JAY-Z, Kanye West, & Diddy Top Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Artists of 2021
Written by on March 1, 2022
It’s a whole lotta money in this…
The highest-paid hip-hop artists of 2021 have been revealed and JAY-Z and Kanye West once again top the list.
Shawn Carter leads the rap pack with a career-best total of $470 million. Last year, hip-hop’s first billionaire sold the majority of TIDAL to Square, Inc. for $302 million, while LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired half of his luxury champagne brand Armand de Brignac. According to Vibe, his net worth has skyrocketed to $1.5 billion.
Ye comes in second to his big brother, earning $250 million over the course of 2021, thanks mostly to his Yeezy footwear empire.
The Watch the Throne collaborators transcend hip-hop as the highest-paid musicians of any genre, aside from legacy rockers who sold their catalogs last year. Hip-hop’s top 10 earners of 2021 doubled their 2019 haul with more than $1 billion.
Diddy’s lucrative Ciroc vodka empire landed him a spot in the top 3 with $75 million, while streaming king Drake finishes fourth with $50 million.
Wiz Khalifa netted $45 million (No. 5), thanks to his weed empire, including his Khalifa Kush brand, and the sale of his publishing in April.
Amid the Astroworld festival tragedy, Travis Scott made the list with $38 million (No. 6), followed by DJ Khaled (No. 7, $35 million), Eminem (No. 8, $28 million), and J. Cole (No. 9, $27 million).
Doja Cat is the only female act in the top 10. The “Kiss Me More” rapper racked up $25 million from her global presence and partnerships with Pepsi, Taco Bell, and Candy Crush.
The list, which was compiled by former Forbes editor and “Hip-Hop Cash Kings” list creator Zack O’Malley Greenburg, measures pre-tax income for calendar year 2021 before deducting fees for agents, managers, lawyers, and living expenses.
Hip-Hop’s Top Earners 2021
1. JAY-Z – $470 million
2. Kanye West – $250 million
3. Diddy – $75 million
4. Drake – $50 million
5. Wiz Khalifa – $45 million
6. Travis Scott – $38 million
7. DJ Khaled – $35 million
8. Eminem – $28 million
9. J. Cole – $27 million
10. Birdman – $25 million
10. Doja Cat – $25 million
10. Tech N9ne – $25 million