Publishers have been eager to sign famous people to book deals. If you're a musician ready to reveal a great deal about yourself (such as Rolling Stone Keith Richards), the chances are very good those deals will pay off handsomely.
Celebrity books normally get a big marketing push. But the campaign for Decoded, the rap mogul's new book of lyrics, is unprecedented. Thanks to backing from Clear Channel and Microsoft's Bing, it's surely in a league of its own.
For many rap and hip-hop artists, behind all the trash talk and posturing, it's all about business. Forbes recently released its Hip Hop Cash Kings list, and the 20 big names on it racked up a total of about $300 million, despite the weak economy and the Internet revolution that is killing the CD business.
Hip-hop pays well, very well, at least for Jay-Z. Forbes reports Jay-Z racked up $63 million in the past year -- owing about $22 million in federal and state taxes, a sum greater than the total earnings of every rapper and hip-hop mogul besides second-ranked Diddy.
The talk show queen has agreed to increase her on-air commitment to The Oprah Winfrey Network. And Discovery is going to hike its funding for the joint venture it owns equally with Winfrey.
LeBron James' decision to sign with the Miami Heat means the owners of the New Jersey Nets will miss out on a huge jump in team value that would have likely occurred had the basketball star chosen to move to the Garden State. And one of the Nets' owners is LeBron's pal, Jay-Z. The hip-hop mogul could be missing out on a potential gain of over $5 million.
Even former cocaine kingpins have to worry about brand protection. Infamous drug lord Ricky "Freeway Rick" Ross is suing the rapper known as Rick Ross for alleged violations including trademark infringement and misappropriation, among others, for $50 million in damages.