The world is filled with idealistic teenagers who believe they’re going to become famous rappers and make millions of dollars every year. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t happen very often. Media hype about superstars like 50 Cent and Jay-Z never reports on the thousands of rappers who you’ve never heard of, and who don’t make very much money.
The income of performers, including rappers, isn’t acquired in the same way as a normal employee. Rather than getting a check every two weeks, they get what their music sells for, minus the very significant expenses that are involved in the industry. Incomes of rappers vary wildly. While superstars make millions, rappers who haven’t been discovered may not even be able to pay their bills. There are rappers who make their money elsewhere and don’t even get paid for the rapping they do, and there are rappers who do it as a part-time gig and pick up the slack with a normal job. When all this is figured in, the average salary of a professional, full-time rapper is probably closer to $30,000 a year than to $3 million a year.