Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Entertainment: Top-earning rappers

Tours and endorsement deals with companies have enabled the highest-earning hip-hop artists to bring in an average $44 million over the past year

Published: Sep 27, 2018 03:17:13 PM IST
Updated: Sep 27, 2018 03:42:53 PM IST

Entertainment: Top-earning rappers
Nas averaged over $320,000 per tour stop, playing 46 shows during the 12-month scoring period
Image: Franco Vogt for Forbes 

Months-long tours and endorsement deals with companies such as Sprite and Hennessy enabled the highest-earning hip-hop artists on our annual list to bring in an average $44 million over the past year. Some of them also have acquired lucrative equity stakes, including Nas, 45, who makes the list for the first time.

Entertainment: Top-earning rappers
A few years back, Nas kindled a friendship with venture capitalist Ben Horowitz and has since snagged stakes in Silicon Valley darlings (Lyft, Coinbase) and online media (Genius, Mass Appeal). “[Hip-hop artists] are always advancing technology—from one turntable to two turntables and a fader.” He has already enjoyed some exits, including the reported $1.1 billion sale of doorbell startup Ring to Amazon in February. “There wasn’t a time when [rappers] didn’t think about investing. It just so happens that the world is opening up.” 

(Additional reporting by Atalie Robehmed)

 

 

(This story appears in the 12 October, 2018 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)