Kanye West’s Net Worth: Is the Rapper a Billionaire?
Whatever you think about Kanye West, you have to admit that the rapper’s business acumen is impressive. Rumor has it that Kanye West is close to becoming a billionaire. He’s never been shy when talking about money, and once, he even claimed that he’d made more money than Michael Jordan when it comes to selling footwear. (Spoiler alert: That’s not exactly true.)
So what does Kanye West’s net worth look like? Is he close to joining the billionaire club? Here’s what you need to know.
Kanye West’s net worth is impressive, but he’s not a billionaire
Celebrity Net Worth puts Kanye West’s net worth at $250 million. That’s a lot of money — attributable to his successful music career, his chart-topping albums, his Yeezy fashion collaboration with Adidas, another collaboration with Louis Vuitton, and his chain of Fatburger restaurants — but it’s not exactly close to West’s rumored net worth of $1 billion.
“Kanye is very successful both in music and fashion with his Yeezy clothing line, and both endeavors earn him a ton of money each year. But billionaire? Nope. Nope. Nope,” the publication reports. The rumor originated in an erroneous comment by West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, speaking to Jimmy Kimmel.
Jimmy asked Kim about the (entirely made up) Forbes article that (falsely) claimed younger sister Kylie is a billionaire (she’s not). Jimmy sheepishly asked Kim if she was a billionaire, to which Kim replied: “I would say my husband is, so that makes me one, right? By proximity.” The correct phrase she was looking for was “by proxy”… but I digress. So based on that one throw-away line on Kimmel, a thousand web sites have cranked out a thousand articles with headlines like, “Kanye West Is A Billionaire,” giving no evidence at all.
Kanye doesn’t own his Yeezy brand
Celebrity Net Worth also points out that while Kanye West’s Yeezy clothing brand is valuable, West doesn’t get all of that value. “If his deal with Adidas is like every other celebrity clothing partnership with a major brand that’s ever been done, he does not actually OWN the Yeezy brand. If the deal ever fell apart, it’s possible that Adidas would let him buy the brand from them, but that would be extremely costly.”
Adidas owns the Yeezy brand and pays West royalties, Celebrity Net Worth explains. “In fact, the whole reason Kanye ditched Nike back in 2013 was because he wasn’t earning royalties. Adidas offered him a partnership in which they would pay him royalties, so he became an Adidas guy.” Adidas has characterized the brand as “a small part of our company,” so it’s unlikely that West’s royalties have made him a billionaire.
Plus, the brand isn’t worth $1 billion, either. GoBankingRates reports that Kanye West claimed in April 2018 that “Yeezy will hit a billion dollars this year.” However, “His claim that Yeezy would hit the milestone is unlikely.”
Kanye West’s net worth account for less than half of his family’s fortune
As GoBankingRates points out, Kanye West’s net worth is impressive. “But it’s less than half the family fortune,” the publication reports. Current estimates put Kim Kardashian’s net worth at $350 million, according to People. “Kim’s beauty line KKW has become her personal moneymaker,” People reports.
“She came in at number 54 on Forbes‘ fourth annual America’s Richest Self-Made Women list. In addition to cosmetics, Kim’s social media presence, mobile game, endorsement deals and Keeping Up with the Kardashians money have all contributed to her whopping worth.”
GoBankingRates reports that one of the biggest expenses for the couple has been their $20 million Hidden Hills, California, estate. They purchased the home in August 2014, and in the time since, have reportedly spent another $20 million overhauling the 30,000-square-foot property. Before they moved to Hidden Hills, they lived in a 9,000-square-foot mansion in Bel Air, which they bought for $9 million in 2013, spent $2 million updating, and sold for $17.8 million in 2017.
West’s lyrics reveal his attitude toward money
As People reports, Kanye West’s lyrics have long revealed a complicated attitude toward money. “West’s early work saw him take an honest, if conflicted, look at the state of rap music’s obsession with material wealth,” People reports. The song “Gold Digger,” on the other hand, “paints a somewhat disturbing picture of West’s views on money, women, and children.” On “Heard ‘Em Say,” West takes “a clear-eyed, sober look at poverty and income inequality.”
But on “Touch the Sky,” he reveals that he is “always preoccupied with status,” according to People. In “Otis,” West name-drops Mercedes-Benz, Hermès, and Maybach, and on “Niggas in Paris,” he mentions Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Maison Margiela. Plus, Forbes reports that the latest albums from Kanye West and Jay-Z reveal how the Wests and Carters view money differently. “Whereas Beyonce and Jay-Z view their wealth as a means to transcend adversity, West views wealth as a snare that’s only magnified his problems.”
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