Top 4 Forbes Highest Earning Foreign 2019 Hip-Hop Acts


In September, Forbes shared its annual list of the highest-paid hip-hop acts for 2019 and topping this year for the first time in his career is Kanye West. It’s a list of top 20 highest paid international hip-hop acts: male and female. Top 10 on the list are strictly male: Kanye himself out earning Jay Z with $1.5 billion (He was on #10 spot in 2018), Jay-Z ($81 million), Drake ($75 million), Diddy ($70 million), Travis Scott ($58 million), Eminem ($50 million)- climbs an impressive seven spots to #6. Trap trio Migos rounded out this year’s top with $36 million USD at #9 while Childish Gambino at #10 spot with $35 million USD. Also, the ONLY 2 females that made it to top 20 this year are: following each other are: Nicki Minaj ($29 million) on #12 spot and Cardi B ($28 million) on #13 spot.

That’s right! On #11 spot is J. Cole with $31 million. 14 spot is Swizz Beatz ($23 million), 15 Meek Mill ($21 million), 16 Birdman ($20 million), 17 Future ($19.5 million), 18 Nas ($19 million), 19 Wiz Khalifa ($18.5 million)and 20 Pitbull ($18 million). From the top 20 list#TBS has picked the TOP 4 with the two bonus tracks coming the ONLY two females who have made it top 20 this year. According to in September (19th 2019), numbers represent pretax income from June 2018 to June 2019 before deducting fees for agents, managers and lawyers.

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Forbes says figures are based on data from Nielsen Music, Pollstar, Bandsintown and interviews with experts, handlers and some of the stars themselves. According to forbesall of the top 20 acts on the list made a combined income of $860 million, which is up 33% from 2018 – last year. The bar for entry is $18 million, the highest it’s ever been.  Speaking of figures, Kanye already had a pretax income of $150 million USD. He’s actually expected to top $1.5 billion in sales this year. We know already know, some of these big acts like Kanye West don not only make their money in music. They also have collaborations with some fashion brands among others. So we start off as usual with #4

No. 4: DIDDY – American singer Sean “Diddy” Combs (49) formerly known as Puff Daddy who started his business career at age 12 sure got another return on his hard work following Drake on the list this year even though he fell from last year’s #2 to #4 with $70 million USD, succeeded by Travis Scott at #5 in the September Forbe’s list.  Earlier in June, Diddy Combs previously fell to #3 on the list of Forbes Richest Rappers of 2019 where JAY-Z was #1 and Kanye West #4 and Drake #5.

Sean Combs’s wealth is mainly driven by cable network Revolt, his Sean John clothing line, and Ciroc as he took a bow out of music in 2016 after his last album (his 7th studio album in 23 years). In May 2016, Sean Combs had announced his willingness to retire from music after the release of his forthcoming album ‘No Way Out 2’ at the time. He promised to quit music so as to focus on acting. However Diddy, known for strong work ethic, became famous in the ’90s sometime in July via his Instagram account announced he would be bringing back Making the Band – reality TV series next year in 2020. MTV back in the day was the pioneer of reality TV.Diddy has been sourcing for global talent to that effect by requesting that people with musical talent upload their audition videos on social media and hashtag it with #MTBCasting.

He appears to like change of stage name though: Puff Daddy, Pdiddy, then in 2017 he announced that he would be going by the name Love, aka Brother Love”. A couple of days later, he told the press it was all a joke. Later in January 2018, he announced that he had changed his mind again, and will be using the name Love, aka Brother Love after all. He’s made a quite number of guest appearances on songs since his exit in 2016: he’s on “Rap Rushmore by Mase and DJ Khaled a 2017 song, “Not for Radio” by Nas in 2018 among others. Here is a 2019 song by Mike Posner on Diddy which Diddy makes a guest appearance.

Song: Sage Wisdom from Diddy by Mike Posner feat Diddy 

Awards: Diddy Combs has won three Grammy Awards among others

No. 3: DRAKE – Coming at No. 3 is Drake, moving up one spot with $75 million USD. “Drake” Graham is a Canadian Grammy-Award winning, platinum-selling recording artist. He’s a rapper, singer, record producer, and entrepreneur who launched his career as a child actor (on Canadian TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation)Drake started the month of August with acompilation album titled Care Package consisting of songs released between 2010 and 2016 that were initially unavailable for purchase or commercial streaming.

