Skip to main content

JAY-Z Tops Forbes Hip-Hop’s Highest Earners List with $76.5 Million

JAY-Z is hip-hop’s 2018 cash king.

Hip-hop is the most consumed genre in the United States, so it should come as no surprise that, per Forbes, in 2018 alone “the 10 highest-paid rap stars earned $405.5 million,” and among those high earners was none other than JAY-Z.

At 48, JAY-Z topped Diddy, also 48, who topped last year’s Cash Kings list, with an incomprehensible total of $76.5 million earned over the past 12 months. Diddy comes in second with an equally incomprehensible $64 million. Following him are Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and J. Cole, who earned, respectively, $58 million, $47 million, and $35.5 million.

These numbers alone are impressive, but so are the margins between hip-hop and other massive genres. Rap has out-earned country music this year by over $100 million, with country earning $304.5 million. EDM has also been overtaken by hip-hop, raking in a respectable third place total of $260 million.

Scroll to Continue



Enter Fana Hues’ Vast Musical World

The singer's new project is a lush sonic ecosystem.


5 New Songs You Need to Hear on Audiomack

Press play on new songs from Burna Boy, Muni Long, Projexx, Becky G, and Dende.


TOPS’ Breezy Indie Pop Brings the Party Inward

Montreal band TOPS brings the party inward on their new EP, 'Empty Seats.' Frontwoman Jane Penny breaks down their process for Audiomack World.

The Forbes Cash Kings list catalogs the top 20 earners in hip-hop, but the 20th spot seems to be the most coveted with a three-way tie between Swizz Beatz, Meek Mill, and Russ all earning $15 million. Logic comes in at number 19 with an impressive $17 million total.

While all of these numbers are life-changing and career-affirming, it's important to remember that they come at the cost of an endless grind. Cracking into the millionaire's club will take endless dedication, shows, merch bundles, and a lot of sleepless nights.

For more sponsored hip-hop video content like this, subscribe to the ADM YouTube channel here.


20 Biggest First Weeks for Hip-Hop Albums in 2018

20 Biggest First Weeks for Hip-Hop Albums in 2018

These are the biggest rap albums of last year.

The-Dream, 2019

The-Dream Loves Critiquing JAY-Z & Kanye West

The-Dream on why "the easiest place to be is in a room with a Kanye, Rihanna, JAY-Z, Beyoncé."

JAY-Z Tops Hip-Hop’s Highest Earners with $76.5 Million

JAY-Z & Beyonce’s Long Con Continues — a Joint Album Is Coming “Very Soon”

Hip-hop's most powerful power couple are about to cash in on the public's thirst for even more juicy lemonade drama.


Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter V' Generates $3.3M in Opening-Week Song Revenue

The “F” is for grossing over three million dollars in one week.