Author profiles '3 Kings' of hip-hop: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z

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The Forbes editor who launched the Hip-Hop Cash Kings list is out with a new book on the biggest moneymakers in the game.

3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z and Hip-Hop's Multibillion-Dollar Rise by Zack O'Malley Greenburg is three things: a history of the business of hip-hop, a triple biography of Jay-Z, Diddy, and Dr. Dre, and a blueprint of how those guys became entrepreneurs.

In the summer of 1973 at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, legend has it, hip-hop got its start. That's just part of the rich New York City hip-hop history in Zack's book, which also compares the three kings' business styles to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Zack says Dr. Dre is definitely Donatello, the one tinkering in the workshop, on a new headphones line, or maybe a song. He's the perfectionist.

Zack thinks Diddy is most like Michelangelo, the cowabunga party dude who is 100 percent on all the time.

He likens Jay-Z to Raphael, the witty one hanging in the back.

Zack looks at each of the three kings' business accomplishments.

Dre uniquely marketed Beats headphones before selling them to Apple for $3 billion, by targeting Air Jordans as the competition, not other headphones brands.

Diddy has a diverse range of investments, which reportedly includes a stake in Spotify, plus his cable channel Revolt, Ciroc Vodka with Diageo, his own tequila line, and clothing.

Jay-Z is able to build a brand-new door every time one is slammed in his face, boycotting Cristal Champagne for its attitude against hip-hop stars, and investing in his own Champagne: Armand de Brignac.

This is the story of how three hip-hop kids became kings and how the music they make is here to stay.

As Zack says, hip-hop isn't going anywhere.

Listen to much more about the business of hip-hop with Zack O'Malley Greenburg and Alison Morris on the Morris on Money podcast.