Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #7 Birdman

The purpose of this blog is to inform the class of America’s “Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012” and the various business ventures in different industries that contributed to their individual successes.

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #7 Birdman

Name: Bryan Williams

Stage Name(s): Birdman, Baby

Age: 43

Forbes Hip Hop’s Top Earners List: #7 of 9

How Much in 2012??? $20 MILLION

Birdman has been in the music industry for almost two decades now, and it is clear he has no plans on leaving anytime soon. Co-founder of Cash Money Records (with his brother, Ronald “Slim” Williams), Birdman has an impressive lineup of artists under his label. Nicki Minaj, Jay Sean, Lil Wanye, DJ Khaled, Drake, Tyga, and Bow Wow are just a few of the major acts that contribute to the enormous success of Cash Money Records in the music industry.

His eye for talent in the music scene isn’t the only asset he has under his belt; he’s also skilled in finding new business opportunities that bolster his position in the industry. Few of his recent projects include:

1. In 2010, he ventured into one of the most lucrative businesses in the world, oil and gas. He and his brother decided to create their own company called Bronald Oil and Gas and it was “self-reported” that the company turned $100,000,000 the first year. (There are rumors that the company no longer exists, but no one is exactly sure what of the situation of the company.) Source:

2. In 2011, Birdman decided to do a joint-business venture including a production company with DJ Khaled and his own label, “We the Best.” Birdman and DJ Khaled expects to launch a number of new materials this year which include: books, movies (a book is already rewritten for film), Lil Wayne’s new clothing line “TRUKFIT”, and the new GT Vodka. Source:

3. He has his own clothing line YMCMB, which stands for Young Money Cash Money Billionares. Source:

4. He has been working on his new album with his long time friend Rick Ross that will be released in the near future. With a monstrous lineup under his label already, there will be no problem getting features for his album – automatically making every track an instant hit.

Birdman claims that he will be the first hip hop artist to reach a billion dollar net value. As of 2012, he is net valued at $125 Million – trailing his fellow hip hop artist and mogul, P Diddy, who is currently net valued at around $500 Million. Although Birdman has quite a ways to go, I would not be surprised if he does actually become the first to reach the billion mark.

Birdman is the 7th most successful and influential hip hop entrepreneur in the year of 2012 – coming in with $20 Million.

(In a couple days, I will post up #6! So please stay tuned! Let’s count down to #1 together!)

By: Aaron Kim (Duke)

Other sources: