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(HOT) 50 Cent is not only a multi-platinum artist; he is also a savvy businessman with several ventures under his belt, including a clothing line and a beverage line. 50 is also affiliated with a video game company and his image is licensed to several other companies. If that’s not enough, 50 recently released a biopic on his life.


(HOT) Kanye West has the Midas touch as an artist and producer; whatever he touches turns to platinum. Kanye was partly responsible for the success of John Legend’s debut album and he plans to launch a clothing line in the near future.


(NOT) Ja Rule’s career has hit the skids, he can’t give away records and his last two albums failed to reach gold status. As an actor, he’s not impressive. I hope he invested his money wisely because it’s doubtful that he can make a comeback.



(HOT) Ciara is red hot right now! She is sexy and she can out dance her background dancers. Hopefully she can keep up the momentum. Her upcoming projects include a tour with Gwen Stefani and she plans to go in the studio with Kanye West at the end of the year to work on her next album. She will also make her film debut in “Rumble,” scheduled for a 2006 release; the film will also star Marques Houston.


(HOT) Beyonce had a successful career in “Destiny’s Child” and she has a successful solo career. She’s also slated to star in three upcoming films and she just launched her fashion line. Beyonce is also considerably wealthy with homes in Texas, New York and Hollywood.


(HOT) Alicia Keys: Alicia Keys is enjoying a very successful career. Not only does she receive album royalties, she also receives songwriting and producer royalties. She will also star in a upcoming film, produced by Halle Berry.


(NOT) Ashanti’s career seems to be over. She has yet to equal the success of her debut album and her recent albums barely ship gold, like Ja Rule, her acting is less than impressive. Hopefully she can fall back on songwriting and producing.


(HOT) Jay-Z is the man to emulate. President Carter is one of the richest black men in this country under 40. He has diversified his interests very well and has become quite rich in the process: Roc-A-Wear clothing line, a percentage in the New Jersey Nets, Armadale Vodka, a chain of 40/40 nightclubs and he’s the President of Def Jam . Rumor has it; Jay may be invited to participate on the lucrative speaking circuit, to encourage young black entrepreneurs.


(HOT) P. Diddy is also a shrewd businessman despite the fact that his Sean John label has decreased significantly in sales. Diddy makes a fortune off Notorious Big’s publishing rights. Diddy’s restaurants continue to thrive but his Bad Boy record label hasn’t turned a big profit in several years but excitement continues to generate over his women’s clothing line. Diddy is still the second richest man in hip-hop.


(NOT) Master P: When we published the ‘Richest People in Hip-Hop’ list last year, we received numerous emails, asking, why wasn’t Master P included on the list? Because Master P ‘discreetly’ filed for bankruptcy protection (personal and corporate) and allegations have always persisted that he greatly exaggerated his wealth and record sales. Fortune magazine ranked Master P as one of the 40 richest people under 40 with $361 million in holdings. A few months after the list was published, Master P’s company filed for bankruptcy.


(LUKEWARM) Missy Elliott’s latest release “The Cookbook” is not her best work. Although I am a Missy Elliott fan, her recent work cannot equal her earlier work. Apparently, fans agree, I doubt if this album went platinum but compared to others, she is still one of the most successful female rappers/producers on the scene.


(NOT) Lil Kim’s latest release didn’t live up to expectations despite garnering four mics in the ‘Source.’ I thought this album would be her biggest selling record to date; it barely shipped platinum.


Foxy Brown: When we first started putting this feature together, we asked, what is taking Foxy so long to release an album? After hearing about her medical problems, we will reserve judgment and keep Foxy in our prayers.


(HOT) Mariah Carey made a stunning comeback with her album ‘The Emancipation Of Mimi.’ The album has sold 4 million copies thus far and Carey is winning numerous awards.


(HOT) Jermaine Dupri went through a rough patch in 2003 when he was hit with a tax debt in excess of $2.5 million dollars. Federal agents raided two of Dupri’s homes and confiscated furniture, computers and part of Dupri’s car collection to settle his debt with the IRS. Dupri overcame the storm and is back on his ‘A’ game. He was a contributing producer on Mariah Carey’s album, ‘The Emancipation Of Mimi.’


(HOT) The Neptunes are still the most successful record producers on the music scene. A Neptunes produced record is played every 10 minutes somewhere in this country and they charge between $250,000-$500,000 per track.


(HOT) Despite being a scandal-plagued celebrity, R. Kelly continues to produce multi-platinum records for a variety of artists, new school and old school. Everything he touches turns to platinum.


(HOT) Dr. Dre continues to be a phenomenal producer. He set the bar; he really is the Quincy Jones of rap. A ‘Dre beat’ can run from $250,000-$500,000.


(NOT) Teddy Riley helped pave the way for young producers. He was the creator of ‘New Jack Swing’ and he took urban music to another level. Riley was still in his 20’s when he was being paid six figures to produce tracks. Since then, he has fallen off considerably. In 2003, he was facing a $1.45 million tax debt; he filed bankruptcy to help restructure his finances.


(HOT) Can Mary J. Blige hold off newcomers Keyshia Cole and Fantasia Barrino? Will she retain her crown as the Queen of Hip-Hop? We shall see with the recent release of her album “The Breakthrough.”


(HOT) Fantasia: Very impressive solo debut with three million in sales. Her autobiography did big numbers during the first week of release and slid off the best-selling charts, shortly afterwards.


(HOT) Keyshia Cole has a hot album, if this material is any indication of her future work, she will be around for a very long time. Her sound is refreshing and she can sing!

The following singers have fallen off so drastically, it's doubtful they can make a comeback.

                   Brandy                                             Ashanti                               Monica






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