8 Famous Rappers Who Went Broke
Famous rappers have always been associated with wealth, fame, and a lavish lifestyle. However, despite this image, many well-known rappers have fallen into financial distress, causing many to wonder how such seemingly successful artists could be brought to ruin.
In this article, we will look closely at some rappers who have gone broke and the reasons behind their financial turmoil. But it’s important to remember that not all rappers have poor financial management skills. Take Dr. Dre, who has made millions in the music industry and is a savvy entrepreneur.
As the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, Dre has shown that it’s possible to thrive in the music industry with the proper financial knowledge and skills.
So, if you’re wondering why so many celebs use Beats headphones, it’s because they’re a status symbol and a high-quality product created by a successful entrepreneur.
Rappers Who Went Broke From Riches To Rags
Rappers who went broke are not new; they have been around since hip-hop’s inception. Know who the rappers who have gone broke are? Read on to find out.
1. Suge Knights
Just like any famous rapper, Suge Knights is no exception to rappers who went broke. The one-time rap mogul has faced many controversies in the past. Despite founding Death Row Records in 1991 and signing numerous top names in rap, his wealth came crashing down after many lousy business decisions.
In 2008, his label was forced into bankruptcy, and he was personally slapped with a $106 million bill for unpaid royalties and damages related to a lawsuit. This, along with increasing debts from his extravagant lifestyle, made him completely broke to pay back the money he owed. As a result, he declared bankruptcy himself in 2006.
2. Eazy E
Eazy E was one of the most iconic rappers of the 90s, co-founding the legendary rap group N.W.A. and launching a highly successful career. Unfortunately, despite his incredible success, Eazy E would later become one of the famous rappers who went broke.
Despite his astronomical record sales and world tours, Eazy E had massive personal debt, including unpaid income taxes and legal fees. He also had numerous expensive habits, including a love for cars and frequent casino visits. Eazy E eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1995, with debts totaling over $7 million. Tragically, he would pass away just a few months later, succumbing to complications from AIDS at the age of 31.
Eazy E’s story is a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of fame and fortune and the importance of financial responsibility. Despite his untimely passing, he will be remembered as a true rap music pioneer and a trailblazer for future generations of aspiring artists.
Ironically, another N.W.A. member, Dr. Dre, founded Beats headphones, one of the most successful audio brands in the world. By choosing Beats, you can enjoy the same high-quality audio experience that Dr. Dre pursued after leaving N.W.A., while also supporting his legacy and that of his bandmates. Plus, with affordable pricing options, you won’t need to break the bank to enjoy high-quality music.
Check out Beats by Dr. Dre today, and join the legions of fans and celebs who have embraced this iconic audio brand.
3. Ja Rule
A flourishing rap career in the late 1990s and early 2000s made Ja Rule one of the most famous rappers to hail from New York City. However, like many rappers, Ja Rule went bankrupt.
Despite having numerous commercial and critical successes, his finances crumbled amidst a series of lawsuits. In 2009, he was forced to pay over $3 million after losing a court case to New York businessman Ira Rosenn. In 2011 he received another lawsuit for unpaid taxes, resulting in him owing over $1 million.
His issues were further compounded by an additional suit from 2005 against Murder Inc Records when they failed to pay royalties on his music. All this financial hardship led Ja Rule to file for bankruptcy in 2013.
4. Bow Wow
Every rapper’s bank account is a testament to the success of their career, and Bow Wow’s was no exception. Despite his fame and success, Bow Wow was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2019 after accumulating $2 million in debt.
The main factor contributing to his financial troubles was a series of lawsuits due to unpaid taxes, fines, and judgments. In addition, he reportedly made poor business decisions and had significant investments that failed to pay off.
His lavish spending habits — such as buying a fleet of cars, jewelry, and real estate — also put a considerable dent in Bow Wow’s finances. Most famous rapper or not, it’s a good reminder to always live within your means and be mindful of spending.
5. Lil Kim
Lil Kim is a renowned rapper known for her provocative lyrics and bold fashion choices. In the early 2000s, she experienced massive success with several hit albums and collaborations with other industry giants. However, due to various legal battles, management issues, and lavish spending habits, Lil Kim experienced a sharp decline in her finances. She filed for bankruptcy in 2018, citing debts upwards of $4 million.
The main cause of her financial woes was legal fees and the costs associated with a lawsuit that she lost against her former label, Universal Music Group. Other factors included failed investments and poor budgeting decisions. Further compounding her troubles was excessive spending on items such as clothes, jewelry, and cars.
With absolutely no money left in her savings, Lil Kim was forced to declare bankruptcy and start fresh financially. She is still active in the music industry, however, having recently released a few new singles.
6. Young Buck
The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) was not playing when Young Buck owed them hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. His large tax debt was also primarily responsible for his financial problems and heavy spending on luxurious items such as cars, homes, and jewelry.
Young back has a million dollars in debt with no way to pay it off, He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after having to sell many of his assets. The rapper would later claim they took things they shouldn’t have, like equipment he needed for work and things that belonged to his kids. However, the IRS denied these claims.
According to NPR, agents raided his home and took almost everything of value, including “his white leather dining chairs, his watches, his craps table, his tattoo kit. Even his refrigerator” (they eventually loaned him the fridge back). The plan was to auction everything off (although this was delayed), his music catalog would be up for sale, and he was even in danger of losing the trademark on his rap name.
Xzibit, the famous rapper, and actor, has had his share of troubles with money. Much like fellow rappers Young Buck and Fat Joe, Xzibit filed for bankruptcy in 2014 due to an inability to pay off his creditors.
His financial woes were primarily attributed to a tax evasion that had been mounting over the years, combined with poor budgeting decisions and extravagant spending on luxury items such as cars, jewelry, and homes. In recent years, Xzibit has been working hard to get back on the right financial track — committing himself too intelligent investments and other sound economic decisions.
8. Trick Daddy
When Trick Daddy started in the Miami rap scene, he focused on rapping about thug life and thug issues. Millions of people bumped his big hits throughout the early millennium, such as “Let’s Go,” “Sugar (Gimme Some),” and “Take it to Da House.” He frequently released album-length sagas that almost topped the album chart, such as “Thugs Are Us,” “Thug Holiday,” and “Thug Matrimony: Married to the Streets.”
Trick Daddy filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in May 2017, marking the third time he had to file for legal arrangements to avoid complete ruin in three years. He reported earnings of $75,000 in 2016 and just $17,000 in the first few months of 2017 and claimed his assets were valued between $100,000 and $500,000 but had no cash on hand or money in the bank. He owed $280,000 on his home, $290,000 in back taxes, and $57,000 in unpaid child support.
The entertainment industry is often portrayed as glamorous and profitable, with extravagant lifestyles and endless revenue streams. However, the stories of these ten famous rappers who went broke demonstrate that financial success is not guaranteed and that financial mismanagement and unexpected external factors can lead even the most successful artists to financial ruin.
It is a cautionary tale highlighting the importance of proper financial planning, budgeting, and investing, regardless of industry or profession. As fans, we can continue to support our favorite artists and their passions while acknowledging that financial security is a crucial aspect of long-term success and sustainability in any career.