On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that Kanye West is the richest Black person in America, worth as much as $6.6 billion. The news comes after Bloomberg reported that his sneaker brand, Yeezy—as well as Yeezy Gap, which has yet to sell one stitch of clothing—have a combined value of as much as $4.7 billion. The publication mentioned, without going into full detail, an additional $1.7 billion in assets.
It’s not true, based on our calculations. Forbes estimates he’s worth less than a third of that, or $1.8 billion. That’s a big jump from last May when Forbes first pegged his net worth to be $1.3 billion, but nowhere near as much as the purported $6.6 billion. Vista Equity’s Robert F. Smith remains the richest Black person in the U.S., worth an estimated $6 billion, while Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, worth $11.8 billion, is the richest Black person in the world.
The sky-high estimate is the latest of West’s attempts to inflate his net worth—in the past he’s said that Forbes was “purposely snubbing me.”
In actuality, it’s nothing personal. The Bloomberg story cites a UBS report on his businesses—the same document Forbes saw earlier this month. The bank made a number of assumptions based on projected future earnings, particularly for Yeezy Gap, which hasn’t even launched yet. Bank documents like this are well-known for painting best-possible-scenario future valuations.
Forbes’ much more grounded number is based on that old-fashioned idea of current revenues—not theoretical future expectations. Yeezy Gap has brought in no revenue, let alone any profits. Who knows if the line will be popular? Maybe another hip-hop star will create the next trendy sneaker in a year or two, and Yeezys will be old news. The same thinking goes for Yeezy Supply, West’s e-commerce platform. He has high hopes to turn it into a fashion destination—as of now, it just shills his shoes.
Read the full profile on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/maddieberg/2021/03/18/no-kanye-west-is-not-the-richest-black-person-in-america—heres-why/?sh=23a9b6414a2d
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