Jay Z dethrones Diddy as hip hop's richest

Jay-Z (file) has become the wealthiest hip-hop star in the world, according to Forbes magazine.
Jay-Z (file) has become the wealthiest hip-hop star in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

Jay Z has climbed past Sean "Diddy" Combs to rank as the world's wealthiest hip-hop artist thanks to heady champagne and cognac investments, according to data released by Forbes magazine.

The 48-year-old Hard Knock Life rapper and music mogul increased his estimated net worth in 2017 to $US900 million, up by $US90 million from the year before in the annual list compiled by Forbes.

Combs, 48, who had been hip-hop's wealthiest artist since Forbes first released the list in 2011, grew his estimated $US825 million fortune by a tepid $US5 million last year, Forbes said on Thursday.

The primary driver of Jay Z's wealth came from investments in luxury champagne brand Armand de Brignac and D'Usse cognac, while lukewarm trends in the vodka and cable television sectors weighed on Combs' investments in Diageo's Ciroc vodka and the TV network Revolt, Forbes said.

Jay Z's tenure at the top spot may be short lived. Hip-hop's third-wealthiest figure, Dr. Dre, is expected to add a nine-figure windfall of Apple stock to his estimated $US770 million wealth this(northern) summer, Forbes said. Apple acquired Dr. Dre's headphone and audio speaker company Beats in 2014.

Drake and Eminem rounded out the latest top five, tied with an estimated $US100 million fortune each.

Forbes compiled the list by valuing major assets, examining financial documents and consulting analysts, attorneys, managers and other industry players.

Australian Associated Press