Jay Z has and always will be one of the top earners in hip-hop, period. However, coming out from the shadows for the first time ever, his former protegé Kanye West beat him out. In the 2019 edition of Forbes’ highest-paid acts in hip-hop, Kanye West has come out on top with $150 million pretax income. Jay sits at No. 2 with a cool $81 million.
West’s astronomical rise in earnings can be largely attributed to the popularity and success of his Yeezy line. His signature footwear collaboration with Adidas. Kanye sat at No. 10 on the Forbes 2018 list with $27.5 million, while Jay came in at No. 1 with $76.5 million. It’s a huge surge for Kanye, as his partnership with Adidas is expected to pull in over $1.5 billion in sales in 2019.
Wrapping up the top 3, Drake sits comfortably on the list, bringing in an impressive $75 million. Diddy follows shortly behind at $70 million, while top-earner Ye’s pseudo-brother-in-law Travis Scott brought in $58 million. The top ten consists entirely of male hip-hop artists, as Eminem, DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar, Migos, and Childish Gambino round out the rest of the list.
The only female artists to make it into the top 20 are rap rivals, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. They came in at No. 12 and No. 13 respectively with $29 million and $28 million in earnings. It’s also worth noting that Cardi is the youngest to make the list at 26, though she took to Twitter to not-so-subtly dispute Forbes’ numbers
Russ, Logic, Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, Birdman, Dr. Dre, and Chance the Rapper were all absent from the list, following their inclusion last year.