Kanye West’s Net Worth Is Astronomical, All Thanks to His Yeezy Empire

Kanye West
Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN:54725904 (Press Association via AP Images).

Of all the things that are turbulent in his life, at least Kanye West’s net worth remains stable. The Jesus Is King rapper has previously battled with business industry-wide net worth calculators, such as Forbes, over his reported net worth on their site for years. Kanye often claimed that his net worth was far higher than what was publicly estimated, yet never provided sufficient documentation to Forbes to back up such claims. As of 2020, however, that has finally changed.

The updates to Kanye West’s net worth came around the time he formally announced his Yeezy x Gap collaboration in June 2020. “We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his YEEZY brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” said Mark Breitbard, global head of Gap Brand, in a press release about the partnership. This major move in Kanye’s fashion career seemed like a step in the right direction for the artist—that is, until, Kanye’s presidential campaign became a part of the conversation.

On July 4, 2020, Ye infamously announced his plans to run for President of the United States. It was a plan he had alluded to multiple times in the past, yet few took him seriously until his formal announcement via Twitter. A couple of weeks following his announcement, Kanye went on to speak about his anti-abortion stance during a presidential rally in South Carolina.

Followers increasingly became troubled by his comments after tuning into a lengthy Twitter rant days later. In a series of now-deleted tweets, the rapper claimed that his wife Kim Kardashian and her mother, Kris Jenner, are “white supremacists” who were trying to “lock him up,” among other things. Kim eventually responded to Kanye’s meltdown on Instagram, addressing his bipolar disorder (a diagnosis that Kanye has refuted) and asked for compassion and empathy from the public.

While it remains unclear if Kanye is dropping his presidential bid, many wonder whether the rapper had the means to pursue the ticket in the first place. Technically, he does. Kanye West’s net worth proves plenty large enough to fund his own campaign. Whether that’s a good idea for Kanye, however, warrants an entirely separate conversation. For now, here’s everything we know about Kanye West’s net worth in 2020.

How much of Kanye West’s net worth is from his music career?

In a September 2019 Forbes report, Kanye West’s net worth placed him as the highest-paid rapper in hip-hop that year. They calculated an estimated income of around $150 million after deducting fees for agents, managers and lawyers based on pretax income documentation. For some context, Jay-Z—who was reported as the hip-hop industry’s second-highest-paid artist in the Forbes article—made an estimated $81 million in 2019 in comparison. So it’s safe to say that Kanye West’s net worth is doing just fine thanks to his longstanding music career. However, music isn’t the only thing going for Kanye—and it may not even be the big moneymaker.

How much of Kanye West’s net worth is from Yeezy?

It may come as a surprise that most of Kanye West’s net worth is from his Yeezy line, according to Forbes. In their April 2020 update to Kanye West’s net worth, the publication explains that Kanye “has created a brand that’s challenging Nike’s Air Jordan for sneaker world supremacy,” and as such, it should come as no surprise that the brand made an estimated revenue of about $1.3 billion in 2019 alone. Kanye, who technically owns 100 percent of the brand, is estimated to take home an 11 percent royalty from Adidas (who is behind the production, marketing, and distribution of Yeezy footwear), which amounts to over a $140 million salary from Yeezy sales in 2019 alone.

What is Kanye West’s net worth in 2020?

According to Forbes, Kanye West’s net worth is around $1.3 billion as of 2020. He’s officially a member of the three-comma club, at last. This also means that Kanye makes about $400 million more than his wife, Kim Kardashian, who is worth $900 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Kanye West’s net worth also seems to be higher than Kim’s younger sister, Kylie Jenner, whose net worth is also $900 million, according to Forbes.

Though he’s a billionaire now, Kanye West’s net worth wasn’t always what it is today. In 2016, Kanye claimed on Twitter that he was $53 million in personal debt after he used his own money to launch his own clothing label, Pastelle, in 2009. After the launch of Pastel, Kanye also created his own merchandise line, titled G.O.O.D., which was supposed to market to fans of the label. However, seven months after Pastelle’s launch the label (and G.O.O.D.) shuttered. That wasn’t Kanye’s only failed business at the time. In 2011, he launched a high-end women’s wear line called Kanye West. The line, however, never made it to stores. In 2013, Jean Touitou, the founder of the French line A.P.C., which created capsule collections with Kanye, said that his fashion experiment cost him $30 million in debt.

However, as evidenced by Kanye West’s net worth now, the “Stronger” rapper made his money back and came out of the red. In 2013, Kanye released his first Adidas Yeezy collaboration: Yeezy Boost 750. He followed the design with several more shoes, such as Yeezy 950, Yeezy 350 Cleat, Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas and Yeezy Boost 700. In 2015, Kanye also launched his first Yeezy clothing line, Yeezy Season 1.

Still, Kanye’s income fluctuates. In a 2019 interview on The Late Late Show with James Corden, the Grammy winner claimed that he received $68 million in tax returns at the time. “Last year, I made $115 million and still ended up $35 million in debt. This year, I looked up, and I just got $68 million returned to me on my tax returns,” he said at the time. “And people say, ‘Oh, don’t talk about these numbers.’ No, people need to hear someone that had been put into debt by the system talk about these kind of numbers now that they’re in service to Christ.”

In an August 2020 interview on Nick Cannon’s podcast, “Cannon Class,” Kanye also claimed that he’s richer than President Donald Trump. In the interview, Kanye also responded to theories that he’s in “cahoots” with the Republican Party because he’s being paid. “People keep on saying I think that y’all, you and Republicans, are in cahoots,” he said. “Bro, can’t nobody pay me,” West replied. “I got more money than Trump.”

Despite his and his wife’s wealth, Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian, revealed in an interview with The Sunday Project in 2019 that she and her husband are raising their four children—North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm—to be aware of their financial privilege. “No matter what you’re given and no matter what you have, you have to treat people with respect,” Kim said of the wisdom she tells her children. “I do the best I can, and I really do believe my children are well adjusted and know they are blessed, but understand to be really compassionate. They’re really good people, and that is my No. 1 goal in life.”

 

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