Is Kanye West richest Black man after divorce from Kim Kardashian? Forbes disputes rapper's $6.6B wealth
Rapper Kanye West's reported wealth is now under scrutiny, amid prior reports that say he's one of the wealthiest Black people in the county accredited with 6.6 billion dollars worth of wealth. But a new report from Forbes on Thursday, March 18, pegged him to have just $1.8 billion to his name.
The attributed wealth to the 'Stronger' artist, 43, came in the wake of a Bloomberg report that his Yeezy brand, a collaboration with Adidas, as well as Yeezy Gap, which is yet to sell anything—have a combined value of as much as $4.7 billion. It added that he has an additional $1.7 billion in assets. But a new report from Forbes said that West is worth less than a third of that or $1.8 billion.
Who's the richest Black man?
The report also added that the amount is still a big jump from last May, when Forbes first pegged his net worth to be $1.3 billion, but nowhere near as much as the $6.6 billion claim which puts him ahead of other Black billionaires, including Jay-Z and Oprah Winfrey. It adds that the wealthiest Black person in the US isn't West, it is Vista Equity CEO Robert F Smith with $6 billion. Worldwide it is Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangote leads with a net worth of $11.8 billion.
The Forbes report touts the sky-high estimate as one of West’s attempts to inflate his net worth. In the past, the musician had said that Forbes was “purposely snubbing" him.
Best possible scenario
"In actuality, it’s nothing personal," says the report, adding that Bloomberg's information was cited from a UBS report on the musician and entrepreneur's businesses—the same document Forbes saw earlier this month. The bank made a number of assumptions based on projected future earnings, particularly for Yeezy Gap, which is slated to put Yeezy attire in Gap retailers and online starting 2021 but the catch is, it hasn’t even launched yet. "Bank documents like this are well-known for painting best-possible-scenario future valuations," says the Forbes report, adding that it remains unclear if any of the fashion lines will continue to be moneymakers in the future.
Forbes is calling West's approach to his net worth 'wildly optimistic', noting that the Yeezy sneaker line had a 30 percent spike in revenues in 2020, but that it is likely to stay at that level in the coming year.
YEEZY BOOST 380⠀— YEEZY MAFIA (@theyeezymafia) March 18, 2021
COP or DROP?💬 pic.twitter.com/g7JDjZw1YX
Breakdown of Forbes’ estimate of his net worth
Yeezy: $1.5 billion
Yeezy sneakers are selling 'crazy well'. It's most recent limited release, the 450 in Cloud White, sold out in under a minute. Yeezy is thus, still the crown jewel of West's fortune. The sneaker brand, which has a ten-year-long production deal with Adidas, climbed to $1.7 billion last year, up from $1.3 billion in 2019. Forbes calculated that with a nine-times multiple and 20% private company discount, the Yeezy business is worth $1.5 billion.
Cash and other assets: $160 million
West has made his millions from Yeezy and his music. He owns more than $100 million in real estate and has multiple ranches in Wyoming and homes in the Los Angeles area. A balance sheet sent over by his team shows $5 million worth of vehicles, $7.6 million worth of jewelry, $3.4 million worth of furniture, $9.3 million worth of artwork and $1 million worth of livestock. However, West has also racked up a significant $56 million worth of debt.
Music catalog: $90 million
West, who is now a fashion mogul, started out as one of the world’s most popular rappers. His music catalog still pulls in millions in royalties each year. He could cash out on that royalty stream, just like he does with Yeezy.
Skims: $64 million
The musician and his soon-to-be ex-wife, socialite Kim Kardashian West have ended their marriage, however, they maintain some business ties. West has a small stake in Kardashian's shapewear and loungewear company Skims, which has grown during the coronavirus pandemic. Skims was launched in September 2019 and the collection sold out in minutes. According to TMZ, West's ex racked in a casual $2 million in profit in that time.
Yeezy x Gap: $0
West’s team insists the Yeezy x Gap deal is worth about $1.5 billion. The Bloomberg report says it could be worth as much as $970 million. But Forbes isn’t giving the brand any value until its products actually start to sell. The deal which was announced in June sent Gap’s stock soaring and CEO Sonia Syngal spoke of its “big potential” in an earnings call earlier this month. However, the line hasn’t sold a single piece of clothing yet.