What Is Kanye West’s Net Worth?
In recent years, Kanye West net worth has significantly dropped. His net worth was once $2.5 billion, but with the end of his $1.5 billion contract with German shoe-brand Adidas, Kanye West’s fortune is now estimated to be $400 million—at least according to Forbes.
There’s a lot of conflicting information about Kanye West’s net worth, even from Kanye West himself. According to him, Forbes “undervalues” his work and that he was actually worth $7 billion before the Adidas deal ended, making his estimated net worth around the $6 billion mark.
However, other sources claim that his net worth is actually $1 billion. So, what’s the truth?
- Kanye, who now goes by the name “Ye,” has an estimated net worth of $400 million
- Kanye lost his lucrative multi-year deal with Adidas with his fashion brand YEEZY after making anti-sematic comments in interviews and social media
- Following this, other brands proceeded cut ties with Kanye, too, including CAA, Balenciaga, and GAP
- According to Forbes, Kanye is “no longer a billionaire” and was taken from the Top Billionaires list
- By removing Kanye from Forbes’ Top Billionaire list, Forbes effectively ended its “years-long saga” with the rapper
Forbes Kanye West Net Worth Value
As of December 16, 2022, Forbes estimates Kanye West’s worth to be $400.1 million.
It’s important to note that Forbes isn’t a scholarly source, and thus some of its information is biased, overstated, or false. Its primary news website is generally considered reliable, but its net worth section is dubious at best. After all, Forbes only has access to public information.
Still, Forbes has done its homework. In the article, “Billionaire No More,” Forbes states that the rest of Kanye’s fortune comes from his music catalog, cash, real estate, and a 5% stake in Skims, which belongs to Kim Kardashian.
According to Kanye, Forbes has always underestimated his worth. In 2020, when he was first added to Forbes’ Billionaires list, Kanye wasn’t happy with Forbes’ report of his wealth.
“It’s not a billion,” Kanye reportedly said to one of the editors at Forbes, “It’s $3.3 billion.” Kanye also stated that “no one at Forbes knew how to count,” implying that any and all reports about him by the news magazine couldn’t be trusted.
Nevertheless, Forbes is still one of the most credible sources of celebrity net worth news we have. Even Business Insider uses Forbes as a source.
So while Kanye West’s net worth is almost assuredly over the $400 million mark, public information regarding his assets, real estate, car collection, and the like, say otherwise.
Kanye West Family and Early Life
Kanye Omari West was born on June 8, 1977, in Atlanta, Georgia, to English professor Dr. Donda C. West and photojournalist Ray West.
Kanye West grew up in a moderately wealthy family. His parents divorced when he was at the young age of three, after which he moved to Chicago, Illinois for school.
His mother, Dr. Donda West, was present throughout his childhood and raised him for the majority of his life, though he’d occasionally spend his summers with his father, Ray.
Even as a young boy, Kanye West demonstrated a fondness for arts and music. He started writing poetry in kindergarten, began rapping in third grade, and created musical compositions in seventh grade.
Shortly after his high school graduation, Kanye West received a scholarship to Chicago’s American Academy of Art. He dropped out of college at 20 to pursue his musical career, which greatly displeased his mother.
However, Donda was nothing if not supportive. She saw his passion as an artist and tried to be as encouraging as she can of his decisions. And that proved to be fruitful, as Kanye West is one of today’s most popular artists.
Early Career: Kayne West’s Beginnings
Kanye West’s career began humbly, creating beats for local artists in his area.
His first “official” production came at age 19 during the production of Down to Earth, Chicago rapper Grav’s 1996 debut album.
Later, Kanye West formed a rap group called the Go-Getters, which consists of him, Timmy G, GLC, Arrowstar, and Really Doe. The group released its first and only studio album in 1999 but didn’t receive much attention.
Go-Getters broke up when Kanye West moved to New Jersey, where he spent most of his 1990s career producing records for well-known music groups and artists.
When 2000 rolled around, West began producing for artists under the Roc-A-Fella label.
He was often credited for “revitalizing” Jay-Z’s career through his efforts in Jay-Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint, which received global acclaim and even ranked in Rolling Stone’s list of greatest hip-hop albums.
After having been placed in the spotlight, Kanye West began producing music for other famous artists, such as Janet Jackson, Ludacris, and Alicia Keys among others.
Music Career: Kayne West’s Rise to Fame
While working as a producer, Kanye West was trying to secure a record deal as a rapper.
Kanye didn’t have much luck at first, with record companies deeming him unsuitable for the role because he lacked the “gangsta” image of mainstream hip-hop at the time. Later, he managed to attain a spot in Roc-A-Fella with the help of then-label head Damon Dash.
As Kanye West began making records of his own, his mother took on a more integral part of his life and became a manager.
Kanye released his debut solo album in 2004 entitled “The College Dropout,” which was a massive success from the get-go. Critics gushed over his clever use of wordplay, which had a blend of insight, humor, faith, and political awareness.
The album placed No. 2 on the Billboard 200, while his debut single, “Through the Wire,” peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five entire weeks.
The second single, “Slow Jamz,” which featured Jamie Foxx and Twista, placed No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, while the fourth single, “Jesus Walks,” reached the top 20.
