Kanye West tops list of 2019's highest-paid hip-hop artists — by a lot

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Kanye West tops Forbes magazine's list of the highest-paid hip-hop artists of 2019. (Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Kanye West just stole the throne from Jay-Z.

The rapper is the highest-paid hip-hop artist of 2019, according to the annual list from Forbes magazine. He reportedly earned $150 million, from June 2018 to June 2019, thanks in large part to his Yeezy shoe line with Adidas. It was enough to boost West up from his position in 10th place on last year’s list and to take down his former collaborator Jay-Z, who was the 2018 leader.

Not that Jay-Z is in the poor house or anything, especially after his profitable “On the Run II” tour with wife Beyoncé. His income totaled $81 million, enough for the second spot on the list.

Drake ranked third, with an income of $75 million.

The fourth spot went to hip-hop mogul Diddy, whose paycheck was $70 million.

Travis Scott — another Kardashian significant other, as Kylie Jenner’s partner — brought in $58 million for fifth place.

The rest of the top 10 included familiar names: Eminem ($50 million); DJ Khaled ($40 million); Kendrick Lamar ($38.5 million); Migos ($36 million) and Childish Gambino ($35 million).

Women are eligible for the top-earning title, but just two of them made the list: Nicki Minaj, claimed 13th place with $29 million, and, right behind her at No. 12, Cardi B, pulled in $28 million. The latter questioned the magazine’s estimates, which places her just behind her sometimes rival.

To clarify, Forbes says its estimates are based on information from experts and, in some cases, the stars themselves, as well as numbers from Nielsen Music and other analysts, and does not take into account taxes or fees for lawyers and agents.

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