The Highest Earning Rappers This Year Might Surprise You
Forbes’ list of the highest paid hip-hop artists always looks pretty similar at the top. Just like last year–even though he’s not so much an artist anymore–Diddy finds himself at the top with $130 million dollars earned. Of course, his and all other artists’ revenue isn’t only from music. As a matter of fact, it would probably be a safe bet to say most of the more lucrative avenues for these artists isn’t from streaming or album sales, but other deals.
Number 20 on the list is Lil Yachty, who at 20-years-old brought in $11 million this year. He got there by performing live over 100 times, and snagging endorsement deals with Sprite, Target, and Nautica.
Rick Ross and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are tied for the 18th/19th spot, both making $11.5 million. Ross made some of his money through his Wingstop and Checkers franchises, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis made a majority of theirs touring together. Swizz Beats is the next highest earner bringing in $14 million, partly due to his new gig at Bacardi’s creative director.
Number 17 is Lil Wayne, who brought in $15.5 million from touring and a deal with Samsung. Right above him is labelmate Nicki Minaj who raked up $16 million through endorsements with MAC and T Mobile, and her guest verses.
Snoop Dogg’s career is still going strong, coming in at number 15. He made $16.5 million this year from his show, Martha And Snoop’s Potluck Dinner, his Youtube interview series, and his cannabis lifestyle platform, Merry Jane. J Cole brought in $19 million from touring, playing festivals, and having very highly performing streams and album sales.
At number 12 is Birdman, making out with $20 million, with artists like Drake, Nicki, and Wayne, it’s no surprise he’s on the list. Kanye West brought in $22 million, touring and playing festival dates before the tour’s untimely cancellation. He also has his Adidas deal along with high-grossing merchandise pop-up shops that helped him stay earning.
Next on the list is Future with $23 million, DJ Khaled with $24 million, and Pitbull with $27 million. Future’s streaming numbers are 2nd in hip-hop only behind Drake, Khaled has deals with Champs, Apple, and expensive DJ gigs, and Pitbull sells out arenas internationally.
Number 7 is Wiz Khalifa with $28 million, who made bank with his own strand of weed and an accompanying app. Kendrick Lamar is next on the list with $30 million–his already double platinum album DAMN. contributed to that income, but the rapper also earns over $1 million with every single tour date.
The top 5 starts with Chance The Rapper, making $33 million through his deals with Apple and Kit Kat, along with touring. Right above him is Dr. Dre with $34.5 million, not as big as his $620 million payout from Apple in 2014, but he still gets money from them as well as royalties for his large catalog.
Number 3 is Jay Z, who made $42 million this year from signing a huge touring deal with Live Nation and playing a number of festivals throughout the summer.
Drake comes in at number 2 with a whopping $94 million, with money from huge tours, being the highest streaming artist, and deals with Apple, Nike, and Sprite.
As previously stated, Diddy comes in at number once again this year with $130 million for things like his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour and Ciroc.