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.
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.
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