Kanye West

Forbes/James Toppin

Kanye West Tops Forbes' Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts

  /  09.19.2019

Yeezus rises to the top.

For the first time ever, Kanye West lands atop Forbes‘ list of highest-paid hip-hop acts. The 42-year-old mogul earned a pre-tax income of $150 million over the past year, the majority of which comes from his Yeezy empire. The adidas partnership is expected to top $1.5 billion in sales this year—or about half of what Nike’s Air Jordan pulls in.

West out-earned his “Big Brother” JAY-Z, who ranks second on this year’s list with $81 million. In addition to stakes in Armand de Brignac champagne and D’USSÉ cognac, his “On the Run II” tour with Beyoncé grossed over $250 million.

Drake, who amassed a fortune with his chart-topping album Scorpion and his “Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour,” rounds out the top three with $75 million, while Diddy takes the No. 4 spot ($70 million), thanks to his lucrative deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.

Travis Scott comes in at No. 5 with $58 million, boosted by his sold-out “Astroworld – Wish You Were Here Tour.” He is followed by Eminem at No. 6 ($50 million).

The top 10 also includes DJ Khaled (No. 7, $40 million), Kendrick Lamar (No. 8, $38.5 million), Migos (No. 9, $36 million), and Childish Gambino (No. 10, $35 million).

The ladies are also holding it down. Nicki Minaj places No. 12 with $29 million, while Cardi B is on her heels at No. 13 with $28 million.

The top 20 acts in hip-hop earned a combined $860 million, up 33 percent from $648 million last year. The lowest bar for entry is $18 million, the highest it’s ever been.

Forbes’ Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts of 2019

1. Kanye West – $150 million
2. Jay-Z – $81 million
3. Drake – $75 million
4. Diddy – $70 million
5. Travis Scott – $58 million
6. Eminem – $50 million
7. DJ Khaled – $40 million
8. Kendrick Lamar – $38.5 million
9. Migos – $36 million
10. Childish Gambino – $35 million
11. J. Cole – $31 million
12. Nicki Minaj – $29 million
13. Cardi B – $28 million
14. Swizz Beatz – $23 million
15. Meek Mill – $21 million
16. Birdman – $20 million
17. Future – $19.5 million
18. Nas – $19 million
19. Wiz Khalifa – $18.5 million
20. Pitbull – $18 million

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