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Forbes has shared its annual list of the highest-paid hip-hop acts for 2019. Topping this year’s list for the first time in his career is Kanye West with a pretax income of $150 million USD, hugely thanks to YEEZY’s expected $1.5 billion USD sales grab. He jumps from last year’s No. 10 spot to outrank JAY-Z, 2018’s top earner, who steps down to No. 2 with $81 million USD.
Coming at No. 3 is Drake, moving up one spot with $75 million USD. He’s followed by Diddy who falls from last year’s No. 2 to No. 4 with $70 million USD, succeeded by Travis Scott at No. 5 whose $58 million USD kicks him up from 2018’s No. 15 spot. Eminem also climbs an impressive seven spots to No. 6 with $50 million USD, just above DJ Khaled’s $40 million USD and Kendrick Lamar’s $38.5 million USD. Rounding out this year’s top 10 are trap trio Migos with $36 million USD at No. 9 and Childish Gambino at No. 10 with $35 million USD.
Take a look at the full list below.
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)
“If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be,” Swizz Beatz says. “Because he’s only just starting.”
Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, the superproducer behind some of Jay-Z’s biggest hits (“On To The Next One,” Beyoncé’s “Upgrade U”), looks at Jay-Z as something others can model: “It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture. A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us.”
What’s Jay-Z Worth?
To calculate his net worth, we looked at the artist’s stakes in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne, applying our customary discount to private firms. (He owns 100% of Armand de Brignac and has partial ownership of the other companies.) Then added up his income, subtracting a healthy amount to account for a superstar lifestyle. We checked our numbers with a roster of outside experts to ensure these estimates were fair and conservative. Turns out, Jay-Z really is a business, man.J
Armand de Brignac | $310 Million
Jay-Z has used his music to shill the $300 gold bottles of the “Ace of Spades” champagne since launching the brand with the 2006 video “Show Me What You Got.” More recently, his verse on Meek Mill’s “What’s Free” put a half-billion-dollar value on the wine, which seems like a bit too bubbly a number.
Cash & investments | $220 Million
A vast investing portfolio includes a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million. He reportedly purchased his piece for $2 million back in 2013—and then wired founder Travis Kalanick another $5 million in an attempt to increase his holdings, but was rebuffed.
D’Ussé | $100 Million
Jay-Z’s cognac, a joint venture with beverage giant Bacardi, moves almost 200,000 cases and has grown nearly 80% annually. “Jay-Z resonates with consumers who are attracted to the ultra-premium lifestyle,” says Eric Schmidt, Beverage Marketing Corp.’s Director of Alcohol Research.
Tidal | $100 Million
In 2015, Jay-Z submitted a bid to purchase the Scandinavian streaming service’s parent company for just shy of $60 million. He relaunched Tidal later that year with a roster of celebrity investors including his wife, Beyoncé, and other music luminaries, from Kanye West to Calvin Harris.
Roc Nation | $75 Million
This wide-ranging entertainment company started over a decade ago as part of a joint venture with concert giant Live Nation. Roc Nation represents some of the top stars in the entertainment through its sports agency (Kevin Durant, Todd Gurley) as well as its record label and artist-management arms (Rihanna, J. Cole).
Music catalogue | $75 Million
Before the beginning of his stint as Def Jam’s chief in 2004, Jay-Z negotiated the eventual return of his master recordings from the aforementioned label that helped launch his career; in a separate deal with EMI, he clawed back his publishing rights. Wise move: his hits now clock close to 1 billion streams annually.
Art collection | $70 Million
In the song “Picasso Baby,” Jay-Z boasted about a “Basquiat in my kitchen corner.” He probably wasn’t kidding. For over a decade, he’s been scooping up masterpieces like Basquiat’s “Mecca,” purchased in 2013 for a reported $4.5 million. “He’s rapped about it all in detail,” says Fab 5 Freddy, a contemporary and friend of the late painter. “Jay-Z helped educate millions of hip-hop fans mentioning Jean-Michel.”
Real estate | $50 Million
This is the incredible $88 million mansion Jay Z and Beyonce purchased in August 2017, the home has 8 bed, 11 bath and is 30,000 square feet
After welcoming twins in 2017, Jay-Z and Beyoncé bought a pair of homes to match: a $26 million East Hampton mansion and a $88 million Bel Air estate. Jay-Z also owns a Tribeca penthouse, snagged for $6.85 million in 2004.
Source : Forbes