Several fans of popular hip-hop artist Kanye West went agog when Forbes announced him a billionaire.
This announcement is coming several months after Kanye West accused Forbes of deliberately snubbing and excluding him from the list on grounds of racial discrimination.
When Kanye West was featured on the cover of Forbes last summer, we didn’t call him a billionaire. As the year wore on, he protested publicly. “I showed them an $890 million receipt and they still didn’t say ‘billionaire,’” he told an industry panel https://t.co/BB6WHzDU6W pic.twitter.com/wckSinZi8c
— Forbes (@Forbes) April 25, 2020
Much as Forbes would have loved to do this assessment 10 months ago, West did not provide them with the required figures insisting that he was “not a numbers guy”, and since Forbes was not ready to add his name to the Billionaire list just on the basis of his testimony, it dragged on endlessly.
According to Forbes West recently directed his team to present his financial records to them for assessment, after several months of requesting.
The review of these records proves West to be a billionaire just as he had insisted for the last year.
Kanye West owns 100% stakes of Adidas Yeezy, fashion collaboration between West’s Yeezy sneakers and sportswear brand Adidas, which has fast risen in five years to compete with more popular brands like Nike. Though functionally tied to Adidas, the worth of these stakes alone is worth over $1 billion.
According to internal documents, West received royalties over $140 million from Adidas in 2019, as he is entitled to some 15% of Yeezy sales annually.
Though West had appraised his Yeezy stakes to be worth over $3 billion dollars, Forbes insists that the worth of the stakes is closer to $1.26 billion, as it could be very cumbersome trying to separate Yeezy from Adidas.
Other items on his statement of assets include $35 million in stocks, $21 million in lands, $17 million in cash and $81 million in buildings. However, the worth of most customised buildings like West’s is usually valued much less than was spent on them.
Factoring in the illiquidity and the lack of independent backup, Forbes pegs all of these assets at $125 million. This is by no means vindictive, simply in line with Forbes standard of staying conservative and lopping off fractions here and there.
The hip-hop artist has liabilities worth about $100 million, from advances to mortgages and then debts.
After balancing the sheets, Forbes came forward to announce West a billionaire worth $1.3 billion.
West is clearly not still satisfied as he was reported to have sent Forbes a text message which read, “It’s not a billion. It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count”.
Fans are however pleased with this development as they have taken to the social media handles to congratulate their hip-hop hero for the long-expected validation from Forbes.
"The Only Rapper Compared to Michael" – #KanyeWest
Now a Billionaire ???.!!
Respect Respect Respect!!!
— Tifejnr? (@Tifejnr) April 25, 2020
Nywe nywe you are not who your friends are. THE COMPANY YOU KEEP IS THE NUMBER 1 FACTOR OF WHO YOU WILL TURN OUT TO BE. Whether you believe it or not the energies you receive are a reflection of you! Here's to the first 2 billionaires in HIP HOP HISTORY ???? #KanyeWest #JayZ pic.twitter.com/gRZIFDLHGB
— IG: @MellisaMashigo (@MashigoMellisa) April 25, 2020
Some even urged him to ignore the figure put out by Forbes and simply work towards raising the bar higher.
"Take what the Forbes figure, then figure more…"
— Pirate Radio (@apirateradio) April 25, 2020
By this development, Kanye West becomes the second hip-hop star to make the Forbes billionaire list, after Jay-Z.