Everybody in rap music wants to be considered a mogul; that's why 50 Cent has Vitamin Water and B-list musicians end up with perfume lines. A true mogul must not only be able to cover music, but also have an expensive alcohol that they relentlessly promote and a clothing accessory to put their signature on and sell for double the money.
So, in a business where everybody tries to get their hands on a piece of the cake and eat it too (I never understood metaphors), three men have established themselves as heavy hitters in the game. Below is a cheat sheet for everything you need to know about the three titans of whoring-yourself-out the rap business.
Name: Sean Carter
AKA: Jay-Z, HOVA, Jigga Man
Who?: That guy with the lips.
Born: Marcy Projects, New York, where he shot his brother for stealing his chain when he was 12.
Hand Sign: The “diamond,” which consists of putting your hands together to make a triangle. Has been linked to the Illuminati and other occult cults for being an intricate hand symbol used among world leaders.
Clothing Company: Roc-A-Wear, Artful Dodger
Expensive Liquids: Armand de Brignac, a luxury champagne that Jay-Z started to endorse ever since his former-favorite alcohol Cristal said some things that upset him.
Net Worth: $547 Million, plus he's married to Beyonce who's worth $315 Million herself, putting the family total at $862 M.
Protégé(s): Kanye West, Rihanna, J. Cole
Arm Candy: Beyonce
Bonus Points: Owns the 40/40 club in NY, is the co-brand director for Budweiser, has been in the White House, and something about the New Jersey Nets.
“No matter where you go, you are what you are player
And you can try to change but that's just the top layer
Man, you was who you was ‘fore you got here
Only God can judge me, so I'm gone, either love me, or leave me alone”
Name: Sean Combs
AKA: Puff Daddy, P Diddy, Diddy, Ciroc Obama
Who?: That guy on MTV.
Born: Harlem, New York., where his dad was a worker for Frank Lucas, the drug kingpin who got to be played by Denzel in American Gangster.
Hand Sign: Arms crossed in front of him with a lost look in his eyes and a shit-eating grin. Also, a toothpick should be present.
Clothing Company: Sean John, which was caught using “raccoon-dog” in their fur coats but still managed to receive the Council of Fashion Designers of America award.
Expensive Liquids: Ciroc, a vodka that tastes horrible but sells for about $50 a bottle because P. Diddy holds it up in public.
Net Worth: $380 million
Protégé(s): Mary J. Blige, Usher, whatever MTV groupies he has working together this month.
Arm Candy: Cassie, that girl who looks and sounds like Ciara, but had naked images leaked to the web.
Bonus Points: Owns a restaurant in Atlanta, has been a regular on Broadway, and is helping Joaquin Phoenix start his rap career.
“Aiyyo, call me Diddy, I run this city
Send the cops, the D.A. and feds to come get me
Cats wanna leave me for dead you comin with me
Gettin head in the Bentley red at one fifty”
Name: Bryan Williams
AKA: Birdman, Baby, Number One Stunna
Who?: That bald guy with the tattoos who stands beside Lil' Wayne.
Born: Uptown New Orleans
Hand Sign: Two hands…making a bird. Get it? Because he's the birdman. How clever. Prrrrrreeeew.
Clothing Company: Lugz, a shoe company that makes the same stuff Timberland does, only cheaper.
Expensive Liquids: Birdman owns an oil rig. He's earned over $100 million off oil alone and even tattooed an oil rig on the top of his head.
Net Worth: $500 million
Protégé(s): Lil' Wayne, Jay Sean, Kevin Rudolf
Arm Candy: Lil' Wayne
Bonus Points: When asked why he's so business savvy, Birdman says, “I was just born with that shit, brah.”
“Everyday a new whip hommie, So you know I gets my shine on
Flip after we flip hommie, So you know I gets my grind on
Birdman daddy, Pullin up in dat brand new Cadi
Got money, livin lavish, Got bitches, shippin baggage”
So who's the best? Well Puffy… I mean P. Diddy… I mean Diddy, has invested his money in all the right places, and although some people accuse him of selling out, he's still a good businessman. Jay-Z has been more successful than Diddy, but only because he diversifies his investments in every sector available; plus he's been making and selling music non-stop since his appearance.
But truthfully, the Number One Stunna tops them all; Birdman has no musical talent, he can't rhyme, and he can't sing, but somehow, in spite of these painfully obvious shortcomings, he still has managed to make over $500 million by assembling a collection of people who can do these things. Plus, Birdman owns an oil rig. A friggin oil rig. Case closed.