Kanye West Tops Forbes List Of Highest Paid Hip Hop Acts
JAY-Z has always been one of the top earners in hip-hop, but for the first time ever he’s lost out to his former protege Kanye West. In the 2019 edition of Forbes’ highest-paid acts in hip-hop, Kanye West has come out on top with $150 million pretax income beating Jay by almost $69 million.
The top 20 list for 2019, which was unveiled on Thursday, 19th September, charted pre-tax income from June 2018 through June of this year.
“There was a beam of light on the idea of me making athletic footwear,” West told Forbes in August of his Yeezy empire. “A paradigm shift. Like the Yeezy is desired as much as a Jordan.”
The Chicago native’s $150 million estimated income nearly doubles hip-hop’s first billionaire, Jay-Z, who clocked in at a cool $81 million to claim the second spot.
Last year, Kanye sat at No. 10 on the 2018 list with $27.5 million, while Jay came in at No. 1 with $76.5 million. It’s a huge surge for Kanye, as his partnership with Adidas is expected to pull in over $1.5 billion in sales in 2019.
Drake occupies the No. 3 spot on the list, bringing in an impressive $75 million. Diddy follows shortly behind at $70 million, while top-earner Kanye’s pseudo-brother-in-law Travis Scott brought in $58 million. The top ten consists entirely of male hip-hop artists, as Eminem, DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar, Migos, and Childish Gambino round out the rest of the list.
The only female artists to make it into the top twenty are Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, who come in at the number 12 and 13 slots respectively with $29 million and $28 million in earnings. It’s also worth noting that Cardi is the youngest to make the list at 26.