Despite Decline in Profits, Top Hip Hop Artists Cash In On Endorsements

One area where hip-hop continues to thrive is in the licensing and endorsement business. Jay-Z earned an estimated $1 million for the Budweiser ad campaign featuring his song "Show Me What You Got." Fellow rapper Common augmented his earnings by plugging Ford's Lincoln Navigator; Diddy by shilling Ciroc vodka.

"Despite the economy, hip-hop is just as powerful as it's ever been in the endorsement and licensing world," says Ryan Schinman, chief of Platinum Rye, the world's largest buyer of music and talent for corporations. "Tween stars and rock legends are very reliable, but the impact of hip-hop on pop-culture and fashion continues to lead the charge."

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