Jazz Cartier on Pace to Earn $85k in Merch Sales on 41-Date Fall Tour

The Toronto rapper is yet another example of rappers finding ways to make money outside of album sales.

Forbes occasionally presents curious takes on hip-hop culture, specifically at the cross-section of rap and personal finance. Last month, writer Shawn Setaro wrote about emerging Maryland rapper Jay IDK’s Empty Bank LP (Forbes' first-ever hip-hop album premiere), and his trials and tribulations with money as presented by the album.

Today (October 14), Forbes tackled another rising, independent rapper, Toronto native Jazz Cartier. Again, the focus was on how rap supports his livelihood. After slightly glossing over Cartier’s background, writer Ogden Payne gets into the nitty-gritty of Cartier’s finances, attributing his success in 2016 to headlining a 16-date tour in Europe, landing the opening spot for a 41-date fall tour with Post Malone, and merchandise sales. Payne wrote:

“Depending on where the merchandise table is placed in the venue, and whether or not he shamelessly plugs his products on stage, ‘Cuzzi sells an average of 60 t-shirts per night around $35 per. Using some quick back-of-the-envelope math, he stands to bring in just over $85,000 in merchandise sales from the 41-date tour he embarked on this fall. But Cartier admits this is small beer compared to his online store, which saw an over 2500% increase in revenue in the past year.”

Cartier’s method serves as a reminder that in 2016, non-music revenue streams like touring and merch can enormously supplement one’s income. It’s a tried-and-true business model, à la Chance The Rapper—and a standard that many artists, both indie and major, now employ.

Image placeholder title

Cartier, in particular, reaps bigger profits from his online store, rather than from tour merch, according to the article. He creates limited runs of his t-shirts, and once those sell out, the product no longer exists. While more rappers choose to go the independent route, they’re making basic economics, like supply and demand, work for them.



The Best Hip-Hop Merch in the Age of Disappearing Album Sales

If you want to make it as a rapper in 2016 you better be making t-shirts that are just as dope as your albums.


The Weeknd Turned 5.5 Billion Streams Into $75M Touring Advance

Drake might be the highest-earning artist in music, but The Weeknd isn't far behind.


A Guide to Independence & Fan Connection by Jazz Cartier

Toronto native Jazz Cartier breaks down his top tips for being an independent artist and connecting with fans.


Music Sales Falling, Tour Revenue in Danger. Can the Industry Survive?

New study shows music sales are dying and concert attendance is declining. The music industry as we know it is endangered.


Kanye West is Officially the Merch Master

After a record-breaking night of sales at Madison Square Garden, Kanye's heights know no bounds.