pwned by the Eagles

Rolling Stone magazine recently released its annual list of music’s biggest moneymakers. Here’s the top 10:

  1. U2, $154.2 million
  2. The Rolling Stones, $92.5 million
  3. Eagles, $63.2 million
  4. Paul McCartney, $56 million
  5. Elton John, $48.9 million
  6. Neil Diamond, $44.7 million
  7. Jimmy Buffett, $44 million
  8. Rod Stewart, $40.3 million
  9. Dave Matthews Band, $39.6 million
  10. Celine Dion, $38.5 million

You’ll notice that no rappers made the top 10. In fact, there’s hardly anyone under the age 40. Dave Matthews and Celine Dion might both be 40+ at this point. Which is not to say there aren’t any rappers that old, but you know.

Of the top 30, the highest “rapper” to place was P Diddy at 15 with $24.3 million. Fiddy, Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Dr. Dre took the 19th, 21st, 22nd, 25th, and 26th places, respectively.

As the article itself mentioned, the easiest way to make a shiteload of money is to tour, but most of these rappers did go on high profile tours in 2005. It’s just that hip-hop tours, because they suck, gross way less than comparable rock tours.

I’ve mentioned this before on my own site, but I’ll pay to see Hootie & the Blowfish (an awesome live band) before I pay to see basically any hip-hop act. All the best concerts I’ve ever been to have been rock shows, and I’ve never seen anything on a par with the Stones or U2.

And here’s the kicker: since they’ve recently been reduced to playing the county air show circuit, more often than not you won’t even have to pay to see Hootie & the Blowfish. A free rock show is wholly superior to any $60 rap show.

Part of the problem may be that live hip-hop is inherently inferior to other forms of music, but part of the problem also lies with the fact that very few hip-hop artists have done much if anything to cultivate a live following.

If, as they say, all the money is in touring, and hip-hop is all about getting that money, you’d expect to see a lot more rappers out trying to play live. But with a few exceptions, this definitely hasn’t been the case.

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • daesonesb

    I hold up the roots as a counterpoint on that one.
    Also atmosphere has a great live show because slug and eyedea can freestyle that well, and their live delivery is on point. Also atmosphere used a live band when i saw them, which had somewhat more of a rock flavor then the roots, but was still gold.

    You yourself were going on last week about just how dope ghostface’s set was.

    I think that if a rapper really puts work in, the show can rival a rock show. I will admit, however, that rock does have an edge on hip hop in general due to the fact that they have distortion on their side. The music is made to be played loudly, and singers dont have to worry so much about hitting the right syllable on the right snare (not including that song black betty … but that is basically rap rock).

    Rappers are also usually wasted, plus they set the bar pretty high when they do one hundred takes on a verse and modulate the clarity of their voices with some electronic doodads. No homo.

  • Bol

    Ghostface was pretty good. Maybe the best rapper I’ve seen. Not Hootie good, but good none the less.

    I haven’t had a chance to check out The Roots yet. Their last show here sold out.

  • Billy Sunday

    co-sign the ROOTS Crew. them boys will be playing Vegas when I am in my 60′s and 70′s and Biz Markie will be 100 yrs old.

    Parliament/Funkadelic is the greatest musical experience that I have seen altered and sober. two dozen musicians on stage doing all kinds of crap, jamming out, singing, no rock band alive can rock that hard.

  • Combat Jack

    Best two hip hop show tours ever, 1. Up In Smoke show in New York -w- Dr. Dre, Snoop, Ice Cube, and the rest of th penut gallery (Korrupt, Nate Dogg, Xhibit, Eminem, Devin the Dude, NWA (consisting of Dre, Snoop, Cube & Ren) and 2. P. Diddy & Family (in NY as well) (nullus) feat. Ma$e, DMX, The Lox, Lil Kim, Jay Z, Black Rob. Both those bithes were fiyah!!!

  • sonnycheeba

    Common back in the day put on a pretty good show… ya know, before he turned into a women and shit

  • daesonesb

    common did some pretty brazen shit when i saw him this summer. he pulled a chick on stage and danced all on her,, while playing the beat from the light.

    he asked people to come on stage and break dance, and some of them got booed off.

  • mod

    how in the world has dr. dre earned less than kanye west?

  • asshole

    who wrote this article, wayne campbell?

  • Triple

    your making fun of people for making what you won’t make your whole lifetime??

  • DJ Main Event

    I definetly co-sign The Roots. These days all youre hearing is studio rappers. Not “EMCEES”, you know, dudes who can actually rock crowds and such. Need more emcees and artists, your ass is dust if you cant rock a live show.

