Jay-Z is the highest paid hip-hop act for 2021. Image via Getty Images Photographer: Kevin Mazur

Major money moves! Jay-Z is hip-hop’s highest-paid act with R7.2bn

Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z is hip-hop’s highest-paid act of 2021, thanks to two major business deals. Take a look at who else made the list…


Jay-Z is the highest paid hip-hop act for 2021. Image via Getty Images Photographer: Kevin Mazur

Grammy award-winning rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West had an incredible 2021. Although Jay-Z did not release any solo music last year, he made an impact in a few other ways. According to Vibe, The Izzo hitmaker topped the list of the highest-paid hip-hop artists in 2021 with a whopping $470 million (R7.2 billion). 

Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne collaborator, Kanye West, came in second with $250 million (R3.8 billion).

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In 2021, Jay-Z made some major money moves. The hip-hop mogul sold his streaming service, Tidal, to Square, an American financial services company co-founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and businessman Jim McKelvey. 

According to The Fader, the 52-year-old rapper sold Tidal in May 2021 for $302 million (R4.6 billion). 

In March 2021, Jay-Z sold 50% of his luxury Armand de Brignac champagne, also known as Ace of Spaces to Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Forbes reported that the deal was worth more than $600 million (R9.2 billion).

Both these deals make Jay-Z the highest-paid hip-hop artist in 2021. 


Kanye West comes in second place with a whopping $250 million (R3.8 billion). According to Vibe, The Good Life hitmaker’s 2021 earnings came mostly from his Yeezy empire. The brand released more than 10 new sneakers and shoes including the avant-garde Yeezy foam runners

West also released his long-awaited Donda album in August 2021. Prior to the official release of the album, West held three listening parties.

The album peaked at number one in more than five countries including Australia, France, the United States and the United Kingdom.

ALSO READ: ‘Donda 2’: Five standout moments from Kanye’s listening party [watch] 


Take a look at hip-hop’s highest earners for 2021 behind Jay-Z and Kanye West.

3.  Diddy – $75 million (R1.1 billion)

4. Drake – $50 million (R773 million)

5. Wiz Khalifa – $45 million (R969 million)

6. Travis Scott- $38 million (R587 million)

7. DJ Khaled – $35 million (R541 million)

8. Eminem – $28 million (R433 million)

9. J Cole – $27 million (R417 million)

10. Birdman – $25 million (R386 million)

10. Doja Cat – $25 million (R386 million)

10. Tech N9ne – $25 million (R386 million)