Kanye West became a trending Twitter topic on Wednesday (March 17) after he was deemed the “richest Black person in America” with a reported net worth of $6.6 billion.
But according to Forbes, that’s nowhere near accurate. Like many others, the iconic business magazine was likely curious how his net worth increased by $5.3 billion in less than a year. While Kanye has certainly made some lucrative investments, jumping from $1.3 billion in April 2020 to $6.6 just 11 months later would be quite the feat.
On Thursday (March 18), Forbes published an article called, “No, Kanye West Is Not The Richest Black Person In America — Here’s Why,” which plainly outlines how Bloomberg allegedly got it wrong.
As Forbes explains, the Bloomberg article cites a UBS report on Ye’s businesses in which the bank made a number of assumptions based on projected future earnings, particularly for Yeezy Gap, which has yet to launch. Bank documents like that often report “best-possible-scenario future valuations” — not what is actually there. The publication estimates he’s worth $1.8 billion, which is based on current revenues — “not theoretical future expectations.”
Therefore, the richest Black person in the United States remains Vista Equity’s Robert F. Smith who’s worth an estimated $6 billion, while Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the richest Black person in the world with a reported net worth of $11.8 billion.
Last year, Kanye accused Forbes of “purposely snubbing” him, but the magazine maintains it’s treating Kanye the same way the treat other royalty-based businesses.
“We take the most recent year’s licensing income and apply a multiple to it to account for the fact that this is an ongoing revenue stream,” the article states. “This is how we value Donald Trump’s licensing businesses and JAY-Z’s music catalogue.” His “wildly optimistic approach to his net worth mirrors the approach used by Donald Trump, who insists the value of his name be included in any net worth estimate.
“Trump, who we value at $2.5 billion, says his brand has an intrinsic value, regardless of actual revenue. West and his camp are making a similar argument for businesses attached to the Yeezy name.”
But with his Yeezy hustle valued at $1.5 billion, a music catalog worth $90 million, his $64 million stake in future ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS line and another $160 million in cash and other assets, Kanye is clearly no schlub — he’s just not as wealthy as originally reported.
Despite the misinformation, nobody can argue $1.8 billion isn’t impressive. The man works hard for his money and has the bank account to prove it.