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In posse on 2008/09/13 at 7:23 pm

Hip-Hop Homes For Sale
by Peter Hoy

Over the past year, the U.S. real estate market has seen a historic sell-off. Home prices are down 5% from their peak in April 2007–and the rich and famous are seeing the slump like everyone else.

Six prominent hip-hop stars currently have homes for sale; Kanye West, Russell Simmons and 50 Cent are among them. Some of them have hit tough times, while others simply want to move to different digs. Either way, there are plenty of hip-hop stars’ homes to choose from, for anyone in the market.

In Depth: Hip-Hop Homes For Sale

Joining the ranks of thousands of Americans facing foreclosure is music producer Scott Storch. The hit-maker found fame after a string of chart-topping songs he produced for Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé Knowles and 50 Cent, and that newfound wealth bought him a $10.5 million mansion on Miami Beach’s exclusive, man-made Palm Island.

Recently, however, his fortunes have changed. After three years without a top-10 hit, his extravagant lifestyle has come to a halt, and a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in court to address child-support payments.

He has had liens put on his Florida home for unpaid electric and security bills, as well as two years’ worth of unpaid property taxes totaling a half-million dollars.

“Suge” Knight, founder of Death Row Records, has also come on hard times. The record exec who worked with Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre in Death Row’s heyday filed for bankruptcy in 2006.

Knight lost control of the record company in 2007, around the same time his seven-bedroom Malibu home went on the market. The $6.2 million mansion has 8,000 square feet of space and ocean views.

Death Row has since been sold to the New York-based Global Music Group for $24 million.

50 Cent's modest home up for a mere $18.5 million...

But not all these sellers are strapped for cash. Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent, has his Farmington, Conn., mansion for sale, despite earning $150 million last year. In addition to a discography loaded with platinum albums, Jackson cashed in his VitaminWater stake for $100 million when parent company Glacéau was bought by Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion.

Jackson’s 17-acre estate boasts a 50,000-square-foot house with 19 bedrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis and basketball courts, a pond and a guest house. The rapper is asking $18.5 million.

And despite the slowdown in housing starts (down about 27% from the June 2007 rate), two of music’s biggest names are building themselves new mansions. Shawn Carter’s (better known as Jay-Z) and Beyoncé’s new digs are under construction in the ultra-rich New York City suburb of Scarsdale, where the median home value exceeds $700,000.

The newlywed couple earned a combined $162 million last year. Carter, who also has a New York City penthouse apartment, signed a 10-year, $150 million deal with concert promoter Live Nation in April. For her part, Beyoncé sold $50 million worth of tickets on a recent tour promoting her second solo album, B’Day.


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