When Kendrick Lamar drops an album, he makes a splash.

According to Pitchfork, the Compton native dropped “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers” without too much fanfare or pre-album publicity, but the “thorny” double album — which features everyone from rappers like Kodak Black to rock legends like Beth Gibbons of Portishead — quickly became a trending topic on Twitter and gained both accolades and fanfare in equal measure.

And that, really, has been the basis of Kendrick Lamar’s brand of Hip-Hop since he first exploded onto the scene in 2012. Though it would take until his third studio album — 2015’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” — for him to fully break into the mainstream, he quickly became the go-to artist for fans — and professionals — who were looking for a bit of funk, soul, and spoken word with their Hip-Hop. The RIAA reveals that he has several gold and platinum records, and this success in the music industry alone has helped him achieve a $75 million net worth, per Celebrity Net Worth. The outlet also reveals that he’s one of the top-paid rappers on the planet, earning $60 million in 2018 alone, which made him the top-paid rapper of that year.

Let’s take a look at the myriad ways that Kendrick Lamar makes his money.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.

Music Career

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Lamar has earned over $180 million in his career from music royalties, touring and merch, and other business ventures. His net worth is estimated to be $75 million as of 2020. 

He was able to accumulate such wealth primarily through the success of his music. He’s highly regarded as a lyricist with the uncanny ability to relate to several audiences — selling out national arena tours and millions of streams. 

Throughout his career, he’s sold over 17.8 million albums, had 29 Grammy nominations, and won 12 Grammys, according to CNBC.

He’s been signed and had the attention of music legends like Lil Wayne since age 16 with the stage name, “K. Dot.” However, he gained mainstream notoriety around the release of his second album “good kid, m.A.A.d city” in 2012. The project features hits like “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Poetic Justice” and went on to sell over 1.1 million copies in the U.S., also hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B Charts.

He’s collected several accolades throughout the years, including being one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2016. In 2017, he released his Pulitzer Prize-winning fourth studio album, “DAMN.” He made history as the first Hip-Hop project to win. He then went on to curate and produce Marvel’s “Black Panther” soundtrack. 

Highest-Grossing Hip Hop Tour

Kendrick Lamar
Joseph Okpako/Getty Images

As AfroTech previously reported, Kendrick Lamar had one of the highest-grossing Hip-Hop tours of all time back in 2018. His “DAMN” tour grossed more than $40 million.

Other Business Ventures

AfroTech has previously reported on Kendrick Lamar’s other business ventures — such as back in March of 2020, when he formed pgLang with his longtime business partner, Dave Free of Top Dawg Entertainment.