Reports that the celebrity, Kanye West, is worth nearly $7 billion are based on the magical thinking around sales that don’t yet exist, according to Forbes.
On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that West is the richest Black person in America, worth as much as $6.6 billion.
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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 said.
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,” Forbes insisted.
West, in the past, had said that Forbes was “purposely snubbing me.”
However, Forbes said it is treating West “the same way we do everyone else with similar royalty-based businesses: We take the most recent year’s licensing income and apply a multiple to it to account for the fact that this is an ongoing revenue stream.
“This is exactly how we value Donald Trump’s licensing businesses and Jay-Z’s music catalogue.”
Forbes said the Bloomberg story cited a UBS report on his businesses, insisting that the bank made a number of assumptions based on projected future earnings, particularly for Yeezy Gap, which hasn’t even launched yet.
“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,” Forbes said.