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How Kanye West Made & Spends His Billion-dollar Fortune

Kanye West, the rapper, who has teased a presidential run since 2015, posted his intentions on Twitter that he’s running for president in 2020

Kanye West’s Yeezy brand has entered into a multi-year partnership with Gap.

Bloomberg’s Kim Bhasin reported that the Yeezy-Gap collaboration will see a line of apparel for men, women, and a kid’s line called Yeezy Gap. Products will start to roll out in 2021.

“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his YEEZY brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” Mark Breitbard, global head of Gap Brand, said in a press release about the partnership.

In a 2015 interview with the now-defunct Style.com, West revealed that he wanted to be the “Steve Jobs of Gap.” He also mentioned Gap in the song “Spaceship” from his album “The College Dropout.”

In April, Forbes declared West a billionaire after a years-long public campaign by the rapper and fashion designer. Despite being new to the three-comma club, West has long been open about the extravagant lifestyle he shares with his wife, Kim Kardashian West.

Kanye West
KANYE WEST, KIM KARDASHIAN WEST, AND THEIR CHILDREN IN THEIR HIDDEN HILLS, CALIFORNIA, Vogue/YouTube

Together, the couple owns millions of dollars of luxury cars, real estate, and even nearly $200,000 worth of livestock, according to Forbes.

Here’s a look at how West has built and spent his billion-dollar fortune.

The rapper raked in an estimated $150 million in 2019, according to Forbes. The publication looked at pretax income from June 2018 to June 2019 before deducting fees for agents, managers, and lawyers.

Jay-Z, the industry’s second-highest-paid artist, made an estimated $81 million in 2019. Drake is the third highest-paid hip-hop artist, with $75 million in pretax earnings.

The streetwear brand, which sells clothing and sneakers in partnership with Adidas, was valued at $3 billion by Bank of America in 2019. West is the brand’s sole owner, according to Forbes.

Forbes estimates that Yeezy alone adds $1.26 billion to the rapper’s personal net worth.

As Business Insider’s Mary Hanbury previously reported, West rolls out new products in limited numbers, which boosts the hype and causes them to sell out quickly. One hour after the Boost 350 sneakers went on sale for $200, for example, they were sold out in stores and online.

And it helps that his equally famous wife, Kim Kardashian West, is among his biggest supporters. In 2018, Kardashian West was at the center of her husband’s Yeezy Season 6 campaign, stepping out in public wearing the new collection and being photographed by the press.

West is known for hosting what he calls “Sunday Service,” an invitation-only spiritual gathering and performance usually held in Southern California.

During the services, West often sings and raps gospel versions of his own songs accompanied by a large choir.

Kanye West is the highestpaid person in hip-hop

The get-togethers have reportedly been attended by major celebrities including Brad Pitt, Dave Chappelle, A$AP Rocky, and Katy Perry — and everyone who attends reportedly has to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Despite his current success, West’s personal finance journey has been somewhat tumultuous.

In 2014, he was worth an estimated $30 million, according to Forbes.

But in 2016, West tweeted that he was $53 million in debt and asked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion in “Kanye West ideas.”

Now, West’s net worth is estimated to be $1.3 billion, Forbes reports.

West and his family own $21 million worth of real estate, according to Forbes, including a palatial mansion in Hidden Hills, California.

The 15,667-square-foot home sits on three acres with expansive lawns, vineyards, and fountains. As Insider’s Callie Ahlgrim previously reported, the home’s interior is minimalist, monochromatic, and includes a flat sink that baffled the internet after it was spotted during Kardashian West’s Vogue “73 Questions” interview in 2019.

The couple bought the home in 2014 for $20 million and reportedly spent four years and $20 million renovating it before they moved in in 2018. Kardashian West’s mother, Kris Jenner, later tweeted that the home was worth $60 million.

Kanye West
AERIAL SHOT OF WEST’S FIRST WYOMING RANCH. J. P. KING AUCTION COMPANY, Randy Brooke/Getty Images

Variety reported in October 2019 that the Kardashian West family expanded their Hidden Hills estate by purchasing a neighbouring property.

The just under the 1.5-acre ranch-style property is divided by the street into two parts and was listed for $2.975 million.

West bought a $14 million ranch in Wyoming. The massive property includes a restaurant and saloon, a ranch-style event venue, a maintenance shop, an office building, horse barns, sheds, corrals, storage facilities, and a state-of-the-art shooting range. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Kardashian West said she envisions their family spending some summers and weekends at the Wyoming ranch.

In November 2019 Kanye bought a second ranch in another part of Wyoming

Bighorn Mountain Ranch sits on 6,713 acres and is located under 100 miles away from the first ranch West bought in September. Bighorn was listed with an asking price of $14.495 million.

West also owns 300 acres of land in Calabasas, which neighbors the Hidden Hills gated community that he and his family currently call home. It’s unknown how much he paid for the property.

Most of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, including Kylie Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kris Jenner, have homes of their own in Calabasas or Hidden Hills. Many other notable celebrities have owned homes in the area, from Drake to Justin Bieber to Miley Cyrus. In a 2018 interview with radio host Charlemagne Tha God, West said he wanted to be “one of the biggest real estate developers of all time, what Howard Hughes was to aircrafts and Henry Ford was to cars…”

Most of West’s fortune didn’t come from his music, however. He makes the majority of his money from his footwear and apparel brand, Yeezy

In June 2020, it was announced that Kanye has entered a multi-year deal with Gap, which will see his Yeezy brand create apparel for the retailer. The line will officially start rolling out in 2021. Business Insider’s Madeline Stone reported that Gap was “excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap Family.”

As a teenager, Kanye worked at a Gap store in Chicago, Stone reported. Now, decades later, the rapper signed a 10-year deal, which will see his Yeezy brand create apparel for the retailer.

Per Bloomberg’s Kim Bhasin, the Yeezy- Gap collaboration will see a line of apparel for men, women, and a kid’s line called Yeezy Gap. Products will start to roll out in 2021.

“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his YEEZY brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” Mark Breitbard, global head of Gap Brand, said in a press release about the partnership.

In a 2015 interview with Style.com, West revealed that he wanted to be the “Steve Jobs of Gap.” He also mentioned Gap in the song “Spaceship” from his album “The College Dropout.”

By Katie Warren, Taylor Nicole Rogers and Dominic-Madori Davis / Business Inside