How Much Do Rappers Make? Richest Rappers Exposed!

Want to be a rapper? In order to truly break into the music industry as a rapper, it takes dedication and hard work. The good news is that you can make money along the way if you are talented and driven.

Along with being talented musicians, rappers also need to be good at networking and marketing themselves. In this way, they can gain followers and earn money in several ways. Here is a breakdown of what rappers make and how to maximize your earnings.

How Much Do New Rappers Get Paid?

Rappers earn an average salary of approximately $77,000 per year. Rappers with large followings, however, have unlimited opportunities. According to reports, Jay-Z, a well-known rapper, earns around $900 million per year.

In the music industry, the average wage is $30 per hour, which is a decent living wage. Working as a session musician is a good starting point for rappers, since it allows them to make contacts. It is unlikely for new rappers to make megabucks at first, but those who persevere over time can find success.

How Do Rappers Make Money?

Rappers receive different amounts of money depending on the revenue they generate from their songs. Sometimes rappers rely solely on music streaming sites such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc. Some artists expand their horizons by promoting products, giving live shows, or selling CDs and other items. From the smallest to the biggest, these are some ways rappers make money. We have discussed 10 ways that rappers make money in another article.

Licensing and Placements

You could have your music played on TV shows, movies, commercials, or even video games, which would lead to higher sales, which would lead to a greater income. You may also receive royalties when these shows air.

Publishing Royalties

As an artist, your rights are protected by performance rights organizations, like SOCAN and ASCAP. Performers should therefore register their songs with PROs, since they collect royalties when their music is used for sync, mechanical, or public performances. Taking this step will ensure you receive payment for your work.

Digital Royalties

Each time your music is played on Pandora, satellite radio, or any other webcast, SoundExchange collects Digital Royalties. If you reside outside the US, the activation process may take some time if you are creating an account on SoundExchange.

Live Performance Royalties

PRO collects royalties from live performances. You must inform your PRO if you have the opportunity to perform an original song.

Selling Albums

Since rappers rarely recoup the cost of an album through sales, they cannot rely on the revenue from their albums. Record labels require rappers to cede a significant portion of their income to distributors, retailers, manufacturers, record labels, and production companies. Because of all these factors, some rappers barely earn a dollar per album sold.

Advertisement on YouTube

YouTube has become very popular for making money, especially for video makers, vloggers, and even artists. By allowing advertisements on your YouTube videos, you can easily earn money on the platform. In order to generate a substantial amount of income, you need a large number of subscribers or followers. Despite the fact that you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into it, the platform gets to keep the lion’s share.

Learn more about how much money YouTubers make.


Sponsorship contracts do not offer businesses and brands the same amount of profit. In this case, a certain brand wants to create a large community.

How Do Rappers Get Money from Performing?

Rappers get paid for their performances by:

Performing Rights Licensing Fee

Performing Rights Organizations are an artist’s best friend because they give you royalties by selling licenses to venues and help you earn money. As a result, artists use their own music, which is copyrighted.

The licensing fee for rappers to perform their copyright music is charged to all venues. It is the rapper’s main source of income.

Sold Tickets from Show

A venue begins promoting ticket sales as soon as it books an artist for a show. Both the artist’s management and the venue’s owner agreed on the ticket price. Performance rates and ticket sales determine the artist’s pay. Artists can, however, request a standard fee or a guarantee.

An artist’s guarantee is the smallest sum he or she gets. However, the remainder of the fee comes from ticket sales, where the artists receive 85 to 90% of the net income from the event. Since the management and performer determine the rate based on a performer’s popularity, this percentage is above average.

How Much Do Rappers Get Per Show?

Based on the artist’s popularity, the amount of money they get varies. It is possible for a well-known rapper to demand a flat rate of $30,000 to $100,000 per show. For major rappers who are more in demand like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, and P. Diddy, the range comes between $80,000 to $100,000. 

At open mic nights, unsigned or independent rappers are paid for at least $30-$50, while new rappers only ask for about $10,000 to $20,000.

The Top 5 Rappers with the Highest Earnings:

1) Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre is the highest-earning rapper in California, with an estimated $780 million in earnings. Forbes places him second to Sean Combs among rappers with the highest net worth, although he tops most lists.

2) Sean Combs

Sean Combs, known as P. Diddy or Puff Daddy, has an estimated net worth of $700 million. In addition to being a rapper, Sean Combs is also a wealthy businessman.

3) Jay-Z

Shawn Corey Carter, also known as Jay-Z, is the third richest rapper in the world. On our list, he earns the third spot with a net worth of $550 million. Several lists place him on the pedestal, but most list him around this spot.

4) Master P

Most people don’t even know who Master P is, but this rapper’s success as a music producer earned him a spot on our list. Master P makes $350 million a year.

5) 50 Cent

This talented rapper may only have a name that means half of a dollar, but he has a net worth of $270 million.

Final Thoughts

Rappers need to build fans and a collection of songs before hitting the big time. Because of this, they may receive a rather low salary during their first few years of employment. New rappers usually start out part-time until their passion becomes a full-time career.

Rappers can still make good money even if they are not international stars. These days, there are several ways to generate income. Social media platforms are among them, as well as working with established rappers and selling their songs to them. 

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