Highest-Paid in Hip-Hop In 2019: Kanye Is No. 1 Thanks To Yeezy, Jay-Z Is No. 2

Highest-Paid in Hip-Hop In 2019: Kanye Is No. 1 Thanks To Yeezy, Jay-Z Is No. 2

Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts
Edited image by Autumn Keiko. Original: Kanye West performs with Kid Cudi at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP) Original Jay-Z Image: Courtesy of Flickr/NRK P3

This year Kanye West has lived up to his self-proclaimed mantra of being the greatest. The MC and entrepreneur’s money finally lined up with where his mouth has been for years. Ye tops the list of highest paid hip-hop acts of 2019, according to Forbes.

The catalyst to West’s financial success: his Yeezy shoe line. Its sales are expected to top $1.5 billion in annual sales, according to another recent article from Forbes. The line’s success boosted West’s income to $150 million before taxes.

It is an accomplishment West is extremely proud of because he refused to settle, left Nike and pushed to get 15 percent of royalties on wholesales of his shoes from Adidas.

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In addition to saying his Yeezys are “the first shoe to have the same level of impact as an Air Jordan,” West said they bring joy to people.

“I am a product guy at my core … To make products that make people feel an immense amount of joy and solve issues and problems in their life, that’s the problem-solving that I love to do,” West told Forbes.

Being the highest paid hip-hop act is a feat West had to out-earn his “big brother” Jay-Z to make. Jay- Z came in second on the list with $81 million in earnings before taxes and Drake third with $75 million.

When it comes to bringing in the big bucks, hip-hop is winning overall. Forbes reported, “the top 20 acts in hip-hop banked a combined $860 million, up 33% from $648 million last year.”

The Top 10 hip-hop acts are rounded out with Diddy (No. 4 with $70 million), Travis Scott (No. 5 with $58 million), Eminem (No. 6 with $50 million) DJ Khaled (No. 7 with $40 million), Kendrick Lamar (No. 8 with $38.5 million), Migos (No. 9 with $36 million) and Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino (No. 10 with $35 million).

Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. were the only women to make the list at No. 12 with $29 million and No. 13 with $28 million, respectively.

In addition to live music tours, artists raked in money from endorsement deals, labels, television projects and more.