His 5th studio album Scorpion in June of 2018 was also a bomb. Scorpion got nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys and God’s Plan – my favourite won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Rap Song. Drake is the most-streamed artist of any genre according to forbes.comAwards: has won over 180 (181) awards including and 4 Grammy Awards from over forty (forty-two) nominations among others

Song: Free Spirit” (featuring Rick Ross) (It’s the #13 track on the album released in August The compilation features guest appearances from J. Cole, Beyoncé and a couple others )

No. 2: JAYZ – JAY-Z – American rapper and entrepreneur 2018’s top earner has stepped down to No. 2 has in bag 13 solo studio albums, four collaboration albums, one live album among other body of works is also the founder of the entertainment company Roc Nation now Jay now outranked by Kanye with $75 million USD

Earlier in June this year, Jay Z removed most of his music from the streaming service Spotify, leaving behind only a few early albums and collaborations with other artists and a few singles he recorded with Kanye West. Perhaps that was because Jay Z co-owns Tidal, a music streaming service that is in competition with Spotify, which has more of a focus on artist exclusives.

Jay z released hsi 13th album 4:44  in June 2017, through Roc Nation as an exclusive to Sprint and Tidal customers.He had a collab “Mood 4 Eva with Childish Gambino debuts at #90. He’s been in the mainstream for over 20 years etching himself in history as hip hop’s first self-made billionaire not only in music though; He co-created the clothing line Rocawear and Roc-A-Fella Records and founded the sports agency Roc Nation Sports etc.

Song: Mood 4 Eva with gambino

– Awards: has won 22 awards from 77 nominations among others

Cardie who recently turned turned 27 earlier in October has been up and doing lately. She starred in Hustlers, Her IG still buzzing Instagram as usual. Netflix show, Rhythm + Flow, also air in earlier in October. Mama is just starting music! Cardi B and Nicki Minaj were the only female rappers to make the list. Minaj came in at No. 12 earning $29 million, and Cardi was at No. 13 with $28 million.

No. 1: KANYE WEST – Award winning American rapper, songwriter, record produce, fashion designer, and entrepreneur Kanye West (Omari) in the top 20 list of highest paid hiphop acts out earned Jay-Z 2018’s top earner (now stepped down to #2 this year) with an estimation of $150 million almost twice Jay-Z’s $81 million. Recently on Friday 25th October he dropped his latest/ 9th studio album Jesus Is King.  He also premiered his IMAX film of the same name the same day the album was released. Jesus Is King -the album spawns 10 tracks. Tracks 8, 9 and 10 are about 3:23 seconds, the remaining 7 songs are less than 3 minutes.

Initially, Yeezy was working on an album titled Yandhi, which he planned to release in September 2018; pushed back to November 2018 and finally abandoned as he’s come through with Jesus Is King – on 25th October 2019.  That album by now should be atop of the Billboard 200 as previously projected because he’s got eight solo albums debuting at No. 1

Kanye has recently said in a voiceover that, he’s here to “spread the gospel. He’s “not here for your entertainment”. He’s here to “use art to make believers.” Remember he was on an art mission in December 2018 after which he donated $10 million to the Turrell Art Foundation to help fund Roden Crater Project—an extinct volcano in northern Arizona. Right now, let’s play one of his songs from Jesus Is King-his latest album

Song: Selah (track number two on the album)

Kanye West’s had teased “Selah” is a highlight off of the album. It’s one song in particular that people have been waiting for.” The song was previewed in a trailer a few days before the album release.

Kanye seems spiritually goal-oriented now. He has hinted to drop another album titled Jesus Is Born on Christmas day. Fans have been curious since release of his 2016 album- The Life of Pablo, when he started talking up his work as being gospel music. Jesus Is King is another religious themed album with clean and uplifting praise music. Does it look like secular music is off the menu forever? Is West’s golden period is over as a leader in the rap game for over a decade after almost two decades at the top of the game as a producer and solo artist? Would this affect Kanye’s fashion collaborations with the likes of Nike, Louis Vuitton, and A.P.C, Adidas knowing that majority of his wealth do not come from his music alone?

Awards: 21 Grammy awards among others

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