THE TOP-EARNING RAPPERS
MONTHS LONG TOURS and endorsement deals with companies such as Sprite and Hennessy enabled the highest-earning hip-hop artists on our annual list to bring in an average $44 million over the past year. Some of them also have acquired lucrative equity stakes, including Nas, 45, who makes the list for the rst time a quarter-century a er releasing his debut album. A few years back, Nas kindled a friendship with venture capitalist Ben Horowitz at a dinner party and has since snagged stakes in Silicon Valley darlings (Ly , Coinbase) and online media (Genius, Mass Appeal). His interest in these startups is only natural, he says. “[Hip-hop artists] are always advancing technology—from one turntable to two turntables and a fader.” He has already enjoyed some exits, including the reported $1.1 billion sale of doorbell startup Ring to Amazon in February. “ ere wasn’t a time when [rappers] didn’t think about investing. It just so happens that the world is opening up.” For more, go to forbes.com/hip-hop.
Nas averaged over $320,000 per tour stop, playing 46 shows during our 12-month scoring period.