Why is Kanye West so rich? Here’s a look at what Ye did that made him on Forbes’ list of billionaires in the world.
Kanye West’s net worth and assets are seriously impressive. So, how did he attain his wealth? His record-breaking music career is greatly responsible for his cash flow, and he earns an impressive amount of money from royalties alone. Additionally, his brands and partnerships pull in the big bucks. And his real estate and car collections are seriously impressive. Here’s everything to know about how West became rich and stays rich.
Ye’s Record sales: $140 million
The Things reported in 2021 that Kanye West’s albums (10 in total at the time, now 11 in 2022) generated $140 million in sales. His first album, The College Dropout, sold 441,000 album units in its first week of dropping. Graduation, his best-selling album, sold 957,000 units in its first week.
West started his G.O.O.D. Music record label in 2004. In 2011, the company signed an agreement with the Island Def Jam Music Group, according to Pitchfork. Prior to having his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records signed West. Capital Xtra reports West worked as an in-house producer for the company first, greatly assisting in the success of Jay Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint. Damon Dash signed West to Roc-A-Fella so as to not lose him as a producer.
Kanye’s Music Catalog: At least $110.5 million
West’s G.O.O.D. Music label pulls in a ton of income for him. Bloomberg notes West’s entire music catalog had an estimated worth of around $110.5 million in 2020.
Yeezy Royalties: $150-200 million every year
West has maintained a public partnership with Adidas since 2015, though his Yeezy line of footwear made an appearance with Nike back in 2009, The Fashion Law reports. Thanks to his deal with Adidas, West brings in “a 15% royalty on wholesale, according to sources familiar with the deal, plus a marketing fee,” Forbes notes. Additionally, Adidas gives West “creative control” over his designs, and Adidas handles production.
According to documents obtained from Bloomberg, Yeezy net about $191 million in royalties in 2020.
Kanye’s partnerships are valued at $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion
Kanye West’s partnerships with Gap and Adidas continue to pay off. While many companies faltered through the pandemic, Bloomberg reports Yeezy grew 31% and earned nearly $1.7 billion in annual revenue in 2020. And the superstar’s partnership with Gap was estimated to be worth around $970 million. In total, West’s sneaker and apparel partnerships with Adidas AG and Gap Inc. were valued at $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion in 2021.
Bloomberg notes an unaudited balance sheet shows West had over $1.7 billion in additional assets, which included a large stake in Kim Kardashian’s underwear label, Skims.
Kanye West’s net worth wouldn’t be nearly as huge without his fashion collaborations. Fashbox reports West collaborated with Nike to create the first Nike Air Yeezy in 2009. He then left Nike to collaborate with Adidas in 2013 to bring in more royalties and have better control over the creative process.
Before committing fully to Adidas, West also worked with brands like Reebok, BAPE, Louis Vuitton, Pastelle, Guiseppe Zanotti, and APC.
Yeezy and Adidas have an ongoing shoe partnership until 2026, though West has also branched out to creating jewelry.
Yeezy x Gap
Bloomberg reports Yeezy signed on with Gap for a 10-year agreement in 2020 to sell clothing for women, men, and children. The Yeezy Gap label excludes shoes due to Yeezy’s prior agreement with Adidas.
The Gap brand includes labels like Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta, and Bloomberg notes they hoped the Yeezy brand would make them more attractive to younger buyers. Documents noted the Yeezy and Gap collaboration hoped to break $150 million in sales in 2022.
According to Business Insider, the Yeezy Gap hoodie retailed at $90 and broke records when it was released in 2021. The hoodie sold out within hours of its release and delivered the most sales in a single day in Gap.com history.
In 2023, they anticipate sales exceeding $1 billion annually, which should have a positive impact on Kayne’s net worth afer the Gap deal.
Yeezy – Gap – Balenciaga
In its first year, the Yeezy and Gap collaboration hit $1 billion in sales. The success brought Kanye West to work with Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia to create the higher-end brand, “Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga.” The partnership was created in February 2022.
According to WWD, West dropped a music video for his song “Life of the Party” from his album “Donda” that advertises the next Yeezy – Gap – Balenciaga drop in May 2022.
Yeezy ditched Nike for Adidas
It was ultimately Kanye West’s decision to switch his partnership from Nike to Adidas — but he described dropping Nike as “heartbreaking.” According to Sneaker Freaker, West said Nike had an unwillingness to change, and he switched brands because Nike allegedly didn’t want to pay him royalties for his shoes. With that said, West said he still has great respect for Nike, though Adidas allows him to “build something” better.
In 2019, Yeezy’s Adidas collection brought in $1.3 billion in revenue, and in 2020, that number jumped up to $1.7 billion in revenue.
What is Kanye West’s net worth?
Forbes estimates Kanye West’s net worth to be $2 billion. However, in an interview, he revealed that he is worth $10 billion. Other sites like Celebrity Net Worth also estimate Kane’s net worth to be $6.6 billion. With Kanye’s net worth at $2 billion, he earns his money through Yeezy, Yeezy Adidas, Yeezy x Gap, Yeezy/Gap by Balenciaga, and his G.O.O.D. Music record label.