Here's Who Inherited These Rapper Fortunes After They Passed Away

Except for when they went through their goth phase in middle school, no one likes to think about the fact that they are going to die. This means a lot of people die without ever making legal plans for what happens to their money. And while this can cause major headaches for the next of kin of non-celebs, when you're talking about people with extensive fortunes, dying intestate can lead to a disaster. Even a consummate businessman like Snoop Dogg told Insider, "I don't give a f*** when I'm dead. What am I gonna give a f*** about. This goin' on while I'm gone, you know?"

However, some rappers have gone completely the other way, almost obsessing over their estates. Jay-Z went so far as to record a track titled "Legacy" for his "4:44" album, which opens with his eldest daughter asking him what a will is. The lyrics go on to detail exactly what parts of his wealth should go to whom, including leaving the bulk of it to his wife and many valuable business assets to his children. (While lyrics are, of course, not legally binding, one would assume he also has a proper will.)

While it remains to be seen what will happen when Snoop and Jay-Z die, many other rappers have passed on already. Here's who inherited these rappers' fortunes when they died.

The Notorious B.I.G.

While the Notorious B.I.G. was just 24 when he was murdered in 1997, and had at that point only released one album, he was still worth about $10 million (adjusted for inflation), Celebrity Net Worth estimates.

However, his biggest asset was really his brand and legacy. Since his death, Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace, has been in charge of his estate, including his music and life story, per Billboard. Assisted by others who were close to Biggie, including Faith Evans and his former manager, Wallace says she's tried to protect his legacy at all costs and not just make a quick buck off her son.

Surprisingly, Wallace wasn't very familiar with her son's work before his death. She told Entertainment Weekly jokingly that even when Biggie played some tracks for her, he must have known she would only like them if he played a censored version. But once he died, she got much more involved. "I decided then I wanted to know more about his music. I read something in a magazine about him where the writer said something like, 'what do people expect when you give a bum from the ghetto a million dollars?' I was very hurt by that. ... So I listened to his music and I asked a lot of questions. I cried like a baby while listening because what I heard was an intelligent human being."


Tupac Shakur was murdered in 1996, yet his likeness and music are still everywhere. This is thanks in great part to his mother, Afeni Shakur, who took control of her son's estate after he died, according to The Express. The 25-year-old rapper had not left a will.

More than two decades after his death, the rapper's estate was still fighting in court, finally winning a lawsuit over his unreleased music that had been going on for five years in 2018, TMZ reported. It took so long that Afeni Shakur actually died halfway through the lawsuit, yet it kept going.

After Afeni's death, a man named Tom Whalley was given control of Tupac's estate. He had actually signed the rapper to his first major deal in the 1990s, known the family for two decades, and helped Afeni with the estate before she died. However, in 2022, Whalley was sued by Tupac's sister Sekyiwa Shakur. In her lawsuit, she claimed, "Whalley has already received more than $5.5 million that he has paid himself in the last five years ... He has effectively embezzled millions of dollars for his own benefit well in excess of what would be reasonably necessary to retain a properly qualified third-party to perform such services."

Mac Miller

Mac Miller was only 26 when he died in 2018 from a drug overdose. While the world was shocked and saddened at this tragedy, Miller seems to have been very aware it was a possibility, as Entertainment Tonight outlines the many times he talked about his substance abuse issues and the possibility of them killing him in his lyrics.

Perhaps this was why Miller, already a successful rapper, was more proactive than most 21-year-olds when he put together a trust in 2013, according to documents obtained by The Blast. This meant that even though his death was sudden and untimely, he'd left very detailed instructions behind. As he had no children, he left most of his $11.3 million estate to his parents, or his brother if his parents had predeceased Miller. But he didn't forget others who were close to him, TMZ reported. Miller included lists of valuable things he owned, including jewelry, musical instruments, and even his furniture, making clear which of his friends those things should be given to.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


When rapper DMX died of an overdose-induced heart attack in 2021, he left his family with a few big problems, Complex explains. Not only had they just lost their loved one at the relatively young age of 50, but he didn't leave behind a will. This is an issue for any estate, but eventually, the next of kin usually manages to divide up the assets left behind, even if there's some fighting involved.

However, DMX's family had an additional problem – no one knew exactly how many children he had. Page Six reported that even six months after his death, alleged children were still coming forward, bringing the possible total to 15. The trusts and estates attorney Herbert Nass said, "The next big thing is to determine who are the rightful heirs. The estate is going to ask everyone to prove paternity through DNA testing."

