Kanye West Net Worth

How much is Kanye West worth?

Net Worth:$1.3 Billion
Profession:Professional Rapper
Date of Birth:June 8, 1977
Country:United States of America
1.73 m

Who Is Kanye

The mind behind iconic, platinum level albums such as ‘College Dropout’ and ‘Graduation’, Kanye West (Kanya Omari West) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, and fashion designer. You name it, this eccentric musical genius has probably done it. He has 21 Grammy Awards, and has sold over 140 MILLION records worldwide. His success in music has only allowed him to pursue, and be successful in various other industries, like fashion, acting, and film making. His music spans a wide range of different genres, yet somehow still having a signature style all throughout his songs.

Beyond his multi-faceted career, he is married to Kim Kardashian (West) and has four children with her.

As of 2021, Kanye West has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion dollars. He is currently the richest rapper in the world, followed closely by Jay Z, Diddy and Dr. Dre. Yet despite the hype that puts Kanye’s net worth as high as $3.2 billion forbes has been clear about the evidence they have, stating West’s net worth is currently $1.3 billion.

Blowing Up The Windy City

Kanye Omari West was born in Atlanta, Georgia but relocated with his mother to Chicago after his parents’ divorce at the age of three. West would spend summers with his father, Ray West, an award-winning photojournalist who currently works as a church counselor. But it was his mother, Donda West, an English professor, who he had a close, special relationship with. Her death on November 10, 2007 following elective cosmetic surgery had a huge impact on Kanye’s life.    

West graduated from Polaris High School and went on to attend Chicago State University where he produced music for local artists. He dropped out after the first year, looking to dive into his music career. It wasn’t until 2000 that West got his big break, producing songs for Jay-Z’s album The Blueprint, and he quickly became one of the hottest music producers in the hip-hop and R&B community, laying tracks for the likes of Ludacris, T.I. and Beyonce. But he had his sights set on stardom and wanted to showcase his talent in front of the microphone. He signed a deal with Jay-Z’s label Roc-A-Fella Records in 2002 and immediately began recording.

The College Dropout Is A Sellout

Not long after West began work on his first album, he was involved in a near-fatal car accident after falling asleep at the wheel following a marathon recording session. He suffered a fractured jaw, which required his jaw to be wired shut. This might have put the brakes on a normal person’s singing career, but not for Kanye. He got right back into the studio, drawing inspiration from his near-death experience, particularly in the track ‘Through the Wire.’ Released February 10, 2004, his debut album, The College Dropout, was a massive success, selling 441,000 copies in its first week alone.    

It would go on to sell 2.6 million copies and earn him three Grammys—Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song for ‘Jesus Walks’ and Best R&B Song for producing Alicia Keys’ ‘You Don’t Know My Name.’ Later that year, West was nominated for three American Music Awards and that’s when the world first got a taste of West’s penchant for diva-like outbursts. After losing the Best New Artist award to country singer Gretchen Wilson, West walked out of the show in a huff, complaining to various media outlets that he had been robbed. This incident also marked the first of many post-tantrum public apologies.    

Striking Gold

West managed to surpass the success of The College Dropout with his sophomore album, Late Registration. Released in 2005, Late Registration sold over 860,000 copies in its first week and garnered critical praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and Time, which featured West on the cover of the magazine, a rare feat for a hip-hop artist. Late Registration would win three more Grammys—Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song for ‘Diamonds from Sierra Leone’ and Best Rap Solo Performance for ‘Gold Digger.’      

Near the end of 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, West appeared on television for the Concert for Hurricane Relief. He managed to shock the world, and his co-presenter Mike Myers, by venturing off script and proclaiming, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” It was clear this was becoming a habit when in 2006 West showed that he was a sore loser again by rushing the stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards after his video ‘Touch the Sky’ failed to win Best Video (later, Evel Knievel would sue West for trademark infringement in said video).   

But his actions didn’t slow down his career. West released his third album, Graduation, in 2007. It sold 957,000 copies in its first week. It also gave him his third Best Rap Album Grammy and endeared him more to fans when he performed ‘Hey Mama’ as an emotional tribute to his late mother who passed away in November at the ceremony. West’s following albums, 808s & Heartbreak (2008), Good Morning Good Night: Dusk (2009) and Good Morning Good Night: Dawn (2009), would all spawn record sales and hits (including ‘Heartless’), but none would match the level of success from his first three albums.

Billionaire Boys Club

In the end it wasn’t music that earned Kanye most of his money, but fashion. After teaming up with Adidas, Kanye West showed his insane creativity with the launch of the Yeezy line of sneakers. Their unique designs and cunning market exploded in the American market and around the world selling billions of dollars worth of the shoes.

“I am a product guy at my core” — Kanye West.

What makes him so successful?

Although the world has met many successful artists, few compare to the degree of success that Kanye has achieved. There are many factors that played into Kanye’s success, but it can be said that his sheer ambition, and bravery in defying the expectations of society by dropping out of college to chase his dreams is what started it all. To be successful, one has to be willing to rise in the face of the inevitable rejection and failure, and continue to hone their craft, which is exactly what Kanye did.

He is also a very versatile artist. Through all his records and albums, Kanye has managed to stay relevant in the rapidly changing and turbulent scene of music. This is because he can adapt to the changes, always able to reinvent and innovate upon his original sound, while always keeping his signature style. Thus drawing in the support of new fans, while maintaining the loyalty of his old ones. Unlike other artists, who either stagnate or lose the original soul of their songs.

