JAY-Z has and always will be one of the top earners in hip-hop, but for the first time ever he's lost out to his former protege Kanye West. In the 2019 edition of Forbes' highest-paid acts in hip-hop, Kanye West has come out on top with $150 million pretax income. Jay, meanwhile, sits at No. 2 with $81 million.
Ye's astronomical rise in earnings can be attributed to the success of Yeezy, his signature footwear collaboration with Adidas. Kanye sat at No. 10 on the 2018 list with $27.5 million, while Jay came in at No. 1 with $76.5 million. It's a huge surge for Kanye, as his partnership with Adidas is expected to pull in over $1.5 billion in sales in 2019.
Drake sits at the No. 3 spot on the list, bringing in an impressive $75 million. Diddy follows shortly behind at $70 million, while top-earner Ye's pseudo-brother-in-law Travis Scott brought in $58 million. The top ten consists entirely of male hip-hop artists, as Eminem, DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar, Migos, and Childish Gambino round out the rest of the list.
The only female artists to make it into the top twenty are Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, who come in at No. 12 and No. 13 respectively with $29 million and $28 million in earnings. It's also worth noting that Cardi is the youngest to make the list at 26, though she took to Twitter to not-so-subtly dispute Forbes' numbers.
The Forbes got our accounts fucked up lol ....— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) September 19, 2019
Notably absent following their inclusion last year is Russ, Logic, Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, Birdman, Dr. Dre, and Chance the Rapper.