Who Are The World's Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts For 2018
Hip-hop is the most consumed genre in the United States, so it should come as no surprise that, per Forbes, in 2018 alone “the 10 highest-paid rap stars earned $405.5 million,” and among those high earners was none other than JAY-Z.
At 48, JAY-Z surpassed Diddy, also 48, who topped last year’s Cash Kings list, with a total of $76.5 million earned over the past 12 months. Diddy comes in second with an impressive $64 million. Following him are Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and J. Cole, who earned, respectively, $58 million, $47 million, and $35.5 million.
Almost 25 years after the release of his first album, Illmatic, Nas lands on the Hip-Hop Cash Kings list of the top-earning rappers for the first time after raking $35 million last year. That’s thanks to 40-plus shows and a big Hennessey endorsement—and his cut from the sale of Ring, a smart doorbell maker, to Amazon. While Nas may have missed out on the sneaker and streetwear deals of the late 90s, he’s proved to be a later-in-life commercial force and a bit of an unlikely trailblazer with his startup investments.
These numbers alone are impressive, but so are the margins between hip-hop and other massive genres. Rap has out-earned country music this year by over $100 million, with country earning $304.5 million. EDM has also been overtaken by hip-hop, raking in a respectable third place total of $260 million.
The list tracks pretax annual income from touring, record sales, streaming, publishing, merchandise sales, endorsements and other business ventures. Management, agent and attorney fees are not deducted. Earnings are calculated from June 2017 to June 2018 and based on data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, Songkick, Bandsintown, the RIAA and interviews with managers, lawyers, executives and many of the artists themselves.
Highest Paid Hip Hop Acts of 2018 (Forbes):
1. Jay Z - $76.5 mill
2. Diddy - $64 mill
3. Kendrick - $58 mill
4. Drake - $47 mill
5. J. Cole - $35.5 mill
6. Nas - $35 mill
7. Dr. Dre - $35 mill
8. Pitbull - $32 mill
9. Future - $30 mill
10. Kanye - $27 mill
Check the full list out HERE and let us know if your favorite artist made it.