Kanye West edges out JAY-Z as world’s richest rap artiste

Kanye West [Photo: NME.com]
Kanye West [Photo: NME.com]

The American star, Kanye West, has been named Forbes highest paid hip hop artiste for the first time in his career.

Kanye West, who is also called Yeezy, is expected to top $1.5 billion in sales this year or about half of what Nike’s Air Jordan generates in earnings.

Forbes said the earnings will boost West’s pretax income to $150 million over the past year and make him hip-hop’s cash king for the first time ever.

Kanye out-earned Jay-Z, who ranks second on this year’s list with $81 million, kept afloat by the tail end of his On The Run II tour with wife Beyoncé.

Drake, the most-streamed artist of any genre, rounds out the top three with $75 million.

According to Forbes, the top 20 acts in hip-hop banked a combined $860 million, up 33% from $648 million last year.

The bar for entry, they say, is $18 million, the highest it has ever

“Our numbers represent pretax income from June 2018 to June 2019 before deducting fees for agents, managers, and lawyers; figures are based on data from Nielsen Music, Pollstar, Bandsintown and interviews with experts, handlers and some of the stars themselves,” Forbes noted in its report released Friday.

Live music, however, isn’t the only path to profit for Diddy (No. 4, $70 million). He was said to have raked in the bulk of his bucks from his lucrative deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.

Birdman (No. 16, $20 million) owes his payday to his appropriately-titled label Cash Money Records; and Nas (No. 18, $19 million) returns to the list for the second-straight year thanks largely to multimillion-dollar exits in startup investments like PillPack and Lyft.

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There are two newcomers on this year’s list.

The highest-paid among them is Donald Glover (No. 10, $35 million), who padded his coffers with his work on Atlanta and his ‘This Is America Tour’ (as Childish Gambino).

Cardi B (No. 13, $28 million) follows close behind at age 26, she is the youngest artist in this year’s rankings and joins Nicki Minaj (No. 12, $29 million) as one of only two women on the list.

Check out the full list of The World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars below

20. Pitbull ($18 million)

19. Wiz Khalifa ($18.5 million)

18. Nas ($19 million)

17. Future ($19.5 million)

16. Birdman ($20 million)

15. Meek Mill ($21 million)

14. Swizz Beatz ($23 million)

13. Cardi B ($28 million)

12. Nicki Minaj ($29 million)

11. J. Cole ($31 million)

10. Childish Gambino ($35 million)

9. Migos ($36 million)

8. Kendrick Lamar ($38.5 million)

7. DJ Khaled ($40 million)

6. Eminem ($50 million)

5. Travis Scott ($58 million)

4. Diddy ($70 million)

3. Drake ($75 million)

2. Jay-Z ($81 million)

1. Kanye West ($150 million)

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