how much rappers make money

How much do rappers make ?

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How do rappers make money, and how much do they actually make? Some rappers like to brag about the money they have. Do rappers really make as much money as they say? If they do, how can rappers make money? Except for Jay Z, Eminem, Nas or someone like Kanye West, I can't imagine that there are many rap musicians who have as exaggerated money as mainstream rap music. According to reports, JayZ and P. Diddy are worth more than US$500 million.

There are four main ways for musicians to make money. Let's calculate : 

1) Album Sales

album sales

According to the list of popular hip-hop website, the best-selling hip-hop albums in early 2013 averaged 304,400, among which Kendrick Lamar’s "Good Boy Made City" (746,000 copies sold) and Trinidad James’s "Don't Be Safe" has the highest sales. At least (11,000).

If we assume that a respected mainstream rapper sells about 300,000 records in an album, and the price of an album is between 8 and 20 dollars, then we can say that the annual sales of the rapper is 2.4 To 6 million US dollars. The only problem is that rappers rarely earn 100% of the cost of the album. Artists have contracts with their labels. In these contracts, artists usually agree to give up most of their money to buy record companies, distributors, manufacturers, retailers, and all studio/production costs. As a result, many artists eventually sold less than one dollar per album.

Now, let's take a look at how much this highly regarded mainstream rapper makes from record sales: The artist sold 300,000 records and sold his own albums for $10 each. His record deal has brought him 6.6% of his album sales revenue, which is the average income of most artists on albums (thanks to This means that the rapper earns $0.66 for every album sold. In total, his album sales will reach $198,000. This may seem like a lot of money, but you have to realize that artists still have to pay studio fees and pay their managers (they may ask for commissions as high as 20%)

All in all, this means that when comparing the annual income of the middle class with album sales alone, the average income is higher than that of some rappers. Rap, or music business in general, is not a guarantee of wealth.

2) Touring

tourning hip hop

Fortunately for rappers, touring is the source of all money! This year's average concert attendance has reached 9,109. If equally respected, the mainstream rapper will sell tickets for 25 tickets, and assuming he has 9,000 fans in attendance, then he will earn 225,000. It is impossible to say exactly how many concerts the rapper will attend and cancel them all, but I assume there are about 30 concerts. This means that the average income of the rapper is 6.75 million dollards from tourning. 

The only problem is that travel costs money. During the tour, he will need to pay for food, gasoline, beverages, hotels, equipment, transportation and roads personnel. Some tours (for bands like U2) can cost millions of dollars. For our purposes, suppose the cost of this tour is about one million dollars. What's left 5.75 million US dollars.

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Then, all the other rappers are on tour. They also need to pay. For example, the artist Mac Miller is currently on a tour with 4 other rappers (Rap Phone Club, Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson, Vince Staples). When buying a ticket, you need to pay to view all tickets. Therefore, 5.75 million USD is allocated to 5. This means that each artist earns $1.15 million. All in all, if you are a respected mainstream rapper, you can only make $1.25 million a year.

3) Branding and Promotions

branding hip hop

In a recent interview, Will I Am said that compared with all music creators, his results in advertising for all creative works are much higher than when he only made music. You can pay celebrities for tweets, you can pay celebrities in TV or movie advertisements, you can provide support for product signatures, you can pay for appearances, and so on. Once the musician becomes famous, the Fortune 500 companies will change their jobs and let the artists mention their brands.

4) Diversifying

business hip hop

I found many mature rappers a long time ago, and they need to diversify to make a lot of money. They also decided to have their own music record company, as well as other businesses not related to music, such as fashion, clubs, restaurants, aquatic products, alcohol products, headphones, and of course real estate. There are very few stocks and stock investments.

I can guarantee that for every Millionaire Rapper, there are 10,000 wannabee rappers who will not hit the heights dreamed of.  Drake informs us how well he has done… 25 sittin’ on 25 mill (Drake).  For most, to hit $100,000 in profit would be appreciated.  There are many musicians out there living in poverty.  But all is not lost.  It is great to see many of the established artists, sponsoring and bringing through new artists.  Holding a hand out to help someone else up the ladder (even as a hefty commission is earned) is to be highly commended.  Dr Dre helped Eminem, who in turn helped 50 cents, who in turn is helping many others.

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