Kanye West wants the world to know he isn’t just a rapper, entrepreneur, and fashion designer — he’s also a billionaire. When Forbes rolled out its annual list of billionaires, West sent a series of texts to the publication. After Forbes remained unmoved, he directed his financial team to the magazine’s editors.
Forbes conceded that West is, in fact, a billionaire — but he still isn’t worth as much as he claims he is. West insisted in his texts that his net worth is $3.3 billion, but based on “recent conversations and internal documents,” Forbes estimated his worth to be $1.3 billion. In Friday’s published correction, senior editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg said West’s texts proved “that West, who claims both in words and in this paperwork that he’s worth more than $3 billion, is as overly boastful as his political idol, President Donald Trump.”
However, West believed Forbes was intentionally attacking him with the exclusion. “You know what you’re doing,” he texted, according to Greenburg. “You’re toying with me and I’m not finna lye [sic] down and take it anymore in Jesus name.” He accused Forbes of excluding him because of his race and his self-made narrative. It also seemed to grate on him that his sister-in-law Kylie Jenner was given the title of youngest self-made billionaire for the second year in a row, wrote Forbes.
West has previously criticized Forbes for downplaying his financial achievements. Though he was on the cover of the magazine in 2019, he complained afterward that he hadn’t been described as a billionaire in the article. “I showed them a $890 million receipt and they still didn’t say ‘billionaire,’” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “When people say it's crass to call yourself a billionaire, I say I might legally change my name to Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West for a year until y'all understand exactly what it is.”
As Forbes explained, West’s company, Yeezy, is a complicated one. West owns 100% of the footwear company, but the brand is also tied to Adidas, which manufactures and distributes the products.
As of this week, West can say he’s officially a billionaire — but he still isn’t happy. “It’s not a billion. It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count,” he texted the magazine on Thursday. One person, however, was satisfied with the update: Kim Kardashian West retweeted multiple stories about West’s billionaire status.