The estate itself, however, was not very big – maybe $1 million at most — and DMX appeared to be in debt when he died. However, it was his assets and legacy that could be worth a lot in the future, with the plan being for all legal heirs to have this split evenly between them.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


XXXTentacion was very young when he died, so, fortunately, he'd been even younger when he made his will. TMZ opined that the fact the rapper, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, had gotten his affairs in order the year before he died in 2018, aged 20, showed he'd felt the end was coming.

However, even though it was a matter of months between writing the will and being murdered, XXXTentacion had a big life change that affected his estate: He got his former girlfriend pregnant. This meant the child hadn't been mentioned in the document, with everything going to the rapper's mother and brothers. However, The Blast reported that by 2020, a settlement was reached that set up a trust for XXXTentacion's son.

In 2019, another party came forward, claiming the estate of the late rapper owed them money. According to XXL, producer Jimmy Duval filed a lawsuit and later gave the website a statement claiming that he was owed money for his work with XXXTentacion. "...As the producer behind 'Look At Me,' an inarguable platinum hit, I was removed from all credits, which in turn meant that all rights and royalties owed to me, were immediately averted," Duval explained. "It goes without saying that everyone deserves credit for their contributing works ... I would never under any circumstances disrespect X or his legacy. [I'm] only asking for what is rightful and fair."

Nipsey Hussle

When Nipsey Hussle was murdered in 2019 at the age of just 33, he left behind two young children, and TMZ reported that the hearts of fans immediately went out to the kids. Former football player Reggie Bush even started a GoFundMe, kicking in $10,000 of his own money. But while Hussle might not have been a household name, he was extremely successful, and apparently smart with his legacy, having already set up trust funds for his children, making any charity unnecessary.

However, trusts and wills are different, so while the kids were alright, some of Hussle's other assets had to be dealt with, and TMZ also reported that Hussle's brother asked to be put in charge of them, especially as – morbidly – Hussle's death resulted in lots of offers coming in. Eventually, his estate would get a final valuation of $4.4 million. Court documents obtained by Radar Online said the children would split this amount.

It wasn't all easy to sort out, though. The mother of one of Hussle's children originally wanted to fight his brother over who would be the estate's executor. And one creditor claimed she was owed money from the estate for co-writing one of Hussle's songs, only dropping her suit in 2022, per Radar Online.

Juice Wrld

Juice Wrld was another young rapper, on the cusp of huge fame after his breakout hit and album, whose death came far too young. According to NPR, Juice Wrld died in 2019 of an accidental overdose, only six days after his 21st birthday. It was a manner of death that, while shocking, would not surprise anyone who listened to his lyrics, where, as GQ explains, the rapper often talked about his substance abuse issues.

TMZ got its hands on documents that showed his estate was worth $3,278,867.49, although they admitted this might not include everything he owned. While much of Juice Wrld's wealth was in assets like jewelry and property, he also had over $1 million sitting in a bank account when he died. More importantly, from a financial standpoint, TMZ also reported the existence of thousands of unreleased tracks, which could be worth a lot of money. It appears Juice Wrld died without making a will, but with very few close relatives, it was his mother who applied to be administrator of his estate. She will have a lot to deal with, considering Celebrity Net Worth reports that the year after he died, he was the 7th highest-earning dead celebrity.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


Founding member of the Beastie Boys, MCA – real name Adam Yauch – was prepared when he died of cancer in 2012, aged 47, and he left behind both a trust and a will, according to Forbes. When it came to his estate, worth an estimated $6.3 million, it was divided between his wife and daughter.

However, the will also had a strange provision as regarded that daughter. While parents often have to come to terms with the idea that they should name a guardian for their kid if both parents were to die, the rapper and his wife apparently couldn't agree on which of their own sets of parents would get this job. Forbes reported they left it to fate, basing it on if they died in odd or even years.

Another provision, one that was partially handwritten, could lead to some legal issues down the line. Perhaps unsurprisingly, if you are at all familiar with the Beastie Boys' ethos and political leanings, MCA did not want his life's work being used to make corporations money after he died. To try and prevent this, he added a line to his will, which was seen by Rolling Stone: "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes." However, Forbes notes that sentence deals with both publicity rights and copyright, which fall under different laws. This legally-muddled sentence, therefore, might not be fully enforceable.


