With a rumored Beats acquisition by Apple, Dr. Dre may be the first billionaire in hip-hop, but he's no overnight success. When hip-hop first burst onto the scene--or rather when it crossed over (many mark the moment of this culture convergence with the debut of the Aerosmith/Run-DMC's Walk This Way collaboration )--mainstreamers thought hip-hop was destined to be another disco, a movement locked in a moment and then discarded. But hip-hop did more than endure--it prevailed. And nobody has ridden the wave (indeed, caused the wave) better or more profitably than Dr. Dre. (Even before the alleged Apple deal, Forbes listed Dre's net worth at about $550 million-- though no telling how they calculated his Beats shares in the estimate.) Dre has been around--he produced and/or discovered Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and The Game, to name just a few. He's a West Coast mainstay, straight out of Compton, a veteran of the infamous and wildly successful Death Row Records, an original gangsta with N.W.A. and a solo artist since back in 1992, with the release of The Chronic.
According the The Financial Times, Beats by Dr. Dre, a superior headphones system with heavy bass that he marketed with music mogul Jimmy Iovine, is now the apple of Apple's eye. If the $3.2 billion price that's floating around is accurate, Dre may well take his place at the top of hip-hop's richest list, though Beats is maybe more of a technology play than a music play--the company is, after all, called Beats Electronics. So maybe Dre should be shouting out about being a tech mogul instead. Either way, as Dave Chappelle might say, he's rich biatch.
[Check out the "Most Interesting Finds" on Amazon ]