He also makes music in a wide array of different genres, and even pioneering a sub-genre or two. He could dedicate an album to hip hop, and maybe soul or gospel in his next one ensuring that fans won’t get tired of hearing the same formula.

It also helps that he has his hands on other things outside of music. If he ever were to fail in one industry, it wouldn’t be too detrimental for him seeing as he has other sources of income to lean on. This cushion removes the pressure of being successful, so that he can focus on creating his own style and being himself, which is what led to his fame in the first place.

Kanye has also had more than his fair share of controversies, butting heads with other massive artists like Taylor Swift. When he decided to stop the proceedings of best music video award going to the young Taylor Swift instead recommending it go to Beyonce instead. Resulting in the then president Obama calling him a ‘jackass’ in a leaked clip. Apparently Kanye is still mad that Obama didn’t call him to apologize which just shows how high up in society West really is. In fact Kanye West has met with president Donald Trump on numerous occassions and is considered in the very upper echelons on American society.

His outspoken views, presidential candidate support and general attitude always keep him in the press in some way or another, causing lots of people to constantly be talking about him. And being married to Kim Kardashian also keeps the spotlight continuously on the couple.

How did Kanye West get so rich?

On February 10 2004, Kanye’s first studio album ‘College Dropout’ dropped. (The name cleverly references how he dropped out of college to begin his career.) The album was a critical and commercial success, being certified triple platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) It sold 441,000 copies in it’s first week, and is still Kanye’s best selling album. It won best rap album of the year at the Grammy Awards, and is often called one of the best and most influential rap albums of all time, also pioneering multiple sub-genres of rap.

Kanye West’s has a current net worth is 1.3 billion dollars in 2020. Although a good chunk of his earnings is from the music he made, Kanye had ventured out of music and explored other industries, like fashion and being an entrepreneur.

Shortly after the release of College Dropout, Kanye used his talent for producing to found his own record label and production company: ‘GOOD Music’. The record label has released ten albums that have reached certified gold or higher by the RIAA, so that is definitely a reliable source of income for him!

The rapper also took part in fashion, all starting with his collaboration with Nike to create the “Air Yeezys” a line of sneakers, making Kanye the first non-athlete to have his own line of sneakers at Nike. He even founded his own fashion label name “DW Kanye West” and premiered it at Paris Fashion week, Kanye has also made a deal with Adidas, who are manufacturing Yeezys, which are selling like hotcakes. The global apparel industry is estimated to be worth around 1.5 TRILLION dollars, so taking part in it certainly does not hurt one’s profits!

Kanye’s money didn’t come from his first album alone. He would continue to earn from all the studio albums, mixtapes, collaborative albums, and collection albums he released afterwards. All of them are wild successes, with all of them selling in the millions. Kanye West is one of the world’s best selling musical artists of all time, having sold 140 million records worldwide.

Why is he so famous?

Kanye West (also known as Ye, and Yeezy) is famous for many different reasons, with his music loved by millions, his designs worn by millions, and having rather eccentric views on the music industry and on life in general certainly sets him apart. But how did it all begin? A lot of different things factored into the creation of Kanye’s first album, and his success afterwards..

Kanye had shown to have an affinity for art, music, and poetry since he was very little. He wrote poems when he was five, and started rapping in the third grade. (Guess some people are just born with it huh?) He even began to compose music in the seventh grade. He even went of to write his very first rap song at thirteen, and recorded it in a “little basement studio” which his mother payed for.

Kanye’s big break in 2000, was when he was signed on to Rock-A-Fella Records to produce for various artists. He garnered quite a bit of recognition for the stellar work he did, and his contributions to Jay Z’s iconic album, ‘The Blueprint’. Hailed as one of the most influential and greatest hip hop albums of all time.

Rapping remained Kanye’s dream, and though he became successful in producing, he still pursued it. Many record labels turned him down, saying that he didn’t have the ‘gangsta’ vibe that most rappers had around that time. To prevent him from joining another label, Rock-A-Fella Records (albeit reluctantly) decided to sign him. Many people doubted Kanye’s capability to be a rapper. He had to look through that and know for himself that regardless of whatever it takes, he can and he will triumph in the industry. It’s said even Jay Z doubted him early on until he experienced for himself what Kanye was all about.

Though his big break came in 2000, Kanye experienced a simultaneously life changing and life threatening event. On October 23 2001, he fell asleep while he was driving, and crashed into another car. Nobody died thankfully, though Kanye’s jaw was shattered, having to be repaired through reconstructive surgery. This experience greatly inspired Kanye, and he composed and recorded the song “Through the Wire,” just two weeks after he was admitted, and all while his jaw was still wired shut! “Through the Wire” lay the foundation for his debut album, Freedom Express.


Kanye West is one of the most decorated artists of all time. His combination of brilliant music, smart business moves, talent for producing, and designing fashion makes for one of THE most influential people in pop culture. Being married to Kim Kardashian also boosts his image and pair are never found far from the spotlight. He is an example of how anyone can use raw inspiration from even the bad that happens in their life, and use that to fuel their passion. Being rather eccentric and pretty out there with his views, can even work in his favor.

Regardless of what is thought of him, Kanye will most likely continue on his path of fame and riches as his creative mind and passionate heart have so much more to give.

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