    Oh yeah, those rock groups have cult like followings, rap fans are basically groupies these days just wanting the flavor of the moment (rap-wise, no homo).

  • http://comingsoon OHM


    In your article you alluded to the age of the artists in both genres but not to the age of the actual genres “Could someone please tell me again how old is hip hop cause I forget” The age dictates who listens to the artists in both genres with questions like whose listening to p.diddys 1st album today and who is listening to u2 or rod Stewarts first album with the same rotation that chuck berry had on seventies babies parents 45 player another question who goes to see chucks shows?. Most of the hip hop artists who are up on that totem pole are relatively new in comparison to their rock counter parts also a list should have been compiled of the hip hop artist other contemporaries in rock because a majority of the artists in the top ten with the exception of a few started/or where in the middle of their careers when the hip hop counterparts lower in the list weren’t conceived or where still babies. I agree being a hip hop artist myself that a stellar live set is a matter of strategy especially, not knocking rock or any thing but when they say sound check in rock its exactly that a sound check for as long as the melody if you can call it that is right and the lead singer doesn’t forget the lyrics you are set but as some one had said and posted rap is about hitting syllables to the beat so artists pretty much have to be fit to do that and give hi energy and not many of the hip hop brothers/sisters are or do; also you got look at hip-hop from its inception the street corner/block party element of it hence smaller venues. $60 for a hip hop show as opposed to $195-$835 for a single rock show ticket of Dave Mathews band, jimmy buffet, Elton john (coasttocoasttickets) and most of these rock cats do anywhere from 42 to 78 shows with an average of 1.2million attendees do the math of course they gonna do more numbers.

  • Tyler

    Aight, this is what I been tryin’ 2 hip my young & dumb negros 2 for awhile now. All ‘dat Rock shit is on another level when it comes 2 the live shows and I say ‘dat wanting these Rap cats 2 step their games up. The sickest shows I have seen outside of Rock which my 1st shows was as a small fry back in the day were Kiss & Queen which U know ‘dat was the bomb but the best show outside of Rock had 2 be. . Jodeci when they went out wit’ their band and the opening acts were like Naugthy by Nature, Mary J. and the Bad Boy crew. You hit the nail on the head wit’ this 1 playboy which is why I am workin’ on this new sound “UrbanRock” that you can peep at:


    How can this BOL Dude (been readin up on his block afew times and its basically all bolshit) talk bout Live Hip-Hop and talk errthang down without ever experiencing the hearing the Roots live! Ever seen Busta live? Gang-Starr? Stop bitchin! And please stay with hootie and the blowfish, corny ass mothafucka

  • dirtysout’mixtapebumpa

    Shit’s simple; mo whites, whites like rock, mo sales. da US iz like ~12% black so even if all blacks only bought rap we still coudn’t do shit bout it, even if you count othr minorities and whites dat like hip-hop, and not many middl-age whites like that current rock so most the tops are 40+


    Wait a min. 50 cent grossed like OVER 60 mil last year

  • G Rock

    Most rappers get ripped off w/ their contracts while the rock counterparts don’t. The other thing, most rap music is bought by white teens anyway. Most rappers don’t know how to perform…they yell on stage

  • sam

    People that actually pay for CDs are over 30. People that are over 30 probably aren’t listening to too much rap.


    man u hit it right on the head. most of these dudes don’t know how to perform. they know how to make noise. but for those of u who know what thet doin’, come check me out

    i got some beats that will rock the live set.

    see for urself…

  • Manbearpig

    Not a clue what you all mean about rock having an edge on rap – go see Tech N9NE – you may hate his music but the act is awesome. It has nothing to do with distortion or a white audience at all – white kids like rap – shit SKATERS like rap – a good show is a good show based on how well put together it is – is the sound good – are the performers tight as an act – do they have charisma and play to the crowd? Tell ya wot – go to an Emo show – you’ll want to slit your wrists – not because the music is depressing but because of the slapdash – I don’t give a shit if there’s an audience – attitude. It makes you say why the hell did I waste my money on this garbage? And also who the fuck told you rock acts don’t get ripped off – one thing that hasn’t changed is everyone still gets ripped off.

  • Manbearpig

    Also – if, as the author puts it”Part of the problem may be that live hip-hop is inherently inferior to other forms of music…” ask fucking Bono or Hootie to freestyle and see where that gets you – man I really hope you are joking and it just went over my head because I can’t believe you’d even write something like that.


    Pwned by the eagles.. WTF? :)