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Four years ago Jay-Z issued a lyrical taunt to his fellow rappers: “What you call money, I pay more in taxes.” Turns out his line was more than just a boast.

Jay-Z pulled in $63 million over the past 12 months, earning him his second straight hip-hop cash crown. His income level places him in the 35% tax bracket, which means he’ll pay Uncle Sam about $22 million this year–a sum greater than the total earnings of any other rap star besides second-ranked Diddy.

The top 20 earners on this year’s Cash Kings list racked up about $300 million in earnings, an average of $15 million per artist. Remarkably, the total is roughly the same as last year, despite a troubled economy and a music industry thrown into flux by new technology.

Atlanta rapper Ludacris came in at number 6 with $16 million.

Read the rest at Forbes.


1.Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter: $63 Million

2.Sean “Diddy” Combs: $30 million

3.Aliuane “Akon” Thiam: $21 million

4.Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter: $20 million

5.Andre “Dr. Dre” Young: $17 million

6.Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges: $16 million

7.Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus: $15 million

8.Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley: $14 million

9.Pharrell Williams: $13 million

10.Kanye West: $12 million

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