It costs a lot of money to make your favorite collaborations—and we’re not just talking about studio and production expenses.
Guest verses have become a very lucrative business in rap. Some artists trade verses amongst collaborators for free, but others have used features as an opportunity to cash out. Rappers were once tight-lipped about their feature rates, but over the last few years, some artists have been more transparent about how much money they’re bringing in. According to their lyrics and interview soundbites, it’s safe to say they’re raking in a lot of cash. If you want a verse from any major rapper right now, from Nicki Minaj to J. Cole to Lil Baby, it will likely cost you more than six figures.
A rapper’s guest verse rate is a sign of relevance, and as their popularity grows, so does their rate. DaBaby, for instance, went from charging $5,000 to $300,000 in a matter of three years. A higher price tag also means higher expectations, though. If an artist is charging six figures for a guest verse, it better translate to a big bump in sales or critical acclaim.
We compiled a list of what some of the biggest artists in the industry are charging for guest verses, according to their past lyrics, interviews, and collaborators. Of course, these are just the numbers they claim they charge. There’s an incentive for artists to exaggerate and inflate the figures in song lyrics and interviews, so you can decide for yourself how accurate they seem. Rates can change quickly, too. Just because Kendrick Lamar was charging one rate a few years ago doesn’t mean he hasn’t raised it by now. With that being said, here are the closest publicly available figures we could dig up.