Could “Beats By Dre” soon be “Beats By Apple”?

“The first billionaire in hip-hop right from the mutherf**kin West Coast.”- Dr. Dre

That’s what Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw of the Financial Times are reporting: Apple is “closing in” on what would be its largest ever acquisition, a potential $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics.

Beats is primarily known as the popular high-end headphone maker founded in 2008 by rapper-turned-businessman Dr. Dre (perennial member of Forbes’ Cash Kings list) and music producer Jimmy Iovine. The company also operates a new streaming music service.

Forbes estimated the value of Beats at about $2 billion, but Apple would appear to be paying well above that if the acquisition goes through.

Unlike some of its Silicon Valley peers, Apple is not known for making big acquisitions, so such a deal would be a marked departure in style for CEO Tim Cook. But it could be a way to start using Apple’s massive hoard of cash or attempt to shore up the company’s large but slowing iTunes music sales business. $3.2 billion would be the same price Google GOOGL +0.35% paid for high-end thermostat maker Nest Labs in January.

In the video below, Tyrese can be seen wearing a pair of Beats headphones while saying: “It’s not often you get to listen to beats with Mr Beats himself.” Standing right beside the actor, Dre can be seen laughing and pointing shouting: “I like that, I like what you’re doing.”

When Tyrese tells the camera: “Billionaire boys club for real,” Dre chimes in: “You better know that!” Tyrese continued: “The Forbes list just changed. It came out like two weeks ago, they need to update the Forbes list. S**t just changed.”

Clearly in the celebrating mood, Dre adds: “The first billionaire in hip-hop right from the mutherf**kin West Coast.”

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via Forbes