In Hip-Hop, claiming superiority is the name of the game at times and Forbes does a good job in letting the public know who the Hip-Hop Cash Kings and Queens are each year. For this year’s “Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts” list, Kanye West edged out his “Big Brother” Jay-Z for the top spot, while Nicki Minaj rests on her throne at the top for the women.
Yeezy is expected to top $1.5 billion in sales this year—or about half of what Nike’s Air Jordan pulls in—boosting West’s pretax income to $150 million over the past year and making him hip-hop’s cash king for the first time ever. Another career first: West out-earned Jay-Z, who ranks second on this year’s list with $81 million, buoyed by the tail end of his On The Run II tour with wife Beyoncé. Drake, the most-streamed artist of any genre, rounds out the top three with $75 million.
All in all, the top 20 acts in hip-hop banked a combined $860 million, up 33% from $648 million last year. The bar for entry is $18 million, the highest it’s ever been. Our numbers represent pretax income from June 2018 to June 2019 before deducting fees for agents, managers and lawyers; figures are based on data from Nielsen Music, Pollstar, Bandsintown and interviews with experts, handlers and some of the stars themselves.
West isn’t the only familiar name to have a career year, even in his own family. Travis Scott, seemingly set to become an uncle to West’s children, rode his Astroworld – Wish You Were Here Tour to a $58 million payday and the No. 5 spot on the list. That’s two places ahead of DJ Khaled, who notched a personal best $40 million annual haul after overcoming his fear of flying in the wake of his son’s birth—and expanded his touring business while adding partnerships with Air Jordan and Luc Belaire.
Nicki Minaj and Cardi B were the only women to make the top 20 list at $29 million and $28 million respectively, which prompted Cardi to ask Forbes to recheck their findings via Twitter.
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Kanye West Tops ‘Forbes’ Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts 2019, Beats Out Jay-Z was originally published on hiphopwired.com