Can't Nobody Hold Him Down: How Diddy Became One Of The Richest Men In Hip-Hop
Photo Credit: Gareth Cattermole

Can't Nobody Hold Him Down: How Diddy Became One Of The Richest Men In Hip-Hop

Throughout his career, Sean “Diddy” Combs has made an impact.

And now, as his children make their way into the entertainment industry, we take a look back on that impact.

From his early days at Uptown Records to his current status as a modern-day Hip-Hop mogul, Diddy continues to be “all about the Benjamins.” In 2020, Forbes estimated his net worth to be about $55 million, the bulk of which came as a result of his investment in various businesses. Most notably, though, the outlet pointed out that the bulk of his money came as a result of the success of CÎROC vodka, which is distributed through his wines & spirits business and a partnership with Diageo.

But that net worth number doesn’t take into account his extensive real estate portfolio, which is said to be worth upwards of $35 million, according to Realtor.com. And it also doesn’t take into account his recent deals made in 2021 — which are quite extensive, to say the least.

He’s announced an R&B only label, an opportunity for Black-owned businesses to be regularly featured, and even a recent investment in a startup company specializing in electric boats (alongside Kevin Durant and Will Smith).

Regardless of how many business deals Diddy cultivates now and in the future, he will forever serve as an inspiration for young Black industry professionals. And the fact that he continues to give back to Black-owned businesses is nothing short of amazing.

Let’s take a look at the multitude of ways Diddy has made his money through the years.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.

Combs Enterprises

Photo Credit: Carlos Marino

Today, Diddy has consolidated his investments under the Combs Enterprises brand. This umbrella includes AquaHYDRATE, Bad Boy Entertainment, the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, Combs Wines & Spirits, CÎROC, DeLeón, Sean John, REVOLT Films, & REVOLT TV & Media, according to the official website.

Music

Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz

Throughout his career, Diddy has cultivated such artists as Mary J. Blige, Usher, and of course The Notorious B.I.G. through the Bad Boy Entertainment label. However, he’s been commercially successful as a solo artist, as well. His debut solo album, “No Way Out,” has been certified seven times platinum by the RIAA, and all of his other solo albums have also been commercially successful.

Fashion

Photo Credit: Slaven Vlasic

In 1998, Diddy founded the Sean John brand of clothing, which won a CFDA award for the Menswear Designer of the Year in 2004. In 2003, billionaire Ronald Burkle invested more than $100 million into the company. Subsequently, Diddy introduced colognes, perfumes, and a Girls collection to the Sean John brand. In 2016, according to The New York Post, he sold his share of Sean John to the Global Brands Group. But, in February 2021, he filed two multi-million dollar lawsuits against the company for “breach of contract, unfair competition, common law trademark infringement, deceptive practices, and unjust enrichment.” As of this writing, the case is still pending.

Combs Wines & Spirits

Courtesy of Combs Wines & Spirits

The bulk of Diddy’s net worth, today, comes from Combs Wines & Spirits, according to his Forbes profile. The bulk of his money comes from his partnership with Diageo to distribute his CÎROC brand of vodka, though he also has a stake in DeLeón tequila, as well.

AquaHYDRATE

Photo Credit: Paul Archuleta

Diddy originally invested in AquaHYDRATE with Mark Wahlberg and Jillian Michaels, according to FoodDive.

In 2019, the company was acquired by The Alkaline Water Company in an acquisition deal set to be worth $65 million. Though the acquisition occurred, the celebrity investors stayed on, and to this day, Diddy, Wahlberg, and Michaels all retain stock in the company.

The Blue Flame Agency

Courtesy of GAP

“Founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs, Blue Flame is a full-service marketing and advertising agency that is creating culture for a new America,” reads the company’s LinkedIn page. “We achieve maximum business impact by embracing brands, harnessing influence, building narrative, curating experiences, and celebrating diversity.”

REVOLT

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

The REVOLT brand of products includes a proprietary website, a film, and television division, and a partnership agreement with HBO to develop original content.

“It has become a multi-genre platform that includes music news, videos, exclusive performances, and original content. REVOLT is available through television, digital properties, and social and mobile channels,” reports Forbes.