The Average Salary for a Rap Artist

by Heather Skyler - Updated June 28, 2018
Superstar rappers can make millions.
Young man dressed in clothing rap

As with any creative industry, it's difficult to determine an average salary for a rap artist. There are the up-and-comers, making nothing or barely scraping by, hoping to one day become respected household names. There are the industry musicians, neither famous nor on the bottom, but simply booking gigs at regular jobs and making an hourly wage.

Then you have the world famous rappers who are making more money than most of us will ever see.

Average Salary

According to Simply Hired, the average salary for a job in the hip hop music industry is $60,751.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't parse out different types of musicians and singers, but it estimates the average hourly wage of all musical artists at $25.14 in May of 2016. If you worked full time as a musician at that hourly wage, your annual salary would come out to about $52,000.

However, most musicians don't have the good fortune of working full time, and many have other jobs to support themselves.

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In short, rappers most likely make $25 an hour on the low end, but the superstar rappers make quite a bit more.

Top Five Richest Rappers Today

Celebrity Net Worth acquires it data from publicly available information including salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements. The site then uses a proprietary formula that removes estimated taxes, manager fees, agent fees and lifestyle expenses.

Net worth is not the same as salary, however. It includes all assets owned by an individual, then subtracts all liabilities. However, the number can give us an idea of what these rap artists make. And it's a lot.

  1. Jay-Z: Net worth of $900 million. Jay-Z started as a rap artist but now owns a record company, a music streaming service and has lots of other entrepreneurial ventures in the works.
  2. P-Diddy: Net worth of $820 million. P-Diddy has also diversified. He now owns a men's clothing line, works as an actor, a rapper and a record producer.
  3. Dr. Dre: Net worth of $800 million. He also does much more than rap, adding to his net worth.
  4. Master P: Net worth of $250 million. He is an entrepreneur and film producer as well as a rapper.
  5. Eminem: Net worth of $190 million. Unlike the previous four, Eminem's fortune is primarily as a rap artist.

Other Jobs in the Hip Hop Industry

If your heart isn't dead set on being the star, there are other jobs in the music industry. Some pay higher salaries and some lower. However, many of these jobs may be more stable.

Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated salaries:

  • Record producer, $70,950
  • Songwriter, $63,850
  • Sound engineering technicians, $53,680
  • Agents and managers for musicians, $89,590

About the Author

Heather Skyler is a journalist and novelist who has written for wide variety of publications, including Newsweek.com, The New York Times and SKY magazine.

Photo Credits

  • Hip Hop Atmosphere image by Denis Plaster from Fotolia.com
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