Kanye West is officially the highest earning rapper of 2019 and the second highest paid musician on the planet, and he still ain’t happy. Just as soon as Forbes had handed him the crown as Hip Hop’s new financial king, Kanye went left, because in his mind they didn’t get his money right. When it comes to Mr. West, if the conversation is about his millions and not billions, then he doesn’t want to hear that noise.
According to Forbes, Kanye raked in $150 million pre-tax dollars in 2019, which is a stunning turnaround for a man who, three years ago, seemed to be spiraling out of control. In 2016, West claimed debts of over 50 million dollars; he also suggested that Mark Zuckerberg should loan him a billion dollars to fund his creative ideas. That same year he checked himself into a hospital, claiming temporary psychosis. Then there was his visit to the White House and that M.A.G.A. hat he rocked for his meeting with President Trump. Before you could shout “you’re fired”, the hashtag #cancelKanye was trending on Twitter. It looked like he was headed for a Kardashian level flame out, that would leave him in the “has been” heap of the family’s many exes. But then Yeezus found Jesus, and his shoe company became the holy grail. That quick meltdown turned into one of the greatest comebacks of all time, and now all his talk about being a billionaire doesn’t seem so crazy.
Kanye’s shoe brand, Yeezy, is projected to earn roughly 1.5 billion dollars in 2019, about half of what the Jordan brand brings in annually. In other words, he’s built a monster that one day could make Mr. West, Michael Jordan money. This could also mean that one day soon, Kanye will be the king of the Forbes list, knocking off, ironically, people like Pop Princess Taylor Swift (who topped this year’s list). It’s all simple math: West owns 100 percent of Yeezy, and through its limited releases and selected drops the brand has built a sort of mystical following. Certain special editions are literally impossible to get and that scarcity has made the upwards of $200 price tag for many of his shoes, palatable for consumers.
If Yeezy continues to grow at its current pace, Kanye could easily become hip hop’s first multi billionaire.
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