How Do Rappers Make Money? Find Out Now

The iconic image of the rapper flaunting his wealth, stacks of dollars, and expensive trips, is inseparable from the rapper’s craft. Rappers make money, or at least want you to think they do, and blatantly reveal it. 

How do rappers make money?

Rappers raise funds through record sales, live performances, and tours. They also receive royalties from third parties when their music is sold, published, streamed, or monetized. 

Rappers can also raise funds by selling promotional items or endorsing them. In addition to these traditional sales channels, hip-hop artists are rewarded for having their songs released on music video sites and YouTube. 

How do rappers make money?

  • Selling albums
  • Live tours and shows
  • Royalties
  • On-demand streaming service
  • Advertisement
  • Sell items
  • Crowdfunding
  • Right to copy
  • Sync permission

However, these new sources of revenue are not without their downsides and have caused some controversy in the music industry. Read on to learn why and how you can make money as a rapper.

Read about the 10 Highest Paid Rappers and their Net Worth | 2023

10 Ways Rappers Make Money

 Sell albums

This may surprise you, especially since sales of CDs and digital albums have plummeted over the past decade. Album income remains a major source of income, at least among the highest-earning rappers. 

Tours and Live Shows

Thanks to on-demand streaming platforms, consumers have never had faster or cheaper access to all of their favorite artists as they do today. 

This probably hurt live concerts as well as record sales. Again, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Attendance at live performances breaks records. 

Music festivals attract more people than ever, and the tours are getting bigger yearly. 

Like all musicians and professionals in the entertainment industry, Rappers get paid because they own the copyright to their songs and any related intellectual property. 

They receive royalties whether their songs or recordings are sold, published, reproduced in other publications, or normally monetized.

This is one of the ways rappers make money.

When it comes to the music sphere, things get a little more complicated. All music has not one but two different copyrights. On the one hand, the copyright belongs to the person who composed the lyrics and melodies.

However, the situation is different concerning copyright for sound recordings. These belong to the artists and record companies and hold the song recordings. 

The trick is that the people or individuals who own the writing and recording rights to an album may or may not be the same. As we will see shortly, this can also cause problems.

There are many ways to make money from YouTube. See How To Make Money on YouTube Without Making Videos

Make money on YouTube and sponsor brands

We live in the golden age of YouTube, where everyone and their dog seem to be YouTubers. Hip-hop stars are now creating and running YouTube monetization platforms like everyone else in the music business. 

And things seem to be going well for them: Psy, a South Korean musician, rapper, and songwriter, is reported to have earned more than $2 million from the hit Gangnam Style, which hit over 2 billion views.

YouTube monetization will be a good source of additional revenue. In addition, it is open to anyone with an internet connection.

Whether you`re an experienced, novice, or lesser-known rapper, YouTube can be a viable source of income and a perfect way to attract a larger audience. 

YouTube is a great place to start because of the low barrier to entry and mostly performance-based schemes. But how exactly can YouTube make money? It’s easy:

You Tubers are compensated for the advertising that appears in their posts. There are three categories of ads that can be embedded in a video:

 PreRoll Video Ads

 These are usually placed right before the beginning of the video and last around 30 seconds. Brands would pay for the number of times viewers clicked on the ad, not the total number of clicks, as channel owners pay per click. 

InStream Ads

Instream ads appear before the video starts, but audiences may miss them for the first five seconds. Advertisers pay per-view for this type of ad. 

Bumper ads

These are non-skippable short commercials lasting only six seconds. They even play before the movie; you’re compensated for every view.  On-Demand Streaming Services

Rappers also benefit from making their songs available for download on the Internet. Artists, on the other hand, can find it difficult to earn a decent living. 

Spotify reportedly charged musicians an average of $0.0032 per stream in June 2019. Apple Music and Google Play were also slightly higher at $0.0056 and $0.0055, respectively, while Deezer was down at $0.00436.

Due to the way the program is set up, the more famous singers will make millions of dollars while the smaller artists will be left with pathetic amounts in a winner takes all scenario if there ever was one. 

Another explanation for the low profits of streaming services is the high number of intermediaries in the industry. Then there’s the black tax box: an estimated $2.5 billion in outstanding royalties, according to analysts. 

The number of streams is grossly underestimated due to various obscure technical factors, such as server miscommunication and faulty metadata. 


So far we’ve only looked at how rappers would benefit from their music. On the other hand, hip-hop stars will monetize their songs and popularity more subtly through advertising. 

Rock stars and even certain pop artists have traditionally been reluctant to endorse or endorse labels. It was assumed this would make them look like sellouts. 

However, things are completely different in hip-hop, as most rappers are happy to accept brand sponsorships.

One reason for this may be hip-hop culture’s money-oriented, hectic mentality. The need to excel and make big bucks is standard.  Brands also took the chance with both feet.

In addition, they were very inventive in developing innovative and industry-specific marketing strategies.  Traditional overt messages have largely been abandoned in favor of more discreet tactics, such as attributing brands in rap lyrics.

For example, Gucci appears more than 6,000 times in English lyrics. Very few hip-hop artists have even gone so far as to use brand names in song titles (like the boy Gucci Bandana Gucci).

Others, like Gucci Mane, have also integrated with their artistic characters.

This is one of the ways rappers make money.


You can sell your brand after making a name as a rapper. While many famous Hip-hop artists have a collection of perfume and their products, there are many other types of goods to remember. 

Digital goods may also be sold, for example, song and limited album downloads, email subscriptions, and other exclusive web content.

The best part is that today you don’t have to be a top artist to make a sale: if you create a moderately successful YouTube page, you can use it to promote your content to your subscribers. 

Asides from selling on eBay, you can make money without selling; see how to. How To Make Money On eBay Without Selling Anything | 2023 Updated


Independent rappers will use crowdfunding projects on popular sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe to get their attention. If you have a small but loyal following and have an original artistic vision in mind, crowdfunding can help you raise the funds you need. 

It works, too: Chilli and T-Boz raised over $400,000 to fund their latest album in 2017. De La Soul is another hugely profitable example: their Kickstarter campaign for their new album rose to over $600,000 in 2015. Additionally, they raised $180,974 in the first 24 hours of the campaign launch.

Reproduction Rights

Actual CDs or media files may be sold and distributed with copyrights. So when you buy a CD or album from a digital store like iTunes or Google Play, the copyright holder gets a share of the profits.

They are often compensated when their music is played on on-demand sites online, in businesses and commercial establishments, and for other commercial reasons.

The payment amount is determined by several factors, including terms agreed upon between the label and the seller, and any other parties involved.

Synchronize Rights

Sync permissions allow a song or piece of music to be used in movies, TV shows, advertisements, and other forms of media. Synchronization is another name for this method, and it can be very profitable. 

A premium is charged upfront to the copyright owner, and the royalties are paid after the movie or TV show is released and broadcast.

Synchronization licensing will help lesser-known rappers, and hip-hop artists break into the industry and land lucrative contracts. Instead of great classics, most filmmakers and TV directors want music that they like or that fits their artistic vision. 

This is one of the ways rappers make money.


Although hip-hop has overtaken rock as the most popular music genre in the United States, it’s still very difficult to make a living as a rapper, especially when you’re just starting. 

You need raw talent, hard work, market knowledge, and a desire to tap into all available sources of income. But above all, you must never give up on yourself and your art. 

As you work to improve your skills, your income will also increase.



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