Within the hip-hop industry, millions upon millions of dollars are circulated through many pockets annually. While it’s easy to think that all of this money comes from royalties and labels alone, this is far from the case. Let’s dive into the highest paid rappers of 2018 and see where all of this money comes from.
10. Kanye West
Taking No. 10 on our list is the one and only Kanye West. In 2018 alone, he amassed a lump sum of $27.5 million. While a portion of this money was put into his pocket from his extensive music career, his deal with Adidas far surpasses any other source Ye’s income.
Atlanta native Future holds No. 9 in our list. Earning roughly $30 million in 2018, this artist has more than enough money to stunt on his fellow rappers. A majority of his financial gains came from over 3 billion streams across all platforms, as well as deals with StubHub and Reebok.
I know, right? Shocking. Turns out booking this artist comes with a hefty price tag because he brought in $32 million thanks to his 2018 tour and his partnership with Britney Spears for her Piece of Me tour in 2018.
6. Nas (Tied)
Tied for sixth place in earnings, Nas brought home an impressive $35 million in 2018. His route to fortune has been quite different from the others, though. With an investment in Ring, a virtual doorbell company owned by Amazon, he can practically write his own checks. Also, an advertising contract with Hennessy should be thanked as well.
6. Dr. Dre (Tied)
We all know him. Dre has been topping these lists ever since he broke through the gates of the industry back in the 90s. A good chunk of the $35 million he earned this year can be credited to royalties. However, he still gets checks written to him thanks to the Beats by Dre Apple deal of 2014, since it was sold for a whopping $3.2 billion.
5. J. Cole
Taking a similar avenue as Pitbull, J. Cole pulled in $35.5 million with the help of his new album “KOD” and tour under the same name. Stream royalties also play a large role in this artist’s beefy payroll.
The one many have been waiting for on this list. Drake’s massive $47 million in earnings can be attributed to being one of the world’s most-played artists on all streaming platforms. In fact, he became the first artist to ever hit 10 billion streams on Apple Music in July of 2018.
3. Kendrick Lamar
Come on. Did you expect him to NOT be on this list? Kendrick amassed a fat sum of $58 million in 2018. Maybe his sell-out global tours and endorsement deals with American Express and Nike might have something to do with it.
While this may come as a shock to some, Diddy pulled in an impressive $64 million last year. Vodka fanatics such as myself know why, however his alcoholic empire speaks for itself. Owning Ciroc Vodka and DeLeon Tequila, Diddy never has to worry about financial insecurity. Also, he wants you to cure the hangovers induced by consuming his liquor with his line of Aquahydrate Alkaline Water.
Taking the cake as 2018’s highest paid rapper, Jay-Z earned a mammoth sum of $76.5 million. He has several different avenues to thank, such as two personal tours and a stadium tour with his wife, Beyonce. In fact, the couple has a combined net worth of $1.2 billion. In addition, his stakes in Armand de Brignac Champagne and D’Usse Cognac contributed to this artist’s heavy pockets.
Now boasting the status of richest woman in the music industry, Rihanna’s net worth is estimated to be an eye-watering $600 million. A majority of the Barbados native’s earnings can be credited to her partnership with the French multi-brand conglomerate LVHM Moey Henessey Louis Vuitton. In addition, her luxury fashion label Fenty provides a comfortable side income.
Earning roughly the same amount as her significant other, Beyonce pulled in an impressive $76.5 million in 2018. What’s even crazier is that her 105 minute-set at Coachella resulted in a $3 million payday. Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir Carter will have plenty of Versace and Gucci attire to flaunt.