Things slowly seem to be getting back to normal for Mr. Kanye West. Now largely clear of the political turmoil he found himself in last year and raking in acclaim for his Sunday Service sessions, whatever has gone on in the Chicago rapper's life over the last 6 months or so seems to have him on the right path.
At the very least, for proof of this all you have to do is follow the paper trail. Regardless of how many fans he lost over his political moves in the last couple of years, it's clear people will still pay big bucks for anything attached to the rapper-come-producer-come-fashion magnate's name. Kanye reportedly pulled in over $65 million in royalties from his YEEZY fashion line alone, skyrocketing him to the top of Forbes' list of the highest-paid hip-hop artists for the first time.
Kanye leapfrogs traditional hip-hop high earners Jay-Z, who makes a good deal of money from his Roc Nation group of businesses, and Drake, who's by far the most lucrative rapper in terms of both album sales and touring revenue right now.
As ever, production and record label royalties still account for a huge amount of a rapper's earning potential, as seen by the inclusion of personalities like Swizz Beats, Birdman and DJ Khaled among rap's highest-earning stars.
Once the king of Hip-Hop's financial game, Diddy has slipped from his number 1 ranking that he routinely occupied to become rap's fourth highest-earner. That being said, given he's still raking in more than $100 million annually from his various ventures, we wouldn't be complaining.
In what may be a surprising turn given their mainstream crossover success, neither Nicki Minaj or Cardi B — both easily the biggest female earners in the genre — managed to crack the top 10, which is perhaps a sign of the amount of work that's left to be done in championing emerging female performers.
Check out the full list of hip-hop's highest-earners below (All figures in USD). Places #20-11 are as follows: