Understanding the genius rise of Kanye West

Five years ago the fashion designer and rapper declared he was broke. Now he’s a newly-minted billionaire. Here’s how Yeezy did it...

Earlier this month, Kanye West made headlines as The Richest Black Person In AmericaThe news came after Bloomberg reported that thanks to his clothing and sneaker line Yeezy and new deal with GAP the rappers net worth was valued at $6.6 billion by UBS.

However, not everyone is convinced. Following the news, Forbes released its own estimation, arguing that the rapper, 43, was in fact worth $1.8 billion as of March 18th 2021. And, while this figures are still representative of immense wealth, it is less than a third of Bloombergs estimation. So why do the numbers differ?

Forbess number is based on that old fashioned idea of current revenues, not theoretical future expectations,Forbes explains in a video on the topic which goes on to explain how the UBS report made some assumptions based on [Wests] projected future earnings.

The Forbes analysis points out that a significant part of Wests estimated earnings came from the recently announced Yeezy x GAP collaboration which, while rumoured to be worth $4.7 billion, is yet to sell a single item as it has not yet launched. 

As such, Forbes hasnt included the GAP partnership in Wests net worth, which it breaks down as follows: Yeezy (of which West owns 100 percent) is worth $1.5 billion; $160 million in cash and other assets including property, artwork and livestock; his music catalogue is worth $90 million; West gets $64 million from his soon-to-be ex-wife Kim Kardashians shape wear company Skims.

With the totals totted up, Forbes argues that Vista Equitys Robert F. Smith remains the richest Black person in the U.S. with an estimated net worth of $6 billion. Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangote, meanwhile, remains the richest Black person in the world with $11.8 billion in his pocket.

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