Apple’s potential acquisition of Beats Electronics — purveyors of the popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphones — may make rapper and producer Dr. Dre the richest man in hip-hop.
Forbes reported Friday that the Doctor himself seemed to confirm the sale in a celebratory video posted to fellow R&B singer Tyrese’s Facebook page.
“The Forbes list just changed! It came out like two weeks ago — they need to update the Forbes list. S— just changed,” Tyrese exclaims, likely referring to the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest people in America.
“Billionaire Boys Club, for real, homie,” he continues, alluding to currently white-hot musician and producer Pharrell Williams, who created the clothing line of the same name.
Dre himself moves into the frame behind Tyrese, joining in on the celebration.
“In a big way. Understand that. The first billionaire of hip-hop, right here from the motherf—ing West Coast!” he said.
The deal between Apple and Beats is currently pegged at $3.2 billion, which would be Apple’s largest acquisition ever.
Beats recently launched a Netflix-like streaming service for music, which could help the company re-corner the music business as the industry moves away from the buying model (represented by iTunes) and toward the streaming model (Spotify, Rdio, Beats).
This means that Dre — estimated to have a 20 to 25 percent stake in Beats — might very well become the richest man in hip-hop.
“A sale for $3.2 billion would nearly double the value of Dre’s holdings … leaving him with a net worth in the neighborhood of $800 million. It’s not quite enough to land on the Forbes 400, but it would easily make him hip-hop’s richest man, topping current champion Diddy by $100 million,” said another report from Forbes.
That last part is especially interesting, as Dr. Dre and other West Coast rappers like Snoop Dogg had a rivalry in the 1990s with East Coasters like Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy) and The Notorious B.I.G. Some alleged that the rivalry even contributed to the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Notorious, who were gunned down in drive-by shootings. The beef has since calmed, however as seen here, West Coast pride is still strong.
By Nick Sanchez