Diddy, Jay-Z and hip-hop's wealthiest entrepreneurs

The race is on for the first hip-hop artist to become a billionaire and Diddy is leading the pack. A Forbes Five list reveals that the Bad Boy records founder has a net worth of $550m. Aside from his record company he earns a share of profits from Ciroc Vodka. This year saw sales of the spirit peak at 122%, with the release of new peach flavour Ciroc.  It's worth adding he's entitled to a nine-figure payout if the brand is ever sold.

On top of this, Diddy can include clothing lines Sean John and Enyce in his business portfolio along with marketing firm Blue Flame and a smattering of tech start-ups he's invested in.

Next year promises to be even better for the Mo Money Mo Problems rapper as he gets ready to launch a new TV channel called Revolt.

Next up is Jay-Z. Evidently, it's not a hard knock life for Jay anymore, with $460m to his name. He pocketed $204m when he sold his Rocawear clothing business in 2007 and signed a $150m deal with Live Nation in 2008. His portfolio also expands to the New Jersey Nets, a club/restaurant chain called 40/40, ad firm translation and cosmetics company called, Carol's Daughter.

Third place on the hip-hop rich list is Dr Dre. In the last year Dre sold a 51% stake in Beats Electronic, the company founded by himself and Interscope chief Jimmy Lovine, to handset maker HTC for $300m. A great deal for Dre, considering he still has shares in the business, currently valued at $100 million.

Co-founder of Cash Money Records, Birdman, follows Dre in fourth place. The Cash Money empire grew after Birdman signed a $30m distribution deal with Universal back in 1998. Since then the labels stock has risen with the likes of Drake, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj performing on the label

Number five on the list is Get rich or die tryin' artist Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson. He has a personal wealth of $110milion.  He found his way onto the list due to the $100m he earned through the sale of his Vitamin Water stake in 2007. The rest of his income flows in through his clothing brands, record sales and touring.

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