Dr. Dre has been named hip-hop's highest earner, with Forbes magazine estimating he made $110 million last year.
The rap mogul may still not have released his long-awaited 'Detox' album but he made an estimated $110 million last year, largely thanks to his Beats by Dr. Dre headphone collection, which saw him earn $100 million when HTC bought a 51 per cent stake in the company for $300 million.
P. Diddy was ranked second on the list with $45 million, with a huge percentage of his income coming from his share of profits for Diageo's Ciroc vodka, while third-placed Jay-Z brought in more than half of his $38 million through business deals including ownership stakes in cosmetics company Carol's Daughter, the Brooklyn Nets and a joint venture with Duracell.
Former Def Jam President Kevin Liles - who now manages a number of hip-hop artists - says it is typical for his acts to make a lot of their money from endorsements.
He said: "We've received a lot of income based around endorsements.
"A lot of brands are saying, 'Hey, there's a value proposition, instead of this freewheeling spending ... I have some guaranteed curators and travel agents that can help me reach the consumer in a better way.' "
Kanye West and Lil Wayne rounded out the top five on Forbes' annual list, earning $35 million and $27 million respectively.
Forbes looked at income from touring, record sales, publishing, films, merchandise sales, endorsements and other ventures from May 2011 to May 2012 to compile the list.
Forbes magazine's highest earning hip-hop stars top 10:
1. Dr. Dre, $110million
2. P. Diddy, $45million
3. Jay-Z, $38million
4. Kanye West, $35million
5. Lil Wayne, $27milliion
6. Drake, $20.5million
7. Birdman, $20million
8. Nicki Minaj, $15.5million
9. Eminem, $15million
10. Ludacris, $12million