Kanye West, US rapper and record producer, has been named hip-hop’s highest earner for the year 2019, according to Forbes.


The 42-year-old songwriter, who is on the verge to release ‘Jesus is Great’, his highly-anticipated debut gospel album, raked in about $150 million over the past year to knock Jay Z, fellow rapper, off the top spot — a feat he is achieving for the first time in his career.

“Yeezy is expected to top $1.5 billion in sales this year—or about half of what Nike’s Air Jordan pulls in—boosting West’s pretax income to $150 million over the past year and making him hip-hop’s cash king for the first time ever. Another career first: West out-earned Jay-Z, who ranks second on this year’s list with $81 million, buoyed by the tail end of his On The Run II tour with wife Beyoncé,” said Forbes.

Jay Z claimed the second spot with $81 million, while Drake, the most-streamed artist of any genre, rounded out the top three with $75 million pretax income.


Diddy followed behind at $70 million, while Travis Scott claimed the fifth spot with $58 million.

Nicki Minaj, who recently retired from the music scene, and Cardi B were the only female artists to make the top twenty.

Some of the notable hip-hop stars, who did not make the list, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Dr. Dre, and Chance the Rapper.


Here are the world’s 20 top-earning hip-hop stars below:

20. Pitbull ($18 million)

19. Wiz Khalifa ($18.5 million)

18. Nas ($19 million)


17. Future ($19.5 million)

16. Birdman ($20 million)

15. Meek Mill ($21 million)

14. Swizz Beatz ($23 million)


13. Cardi B ($28 million)

12. Nicki Minaj ($29 million)

11. J. Cole ($31 million)

10. Childish Gambino ($35 million)


9. Migos ($36 million)

8. Kendrick Lamar ($38.5 million)

7. DJ Khaled ($40 million)

6. Eminem ($50 million)

5. Travis Scott ($58 million)

4. Diddy ($70 million)

3. Drake ($75 million)

2. Jay-Z ($81 million)

1. Kanye West ($150 million)

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