We know by now that hip hop extends beyond just music. The list of top earners in hip hop made an average of $44 million in touring, merchandise, endorsements and other investments. The man who once claimed, “I’m not a ‘Business-Man’! I’m a Business… man!” has proven this statement. Jay Z sits at the number 1 spot on Forbes’ 2018 list of highest paid hip hop artists earning $76.5 million. Despite the ongoing success of his Ciroc vodka, Diddy is only at the number 2 spot again this year with $64 million earned this year.
Here’s the rest of the top 20 list:
20. Swizz Beatz – $15 million
A large chunk of this producers earnings this year came from an deal with liquor company Barcardi.
20. Russ- $15 million
Tied for the 20th spot is Russ. He built a loyal following as an independent artist but is now earning top bucks on the road after signing with Columbia records.
20. Meek Mill – $15 million
Everyone wants a piece of the new activist Meek Mill including Amazon and Puma.
19. Logic – $17 million
More meaningful then this artists first platinum-certified chart-topper, was the 27% increase in calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline after his song featured their phone number.
18. Lil Wayne – $19 million
Wayne’s settlement with Birdman and Cash Money records got him on the list.
17. Lil Uzi Vert – $19.5 million
Uzi earned 3.5 billion streaming spins over the past 12 months and performed 76 shows this year so far.
16. Birdman – $20 million
Birdman better hold onto every penny he earned from Drake’s ‘Scorpion’ album since it’s the last on Cash Money Records.
15. Travis Scott – $21 million
The success of his album ‘Astroworld’ plus deals with Nike earned Scott big checks before he even begins touring later this year.
14. Chance The Rapper – $21.5 million
Chance didn’t release an album this year but has been featured on tracks and performed many shows. He’s also invested in a Chicago media outlet.
13. Eminem – $23 million
Even before his surprise album “Kamikaze” went number 1 on Billboard’s Top 200, Eminem had earned $23 million. He doesn’t perform much, but the few shows he does earn him big bank.
12. Migos- $24.5 million
4 billion spins and 93 shows in a 12 month period is a lot of hard work for this trio.
11. DJ Khaled – $27 million
Khaled earns most of his money from cashing in on his positive persona through deals with Apple, Ciroc and Weight Watchers.
10. Kanye West- $27.5 million
West may have been a hot topic over the last few months but most of his earnings come from his fashion line with Adidas.
9. Future – $30 million
Three billion streams plus deals with StubHub and Reebok gave Future a hell of a lot of money.
8. Pitbull – $32 million
Mr. Worldwide earns a lot of money performing around the world. Dale!
6. Nas- $35 million
Nas earned most of his money from smart investments including the sale of a virtual doorbell company.
6. Dr. Dre – $35 million
Dre ties with Nas because of earning from his deal with Apple and royalties. He’s moving onto creating a Marvin Gaye biopic.
5. J. Cole – $35.5 million
With the success of his “KOD” album, J. Cole earned seven figures per stop on the tour.
4. Drake – $47 million
Crossing genres has helped Aubrey earn cash including money from 5 billion streams.
3. Kendrick Lamar – $58 million
Lamar earned the most of his career through touring and deals with Nike and American Express.
2. Diddy – $64 million
“I started my business career at age 12, delivering newspapers,” Diddy told Forbes last year. “I’ve always understood that if I give the customers my best and service them differently, whether music, clothing or vodka, I’ll get a return on my hard work.”
1 Jay Z – $76.5 million
Touring and the release of two albums has reinvigorated the Jay Z brand.