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From Tech N9ne To Doja Cat — Here Are Hip-Hop’s Highest-Paid Acts Of 2021, Report Says


Hip-Hop is big business.

What was once considered a niche musical sound has become the soundtrack of our lives.

And the genre’s best-known artists have become all the richer for it.

“Hip-hop has, and always will, set trends,” says Kim Kaupe, founder of the creative agency Bright Ideas Only, to Variety. “Brands realize they can no longer sit on the sidelines and test what ‘might’ work. They need to be in the mix testing partnerships and trends before they have the data to back it up.”

Certainly, too, some rappers do far better than others — and indie rappers, like Tech N9ne, can still make a six-figure salary for themselves. According to Variety, Tech N9ne’s earnings come from an eight-figure digital catalog deal — a deal that was previously unreported to mainstream outlets.

But, as one might imagine, the marquee-name rappers — like Drake and Kanye — make the biggest bucks. What’s more, rappers who diversify their portfolios — like Jay-Z and Wiz Khalifa — can continue to make money long after their touring days are over. And even in the midst of the pandemic, the right mindset and work ethic can take you further than a few sloppily-promoted singles and pie-in-the-sky dreams. For example, Birdman didn’t release a single song, record a single note, or play a single live show. Yet, he’s in a three-way tie with other rappers just off of his residuals alone (Ownership is, indeed, the biggest wealth builder — and that’s true whether it comes in the form of tangible property, like a home, or an intangible property, like a song catalog).

And still, other rappers made their fortunes by investing, wisely, in the burgeoning tech world. Doja Cat has made some coins off of her NFT projects, and Drake has some crypto cakes to call his own.

Here, then, are the top 10 Hip-Hop earners of 2021.

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