How Much Do Rappers Make? (Explained)

(Last Updated On: March 31, 2023)

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Have you wondered how and how much do rappers earn their living? Many up and coming rappers are curious about these things because they simply want to know how much these world-renowned rappers and even unsigned performers get paid. This will also inspire thriving performers to work hard on their craft, for who knows one day, they may also earn as much as their idols. Now, let us get to know how do rappers earn and how much money they receive.

More recently, many rappers earn their living from concerts, shows, and streams on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and other music streaming sites. Rappers get to earn .60 cents per 1000 streams on Spotify; therefore, for 1,000,000 streams, rappers get $600. Their income also depends on the label, but to sum it up, they usually earn $100,000 to $3,000,000 per year.

Where Do Rappers Get Their Income?

The amount of money rappers get varies on the earnings they get from their songs. Some rappers rely solely on the number of streams they get from music streaming sites such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc for making money. Others expand their horizons by endorsing products, performing live shows, or selling CDs and other merchandise. These are other ways most rappers get to earn more money, from the littlest to the largest.

Licensing and Placements

Your rap music played on TV shows, movies, commercials, and even video games could make your rap music climbing the charts, which means higher sales that lead to higher income. Whenever these shows are aired, you get the chance to receive royalties as well.

Publishing Royalties

Rights, as a rap artist, are safeguarded by PROs or the Performance Rights Organizations like SOCAN or ASCAP. Thus, it is important as a performer that you sign up your songs to PROs, for they are in charge of collecting royalties from sync, mechanical, and public performances when your music is being used. This will help you get the money for where credit is due.

Digital Royalties

Your chosen PROs collect all royalties; SoundExchange gathers Digital Royalties every time your music is played on Pandora, satellite radio, or other webcasts. Signing up an account on SoundExchange doesn’t require you to shed off some money; however, the activation process could take some time, primarily if you are residing outside the US.

Live Performance Royalties

PRO is in-charge of collecting your live performance royalties. If ever you get the chance to perform an original song, you must report to your chose PRO and verify that you have presented your material.

Selling Albums

Rappers can’t rely on the money they get from selling their albums because they hardly recover the overall costs of an album. Rappers have a signed deal with the record labels wherein they are asked to hand over a considerable sum of their income for the distributor, retailer, manufacturer, record label, and production costs. With all these, rappers barely earn a dollar for every sold copy of the album.

Present, YouTube has become a phenomenal hit for money-making purposes, most notably for video makers, vloggers, and even musical artists. You can easily earn an income on the platform by allowing advertisements on your YouTube video. The challenge here lies in your number of subscribers or followers that can help you make a substantial amount of money.

But you have to remember that the platform gets to keep the lion’s share, even if you are the one who put all your blood, sweat, and tears.


Sponsorship contract doesn’t offer the same profit from businesses and brands. This is just about making a huge community that a particular brand would like to achieve.

How Do Rappers Get Money from Performing?

Rappers get money from performing through:

Performing Rights Licensing Fee

Performing Rights Organization is an artist’s best pal because they help you earn more money by publishing licenses to venues and collect royalties to give it back to the performers. The reason behind this is because other artists use their music, which is copyright material.

A licensing fee is charged to all venues who wish for established rappers to perform their copyright music. This is the rapper’s bread and butter, getting money upon earnings.

Sold Tickets from Show

As soon as the venue books rap artists for a show, they already begin promoting ticket sales. The price of the ticket agreed by both the management who handles the artist and the owner of the venue. The artist gets paid depending on the performance rate and the probable ticket sales. However, the artist can request for a standard fee or commonly called a guarantee.

A guarantee is the least sum that an artist gets. But the rest of the fee comes from the ticket sales, where the rap artists get 85 to 90% from the net income. This percentage is above average because the management and the performer gets a hold of their rate based on the popularity of the artist.

How Much Do Rappers Get Per Show?

The amount of money artists get varies, depending on the popularity of the performer. A famous or well-known rapper could request for 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. Unsigned or independent rappers only ask about $10,000 to $20,000 while new rappers get paid for at least $30-$50 at open mic nights.

The Top 5 Rappers with the Highest Earnings

1) Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre is a Californian-based rapper with the highest earnings that could sum to $780 million. Although he tops most of the lists of rappers with highest net worth, Forbes puts him on the spot next to Sean Combs. It can be said that Dr. Dre probably is the highest paid rapper.

2) Sean Combs

Sean Combs, or commonly referred to as P. Diddy or Puff Daddy, has a net worth of $700 million. Sean combs are not only a rapper, but he is also a wealthy businessman.

3) Jay-Z

Shawn Corey Carter, or popularly called Jay-Z is the third richest rapper. With a net income of $550 million, he earns the third spot on our list. Other lists put him on the pedestal, but most lists placed him around this spot.

4) Master P

For most people, the name Master P doesn’t even ring a bell, but this rapper earned the fourth spot on our list, mainly because of his success as a music producer. Master P has a net income of $350 million.

5) 50 Cent

His name may only mean half of a dollar, but this talented rapper has a net worth of $270 million.

Other Top-earning Rap Singers

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Final Thoughts

Talented rappers do not only get their income through selling music albums as what most people thought of. Nowadays, streams on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and other music sites help artists earn more bucks.

There are also different ways in which they earn their living, like licensing and placements, sponsorships, advertising on YouTube, and Digital, Publishing, and Live Performance Royalties. Success does not come overnight. It usually involves sacrifices, long hours of practice, and long hours of building your confidence. And this is the first step that you need if you want to do full-time singing.

Although the music industry and the rap industry are not an easy and permanent venue to be in to be making money, it is an excellent way to start. Good looks and pure talent does not guarantee a fat bank account; you also need to work hard in order for you to gain more followers to help you increase your revenue and bank account. That is the secret ingredient for you to be rolling in money. Now that you know how much do rappers make, start your journey, and who knows, you may earn the top spot in the years to come.

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