The College Dropout received triple platinum in the US and garnered 10 Grammy nominations. He won the “Best Rap Album” Grammy in 2005, beating Nelly LL Cool J, Jay-Z, and Beastie Boys.
His second album, “Late Registration“—which took over $2 million to produce—mirrored the success of the first. He received multiple awards and sold over 2.3 million units in the US alone, making it the only successful major album of that fall.
Kanye West has always made his interest clear in the fashion and clothing design industry.
He launched his first clothing line in 2006 but was ultimately shut down in 2009. In the same year, Kanye West released Air YEEZYs in collaboration with Nike, making them the first non-athlete shoe of the brand. He also introduced the first shoe line he designed for Louis Vuitton, which was released in the summer of 2009.
Kanye West collaborated with several other known fashion lines and designers throughout the years, including Fendi, Giuseppe Zanotti, and A Bathing Ape.
In 2015, Kanye West officially unveiled his long-awaited fashion line YEEZY in collaboration with Adidas.
YEEZY featured men’s and women’s streetwear, which included sneakers, boots, military-inspired jackets, oversized sweaters, and more.
Following its success, Adidas announced a long-term partnership with Kanye West in 2016 and extended the YEEZY line to sports performance products like soccer, football, and basketball.
Come 2021, West signed a 10-year YEEZY deal with GAP. However, Kanye pulled out of the deal in 2022, claiming that the company breached its contract because GAP didn’t release his clothing in retail stores in accordance with the agreed timelines.
Kanye West has had his fair share of controversies. In fact, it can be argued that he rose to stardom because of his flamboyant, brash, no-care-given personality.
From his decade-long fuel with Taylor Swift to Kanye’s statement about slavery being a “choice,” he always seemed to appear in tabloids due to his “inexcusable” actions, especially since he has a tendency to stir the pot.
Normally, Kanye would face backlash for several months and bounce back as if nothing happened. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case in recent events.
White Lives Matter Controversy
In October 2022, Kanye hosted a private show in Paris Fashion Week, where he was seen wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt—a slogan that many criticized as a fascist call. Some of his models, which showcased the YEEZY collection, wore similar t-shirts.
Anti-Sematic Comments Towards Jews
In the same month, Kanye posted several inflammatory comments about Jewish people on his Twitter and Instagram, going as far as to state that he “likes Hitler” in some interviews. This act cost Kanye some lucrative deals as Balenciaga, Vogue, GAP, and Adidas cut ties with him.
Following this, he faced severe backlash from famous names such as Reese Witherspoon, Florence Pugh, Sarah Silverman, and his own ex-wife, Kim Kardashian.
“Hate speech is never OK or excusable,” Kim Kardashian wrote in a Tweet on October 24, 2022, “I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.”
Fall of the YEEZY Line
Ye’s biggest downfall came in the form of Adidas. After seeing his comments online, Adidas quickly broke off any and all connection with Kanye, resulting in the end product of YEEZY-branded products. YEEZYs were taken off shelves and online stores, effectively killing the YEEZY killing line. The resale value of YEEZYs also dropped significantly.
With Adidas’s termination of contract and other companies dropping him en masse, Kanye lost most of his $2 billion fortune. His entertainment-based income is in jeopardy, as well, as it’s been rumored that he’s been dropped by Def Jam Records.
Days after Adidas ended its multi-million dollar deal with him, Kanye reportedly showed up uninvited at Skechers’ office in Los Angeles, in hopes of making a new deal.
This didn’t end well, as Kanye was escorted out of the building after having a brief discussion with Sketcher’s officials.
Private Life: Past and Present
One can’t discuss Kanye West without at least mentioning Kim Kardashian. After all, he’s been married to Kim for six years before their inevitable divorce in 2021.
Before he was with Kim, however, Kanye dated designer Alexis Phifer on and off from 2002 to 2008, with Kanye proposing in 2006. But when Kanye mother passed away in 2007 after complications from plastic surgery, he ended his engagement with Alexis to deal with his grief.
Two years later, Kanye began dating American model Amber Rose but went their separate ways in 2010.
In 2011, Kanye started dating Kim Kardashian and got married in 2014. The pair tied the knot in Italy and had a total of four children: North (2013), Saint (2015), Chicago (2018), and Psalm (2019).
Kanye and Kim’s relationship was rocky, to say the least. According to Kim, the decision to divorce Kanye West was because they have enough in common and she was no longer happy being with him.
Reports stated that Kim “needed to end the marriage for the sake of her kids and her own sanity.” Following the divorce, Kanye owes Kim $200,000 every month for child support.
In September 2022, Kanye began dating South African model Candice Swanepoel. The fling was short-lived, however, as the pair broke things off in less than a month.
In October 2022, Kanye was seen going on several dates with model Juliana Nalu, and was even spotted kissing on more than one occasion. It’s yet to be officially confirmed whether they’re dating or not.
Despite the significant drop in net worth, Kanye remains to be one of the richest Black people in US history. He’s sold over 140 million singles and albums in his career and owns over $100 million worth of real estate.
Even without his YEEZY enterprise, Kanye still makes a decent amount of money throughout his career. Today, he’s said to be “working on himself” after the backlash he’s received from multiple channels.
What will be seen next from Ye? We’ll just have to wait and see.