Most hip hop artists would be thrilled to be on the Forbes ranking of rappers based on annual earnings. Meek Mill and Cardi B are not among them.
In this year’s list, Kayne West came out in top, with estimated earnings of $150 million. This nearly doubles the artist in second place: Jay-Z, who reportedly earned a little more than $80 million in the past year.
On top of that, this is still about $5 million more than what Forbes said Kanye earned last year when he topped the list.
Here are the publication’s top 10 earners, along with its ‘estimated’ annual earnings. Importantly, none of these figures are self-reported or use verified account or asset information.
- Kayne West ($150 million)
- Jay-Z ($81 million)
- Drake ($75 million)
- Diddy ($70 million)
- Travis Scott ($58 million)
- Eminem ($50 million)
- DJ Khaled ($40 million)
- Kendrick Lamar ($38.5 million)
- Migos ($36 million)
- Childish Gambino ($35 million)
So far, no one listed in the top 10 has commented about the numbers in the list, but the same cannot be said for those who placed in the next 10 spots.
Forbes listed Cardi B in 13th place with $28 million, and she was none too pleased. The rapper immediately fired off a tweet that stated: “Where do Forbes be getting they numbers from cause they way off.” Though she did not specify in which direction Forbes was off.
Meek Mill, who was listed in 15th place on the list with estimated earnings of $21 million, was even more demonstrative than Cardi B in his dismay at the numbers. He also quickly fired off a tweet, which stated: “The Forbes got our accounts f**ked up lol.”
But he, too, did not specify in what way Forbes was off.
Years ago, DJ deadmau5 was livid when he landed on Forbes’ Highest Paid DJs list. He called it “bullshit” and said at the time that he earned far less than the $11.5 million reported. In his scathing takedown, deadmau5 (real name Joel Zimmerman) said that Forbes was calculating a bulk of his DJ revenues as earnings, which ignored his substantial operational overhead.
Other DJ earnings may have also been overestimated. In Zimmerman’s opinion, the ballooned figures helped to draw attention to EDM and DJs, though it raised serious questions about Forbes’ earnings and net worth calculation methodologies.