Dr. Dre
If you spend any time on a subway or at an airport you'll see Beats-branded headphones all over the place.

The high-end headphones, released in 2008, are the creation of acclaimed hip-hop producer and rapper Dr. Dre. The underlying technology is now also being used as audio components for branded H-P ( HPQ) laptops and the HTC ( HTC) smartphones.

Dre is far from the only hip-hop artist who has struck gold as a businessman.

50 Cent pulled down a quick $100 million after Coca-Cola ( KO), bought Glaceau, the maker of Vitamin Water, for $4.2 billion in cash in 2007; he'd earned an ownership share through a 2004 endorsement deal.

Akon's "bling" is actually from a diamond mine he owns in South Africa.

In 1998, P. Diddy started a clothing line, Sean John, and has since launched a fragrance and restaurant chain and inked a variety of endorsement and marketing deals.

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