There have been plenty of successful hip-hop rappers in the industry, but few have become as famous and wealthy as Kanye West. One of his big accomplishments is being the first rapper to be worth at least $1 billion. It wasn’t until 2020 that Forbes officially declared that West had crossed the $1 billion mark, when he was valued at around $1.3 billion.
While Kanye is certainly one of the biggest names in the rap music industry, he actually has plenty of other income outside of music. Unbeknownst to many, he is also a producer, fashion designer and entrepreneur. Kanye West’s net worth comes from a combination of income from all of these channels.
Youth and education
Kanye Omari West was born on the 8the June 1977 in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. His parents actually divorced when he was barely a toddler after which he lived with his mother in Chicago, Illinois where he spent his youthful years. He attended the Polaris School for Individual Education in suburban Illinois. When he was 10, West moved to Nanjing, China, where his mother had landed a teaching job. He learned the local language well very quickly at the time but had forgotten most of it when they returned to the United States.
Kanye showed an early inclination for the arts, writing poetry at age 5. While in 3rd year, Kanye demonstrated a natural skill for drawing as well as music.
By the time he was in 7e year, Kanye was composing his own music and selling it to artists. Her mother, who was an English professor at Chicago State University, was very supportive. She took him to local recording studios so he could develop his craft and eventually represented him as her manager. Kanye eventually met No ID, a renowned DJ and producer, who became his mentor.
Kanye graduated from high school and received a scholarship to the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He also enrolled at Chicago State University for an English course. But he did not complete any degree, choosing to drop out of college to pursue his music career.
During his music career, Kanye West has racked up 21 Grammy wins and an impressive 69 nominations overall. But he was not recognized as a rapper right away, starting instead as a producer. Her music career has become a major contributor to her net worth.
From 1996 to the turn of the millennium, West produced a number of albums for his own rap group, the Go-Getters, and many other well-known rappers of the time, including Foxy Brown, Harlem World, Goodie Mob and D-Dot or rapper Madd.
Ironically, it was his huge success as a rap music producer that kept him from getting his much-sought break to become a rapper himself. He landed a contract with Roc A Fella Records, where he was an in-house producer.
But it wasn’t until he was in a car accident at the end of 2002 that he finally got his big break. With his jaw clenched from the accident, Kanye recorded his song “Through the Wire” which became a hit.
A few years later, West finally released his debut album The College Dropout after several delays. The wait was worth it, as the album garnered 10 Grammy nominations and quickly went triple platinum in the United States. He released his second album, Late Registration in 2005, and it sold over 2.3 million copies in the United States alone within a few months.
Several albums soon followed, each of which was a big hit, garnering multiple Grammy Award nominations.
Kanye West’s career as a rap artist has definitely been a huge success. But he has recently turned to other areas.
It’s his Yeezy brand, in particular, that’s responsible for a massive and consistent revenue stream for the rap artist. With his brand, Kanye had entered into a partnership with Adidas. And it became one of the best collaborations between an artist and a brand. In 2019, the partnership achieved an unprecedented $1.5 billion in revenue, earning West more than $150 million for that year, before taxes.
Just in February this year, Kanye tweeted that he had turned down Apple’s offer of a $100 million deal. He didn’t explain much about what the deal entailed, and the tweet had since been deleted. He also currently has a partnership with The Gap worth $1 billion.
There is also current speculation that Kanye will be Louis Vuitton’s new creative director, replacing Virgil Abloh. West and Abloh have had many creative collaborations over the years, starting with their first meeting as interns working for Fendi in 2009.
Kanye had also designed a shoe for Louis Vuitton a while ago called Louis Vuitton Don. It’s also a title he gave himself in the lyrics of a song from his debut album “The College Dropout” in 2004.
Kanye West didn’t have a lavish childhood, growing up in a modest home in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. But it definitely tastes sumptuous. This includes his taste for houses. With all the income he has, it’s no real surprise that he can afford the stately properties he has in his name.
Among his most recent purchases are a property in Malibu being renovated and a mansion in Antwerp, Belgium. In addition to these new acquisitions, West also owned two multi-million dollar ranches in Wyoming. One of them is the Monster Lake Ranch, which he had already sold for $11 million last year. The second ranch is called the Bighorn Mountain Ranch, worth $14.5 million.
Also just recently, Kanye purchased a Hidden Hills estate that sits directly across from a property owned by his ex-wife Kim Kardashian. The couple separated in 2021. They have four children together, two daughters North and Chicago, and two sons, Saint and Psalm.
His total real estate assets add approximately $120 million to Kanye West’s net worth.
Kanye West’s net worth today
With all of his real estate, business income and other assets combined, he would earn no less than $100 million a year. Most of this is courtesy of its Yeezy partnership with Adidas.
Kanye West’s net worth today stands at $6.6 billion. And it continues to grow day by day. He is considered one of the 3 richest black men in the history of the United States.
Illustration credit: Jr_cartoon
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