with a $150 million annual income. He was downgraded to No. 14 this year, though, having checked in with a comparatively paltry $8 million.

And the list's No. 2 wasn't even close. Just $30 million, Sean "Diddy" Combs?

But if there is a take away from this year's Cash King crop, it's that business as usual in the rap world means leveraging one's creativity into a mode of undisguised commerciality that's created an abiding business model for the music industry.

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