Forbes has finally granted Kanye West with the “billionaire” designation after what it says was “months of lobbying” by the musician and sneaker mogul.
The magazine estimated West’s net worth at $1.3 billion, thanks primarily to the success of his Yeezy sneaker brand and land and property assets. Forbes’ deep-dive into West’s finances comes just over a year after it granted the title of billionaire to his sister-in-law, Kylie Jenner.
According to Forbes senior editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg, West felt spurned by a previous Forbes cover story in which the publication pointedly avoided referring to him as a billionaire after taking a skeptical eye to West’s self-estimates.
Greenburg wrote, “As the year wore on, he protested publicly. (“I showed them a $890 million receipt, and they still didn’t say ‘billionaire,'” he told an industry panel, about something that no one at Forbes remembers.) In private, he was more biting. (A “disrespectful article,” he texted this week, that was “purposely snubbing me.”)”
West has taken issue with Forbes’ new number, as well, arguing that he’s worth upwards of two-and-a-half times what the magazine says he is. “It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count,” West wrote to Forbes in a text.
In the piece, Greenburg described West as being “as overly boastful as his political idol, President Donald Trump.”
“For years, Forbes had an informal ‘Trump rule’–take whatever the future president insisted he was worth, divide by 3, and start honing from there,” Forbes wrote. “Like mentor, like mentee. Welcome to the ten-digit club, Kanye. You may not like our number, but you’ve joined the highest company in that regard.”