Ol' Dirty B****** (ODB), born Russell Jones, died in 2004 of a drug overdose only days before he would have turned 36, per MTV News. Early reports of his estate didn't agree on how many kids he had, with estimates ranging to over a dozen, while his wife, Icelene Jones, only mentioned three, according to UPI. It seems the number accepted by ODB's family was seven, the three from his marriage and four outside it.

However, The New York Daily News reported (via Gigwise) that ODB's widow originally tried to block the other four children from getting their share of the estate, something the rapper's manager vowed to fight: "We made him a promise, if or when he ever passes, all his seven children will be taken care of." Meanwhile, ODB's sister opined, " looks like his money is definitely going to be an issue." Jones even said she saved DNA in case other claimants came forward, per UPI.

As for what ODB earned after his death, in 2011, Jones sued Wu-Tang Productions Inc. for a million dollars, claiming it "willfully refused to compensate or provide accounting records to the estate of Ol' Dirty B******," and that she had "no indication of the exact amount the estate is still owed" (via Page Six).

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


Eazy-E, a founding member of N.W.A. and successful record label owner who was born Eric Wright, tragically died of AIDS complications in 1995. Less than two weeks before he died, he married the mother of one of his then-six children, Tomica Woods (she was pregnant with their second when Eazy-E died). The Los Angeles Times reported that at about the same time, the rapper made a trust leaving his estate to his wife, her child, and some other family members.

However, Eazy-E's funeral must have been awkward, since by the time he was buried, his loved ones and associates were already fighting in court over his money and business. The legality of the trust and even the marriage were questioned, and everyone expected paternity suits to emerge at any time. "It would rip Eric's heart out if he knew what was going on here," manager Jerry Heller said. "It's sickening to think that his children's future could go down the drain simply because people are picking over their father's bones."

Things still weren't completely settled by 2017, when Eazy-E's widow and one of his sons by a different woman went to court over the rights to the names N.W.A and Ruthless Records, according to The Wrap. Eazy-E's son, who goes by Lil Eazy-E, lost the suit.

Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes

One-third of the massive 1990s group TLC, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes died in 2002 while on a trip to Honduras, where she was doing charity work. The car she was driving flipped over and Lopes was killed instantly; she was 30. Almost immediately, the lawsuits began, according to the AP. One of Lopes' passengers in the car, T'Melle Rawlings, was injured and sued the singer's estate. Meanwhile, Lopes' mother sued the car manufacturer.

While Celebrity Net Worth estimates Lopes' estate at $500,000 when she died, it's not clear who inherited it. But there's evidence her family received the rights to her songs and vocals, at the very least. According to The Courier-Mail, the remaining two members of TLC were shocked when the Lopes family would not let them use unheard recordings made before the rapper died on their Kickstarter-funded 2017 album "TLC" – unless they paid. As such, the only hint of Lopes on the album are clips from an interview she gave.

In 2013, TLC fans went crazy when a report spread on the internet that the band's much-hated former manager, Pebbles, was suing Lopes' estate for money she claimed she was owed by the rapper. "Just cuz she not here doesn't mean she ain't gotta pay what she owe ... I honestly thought of her as a little sister ... a little sister that owes me money from 1992." However, Black America Web clarified this was from a spoof interview.

Big Pun

Big Pun was a big name in rap in the late 1990s, becoming the first Latino rapper to earn a platinum record, according to Biography. Sadly, he died of an obesity-related heart attack in 2000, aged just 28. Celebrity Net Worth estimates his estate was valued at about $3 million when he died.

However, it seems that the rights to his music and the royalties that came from it went to his friend and mentor, Fat Joe, not to Big Pun's family, who lived in a shelter for the unhoused at one point after his death. "For him to give so much to Terror Squad and ... at his demise at his passing for them to turn their backs on his family, his kids ... for me, that was upsetting," Big Pun's widow Liza Rios told All Hip Hop.

This eventually led to a lawsuit, during which, Bossip reported, an expert testified that Fat Joe owed Big Pun's family as much as $2 million. The lawsuit was settled with undisclosed terms in 2016. In 2021, on the Drink Champs podcast, Fat Joe revealed he'd turned over Big Pun's music catalog to the family. This did not stop the problems between them, with Fat Joe refusing to go to a street naming ceremony in Big Pun's honor that same year to avoid his relatives, and a few months later, accusations over Big Pun's estate flew between Fat Joe and Liza Rios in the comments of an Instagram post (via Vibe).