Music

Once-Ballin' Rappers Who Went Broke 

Ranker Hip Hop
Updated May 1, 2020 222.9k views 21 items

List Rules Famous hip hop artists who lost all their money

Update: Dive into the best new hip hop with our list of 2020's top rap songs.

Biggie Smalls once said, "Mo' money, mo' problems," but for these famous rappers, it seems that less money caused more problems. Several famous rappers and hip-hop stars went broke. Some of these rap artists went broke due to bad record deals, while others lost all their money because they mismanaged their funds. Some rappers even did jail time for tax evasion.

Who is the most famous rapper who went broke? Lauryn Hill tops our list. Lauryn Hill plead guilty to tax evasion in 2012. She also risked being evicted from her home around this time. She served almost 30 days in prison, and paid her back taxes in full. Lil' Kim faced bankruptcy after she was sued by her former label for $2.5 million in 2008. In 2012, she reportedly owed the government $1 million in back taxes.

Several famous male rappers also went broke. MC Hammer filed for bankruptcy in 1996 when he was reportedly $13 million in debt. Fat Joe plead guilty to tax evasion in 2012, when he allegedly owed over $3 million. He spent three months in prison for the crime.

Are you surprised that so many famous rappers went broke?

Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Once-Ballin' Rappers Who Went Broke
Photo:  Daigo Oliva/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Lauryn Hill plead guilty to tax evasion in 2012, and was close to being evicted from her home. She served almost 30 days in prison, and has since paid her back taxes in full. 

Age: 43

Birthplace: East Orange, New Jersey, United States of America

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Nas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Once-Ballin' Rappers Who Went Broke
Photo: Metaweb/GNU Free Documentation License

Nas had his earnings garnished in 2009 to pay over $6 million in back taxes. He also claimed that his ex, Kelis, requested over $300,000 for child support, and that if he had to pay, it would completely bankrupt him. Although her milkshakes brought all the boys to the yard, those delicious, frosty beverages certainly couldn't convince Nas to pay up. 

Age: 45

Birthplace: New York City, New York

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Lil' Kim is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Once-Ballin' Rappers Who Went Broke
Photo:  Monique Tatum/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Lil' Kim faced bankruptcy after she was sued by her former label for $2.5 million in 2008. In 2012, she reportedly owed the government $1 million in back taxes. 

Age: 44

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

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Common is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Once-Ballin' Rappers Who Went Broke
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

In 2012, Common faced foreclosure on his Chicago condo. 

Age: 46

Birthplace: Chicago metropolitan area, Illinois, Chicago, United States of America, United States, + more

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