The list, curated annually by Forbes Magazine features a number of artists who have remained on the list for years as well as a few newcomers. The biggest shocker of the list is that Rapper Jay Z has overthrown mogul Diddy on the number 1 spot which he has held for years. Those listed here are the top ten rappers who are raking in some major cash. Accumulatively, hip hop’s ten highest earners made $422.5M; the equivalent of Ksh4.2T.
10.Kanye West – $27.5M
Chicago native Kanye West raked in $27.5M for his music, ( as a rapper and producer) as well as his deals with Adidas and clothing line Yeezy.
9.Future – $30M
“King’s Dead” rapper is not doing too badly. With a new album out “Hndrxx,” he has gone on to grow his brand; curating the soundtrack for “Superfly” which came out in June 2018.
8.Pitbull – $32M
After being part of the FIFA 2014 anthem, Pitbull’s influence has made gains worldwide. He teamed up with Britney Spears and Enrique Iglesias; for a recent world tour.
7/6.Nas/ Dr. Dre – $35M
These two are hip hop’s greatest. The two have been great at leveraging their names for major business deals. Nas’ tech investments and Dre’s manufacturing deals have catapulted their earnings.
5.J.Cole – $35.5M
In the middle of the Dreamville Tour at the time of this writing; J.Cole’s latest album has carried him onto new success. Cole has been very influential with his work serving as a commentary for society. The 2018 album “KOD” secured his place as a top earner.
4.Drake – $47M
“God’s Plan” rapper, Drake has made some major cash this year. Releasing a new album “Scorpion”, the rapper’s personal scandals have only served to grow his audience and increase sales. He also went on a tour dubbed Aubrey and the Three Amigos earning himself a hefty sum. The clothing line and record label OVO continues to be a major contributor to his annual earnings.
3. Kendrick Lamar – $58M
Not only does he have great music; but 2018 was the year for Kendrick to make a transition to creating soundtracks for movies. With a great piece “All of the Stars,” and a couple of great awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Lamar has had quite the historic year.
2. Diddy – $46M
P.Diddy, Puffy, Diddy…whatever you might want to call him; P.Diddy has had a great year. The Bad Boy ventured back into reality television with the show ‘The Four’ starring himself alongside DJ Khaled, Megan Trainor. His vodka brand Ciroc as well as clothing brands keep him a top earner.
1.Jay – Z – $76.5M
Sean Carter plays no games. After welcoming twins with his wife Beyonce; the power couple paired up for the “Love Is Everything” album which was followed by a world On The Run II tour. This year, Jay-Z has largely remained scandal-free; and has been basking in the aftermath of his success.