How Hip-Hop Artists Become Billionaires

Jay-Z, Rihanna and Ye (Kanye West) are on the top shelf of rap’s new-money class. They became world-famous millionaires through the music industry, but realized they would have to sell more than music to become billionaires. 

The “Run This Town” trio used music as the gateway, then capitalized on their influence at the height of their fame. Jay-Z made bank from selling Ace of Spades champagne and investing in startups. Rihanna built her Fenty empire into multiple brands. And Ye has sold so many Yeezys he’s probably lost count. The bottom line? Star power gets you in the door, but to maximize your platform, you need to sell something authentic that customers want to keep buying. 

The next generation of hip-hop artists have taken note — whether it’s Megan Thee Stallion opening a Popeye’s franchise, Rick Ross’ 20+ partnerships, or Travis Scott turning Cactus Jack into an ecommerce operation for the hypebeasts. The future is wide open. It will be fascinating to watch how the next generation carves out their path to riches.

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