How Much Do Rappers Really Make? (6 Types Of Income) Wednesday September 14 2022, 2:45 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
How Much Do Rappers Really Make? (6 Types Of Income)

How Much Do Rappers Make?

Ever wonder how much the average rapper earns when making a career out of it? It may not surprise you, but the true average is far below that of most jobs.

An optimistic rough average from a site like Comparably will tell you that a rapper makes $60,000 on average, but don't let that number fool you. 

The number is so high because they are likely basing that income on reported earnings from rappers that are all successful indie rappers or celebrity rappers.

This number does not account for the many undiscovered yet talented rappers that rap as a side hustle or get no income at all. 

Rapper Income Averages

Celebrity Rappers

If you're thinking there's a serious possibility of you becoming a celebrity rapper, then you're in luck.

Chances are you can make over $200,000 a year and possibly millions a year if you are successful enough and don't sign any shady contracts that will take you for all you have and only give you the spotlight.

Jay-z is reported to have at least $100 million in income yearly. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Drake is estimated to make $70 million yearly as a rapper.

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Successful Indie Rappers

Here's where the obvious gap in income starts to come into play. Being a successful independent artist can mean that you have many fans and get many opportunities to perform, but it won't make you rich. It may not even make you wealthy. 

In many cases, the cost of running your business in the music world will equal or outweigh the amount you earn, which will make the average income for indie rappers closer to $5,000 to $20,000 per year if they are lucky.

At this point in many rappers' careers, they have to go through a period often referred to as "the starving artist period". Some starving artists are extremely talented and do make it to the next level of success in their careers, but many don't.

Undiscovered Talent

This is the category that over 95% of rappers will find themselves in.

The tough thing about the music world is that you can be new at the game, create your first song, and make the same amount of money as someone that put in years of practice. That number is a big fat $0.

The same can go for instrumentalists and singers, but it is especially hard to find low-key gigs and money opportunities as a rapper. 

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Ways To Make Money As A Rapper

I hope I'm not getting you down too much if you're considering a future as a rapper. The good thing about the modern world of music is that there are many ways you can make money in this industry.

It's really down to the drive, talent, support, and creativity that the rapper has.

With the right small team of people, talent, and consistency, you will find that you can make a decent amount of money, even as what many would call undiscovered talent. 

Don't believe it? I myself am a singer and rapper that is pretty undiscovered and definitely not a celebrity, but

I've managed to make a significant amount of money from a few of the income streams that I want to briefly go over below. It's really possible to get the money flowing!

CD/Single Sales 

You can make money from single and CD sales if you have a fan base that is willing to pay for your music. The more music you make that is of quality, the more money you can make!

The good thing is that if you have no label ties, all of that money will go to you. For those who are signed, the labels take most of it. That means you can charge, on average, $10 per CD and $1 per single that you make if the material is original. 

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Source: WikiMedia


Most songs that aren't being released by major artists or labels won't rack up much at all in terms of royalties, so this rarely makes a dent in a rapper's overall income.

But for rappers that have their songs getting regular play on the radio, on streaming platforms, and receiving sales, the money really adds up.

Total royalties owed to a rapper that has written their own material can account for up to $.09 per reproduction or sale of a song and up to .02 per stream of a song.

Mechanical royalties are owed to the composers (including the lyric writers) and publisher of a musical work each time a song is sold (50% for the composer and 50% for the publisher).

When songs are used in TV, film, radio, and the like, royalties are owed to the composer (including the lyric writers) of the song and the publishing company as well (again, 50% for the composer and 50% for the publisher).

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Tour/Show Income

Many rappers get enticed by the possibility of a payment in the form of ticket sales and performing shows, which can add up if you have a solid fanbase.

Pay per performance for hired musicians can range from $100 to $300 on average for those who have a good level of talent. More commonly, rappers get paid a portion of ticket sales for shows and tours, which can be up to $1000 per night if you're lucky. 

Feature Income

If you are interested in putting your talent to work for other people's songs, consider doing work-for-hire projects.

Companies and musicians often hire singers, instrumentalists, producers, and rappers to lend their talents to a project for a set fee or pay by the hour.

Building a freelance business for your music can grow quickly if you provide high-quality results since you will frequently win repeat customers effortlessly.

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Chances are, you're a beginner rapper or musician with either a very small audience or no audience at all. Depending on your level of talent, you may be able to successfully get business with the price of anywhere from $50-$200.

I have had a lot of success advertising my singing and rapping on sites like Fiverr. I highly recommend them and have made thousands with them so far, and I see a lot of other musicians having massive success with them as well!


Music is always needed in advertisements, movies, shows, games, and many other forms of entertainment.

If you have a large amount of original material that you are interested in licensing to a company to earn commissions, apply to a few trusted music licensing companies.

Licensing earnings can range from $500 to $50,000 for independent artists and musicians per project. 

Content Marketing 

If you are able to consistently come out with a great stream of video and/or audio content to post on a site like Youtube, you should think about getting into starting your own channel.

Channels that have a high amount of subscribers often see thousands of dollars in earnings monthly.

The key to this method is being original, consistent, and likable. You can rack up a lot of money in advertising and sponsorship revenue with this method. 

Related Post: How Much Do Songwriters Make? (Royalties + Pay Per Song)

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

Check Out My Latest Single Release Below:

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