A few rapper endorsements are paying off. Ad Age Magazine has named America's Hottest Brands, with hip-hop moguls Diddy and Dr. Dre receiving recognition for applying their business acumen to help brand their respective up-and-coming products.

Diddy was named for his position as Brand Manager-CMO at Ciroc, the French vodka that's popped up in his videos and in bars across the country. Ad Age credits the Bad Boy CEO with boosting its street cred, helping the liquor surpass Belvedere as the second-ranked vodka in the "ultra-premium" category and increasing sales by 41% to $6.8 million.

The magazine honors Diddy with the company's growth, thanks to his key influence with cable networks like Bravo and E!, as well as publications such as Vibe and Hip Hop Weekly. Additionally, the company has zoned in on upscale audiences, running ads designed for an "active, influential and educated" demographic.

Additionally, Dre was named for holding it down in the headphone industry with his Beats by Dre line. Through unconventional marketing, the company has positioned itself as an affordable alternative to Apple's earbuds, with models available between $99 to $450.

"We aren't buying a lot of ads," says Interscope honcho Jimmy Iovine. "We market it our way. We're from the music business where you never get a lot of money to market."

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