The news about Kanye West being a Billionaire has been making rounds on social media and news outlets even though as of 2018, Kanye West’s real net-worth is only $160 Million dollars.
The source of this rumor can be traced back to Kim Kardashian West’s interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live where she was asked about Kylie becoming a billionaire and if she (Kim) was close to becoming a Billionaire and she answered:
“I would say my husband is, so that makes me one, right? Close by proximity”
Kim Kardshian West on Kanye Being A Billionaire.
This sentence by her that is less than 20 words has led so many news outlets to put up stories such as “Kanye West is now a Billionaire”, “Kanye West could soon be a billionaire”, “Kanye West May Soon Become a Billionaire—Thanks to Yeezy” and more, none of them actually provide credible evidence(s) to back up their stories except for tracing it back to Kim’s comment on Kanye being a Billionaire.
Some of the news site reporting Kanye West’s billionaire status either point back to his tweet in April where he said Yeezy would be worth a billion dollars by the end of the year or the story by TheBlast where they said Yeezy is valued at $1 Billion Dollars and since Kanye is a majority stake holder, he’s right in line to being considered a Billionaire.
Kanye West’s Yeezy company just received a valuation that puts its total worth close to $1.5 BILLION. https://t.co/7cBfGPn9BC
— The Blast (@TheBlastNews) August 1, 2018
So, as you can see from the tweet above. TheBlast claims that their “source close to them” gave them some scoop that Kanye’s Yeezy recently received a valuation of around $1.5 billion and this automatically makes him a Billionaire? As Adidas does not release sales data, it is almost impossible to determine whether these statements are correct
Even though he has found tremendous success as a rapper, record producer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and fashion designer, he’s or his wife’s claim of being a billionaire is far from the truth. Just like most celebrities footwear deals, Kanye does not OWN YEEZY fully, he owns part of it with Adidas.
I am currently the single highest paid person in footwear. That means I make more money on shoes than Michael Jordan.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
That tweet right there is not true.
GQ’s Cam Wolf decided to fact check and spoke to Cowen retail analyst John Kernan, who mostly covers Adidas, to find out whether any of Kanye West’s claims holds any water. And he replied saying “I find it hard to believe it’s generating over a billion in sales,”
In order for Yeezy to be making more money than Micheal Jordan, Yeezy would need to pull in $3 billion in sales annually to reach this number, which works out as almost 8% of Adidas’ entire global business. I find it hard to believe its generating over a billion in sales”
“I’m not sure what the economics are for [Jordan] at Nike, and I don’t know what Kanye’s economics are but it’s hard for me to believe it’s anywhere near what Nike’s on the hook for with Jordan,” he told GQ.
In GQ’s post created to fact check Kanye’s tweets about Yeezy hitting a billion dollar company, they made some valid points below:
Let’s say we take Kanye’s numbers at face value, though. 400,000 Yeezy 350s at $220 a pop comes to $88,000,000—a sum so massive that Kanye would only have to do 12 shoe drops over the course of the year to hit a billion dollars in sales. To reach decacorn status, Kanye would have to do 34 shoe drops with those numbers to hit the required $3 billion in sales. So…not impossible!
The major punchline here is that the main stakeholder and big player for the Yeezy brand is Adidas and Kanye receives royalties for sales made.
Examples of Articles Claiming Kanye West Is A Billionaire.
Kanye West Nearing Billionaire Status https://t.co/XQtf432Vlh
— 24/7 HipHop News (@BenjaminEnfield) August 2, 2018
Kanye West could soon be a billionaire https://t.co/qeJPdD1tHU
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 3, 2018
Let’s look at the Michael Jordan deal with Nike. Nike owns the Jordan brand and Michael Jordan only gets royalties from sales and monies made from the sale of Jordans.
As of 2017, Michael earned $110 million in royalties for his Jordan shoes and according to reports, he makes between $80 – 90 million annually.
When CNBC’s Sara Eisen spoke with Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted about the sports apparel company’s recent quarter and what’s driving growth, this was what he had to say about the Yeezy brand;
There is no doubt the Yeezy brand has a fundamental impact on our overall brand position, but in the bigger context of us being a $25 billion company, it’s a small part of our company.”
As said by the CEO, Yeezy is fundamental to Adidas but it is just a small part of the company.
Kanye is influential and successful but no where near a billionaire as his wife claimed. There is a need for substantial evidences as to Kanye’s billionaire status.
How Much Is Kanye West Worth in 2018?
As of 2018, Kanye West is worth $160. Maybe with years down the line, he might become a billionaire but let’s keep our guns in pants till then!