By the end of October 2022, Kanye West, or Ye as he is officially known, not only lost his status as a billionaire but also his links to almost all the brands he was associated with. Yet, he is still among the richest celebrities in America, given the expensive things owned by him are worth millions.
Ye triggered his own downfall in one fell swoop in a single month. He began the month of October by wearing a T-shirt with the words “White Lives Matter” at the Paris Fashion Week. Later, he fuelled anti-Semitism with social media posts that led Twitter to lock his account and Meta to restrict his Instagram handle.
However, the damage had been done. One by one, brands and companies that held onto Ye despite growing problems decided to pull the plug.
Ye’s rise and fall as a billionaire
Ye is one of the world’s most famous entertainers. His music career helped him seal multi-million-dollar deals with prominent labels.
In 2020, Forbes officially named him a billionaire with an estimated net worth of USD 1.3 billion. The publication noted that his fortune primarily came from his hugely successful collaboration with Adidas named Yeezy.
Interestingly, the Yeezy brand initially collaborated with Nike, and their demand remains incredibly high to date. A pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes that Ye wore during his 2008 Grammy Awards performance was sold for USD 1.8 million at an auction in April 2021. It, thus, became the most expensive sneakers ever sold.
The Yeezy brand’s Yeezy Gap clothing line was formally launched in June 2021. It hit USD 1 billion in the first year itself. In mid-2022, the brand gave birth to the high-end Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga line.
However, both relationships have ended now. Ye severed ties with Gap before the controversy. Though Gap was supposed to carry forward with products that were in the pipeline, the brand decided to remove all Yeezy products with immediate effect following the controversy.
As for Balenciaga, the Paris-based fashion label was among the first big names to end its ties with Ye.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” Kering said in a statement to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) on 21 October.
As pressure mounted following Ye’s anti-Semitic remarks, Adidas, too, decided to bite the bullet on 25 October by severing its ties with the rapper. It resulted in a loss of around USD 246 million a year for the German sportswear brand.
Yet, it was an even bigger loss for Ye. Before Adidas’ decision, the rapper was worth around USD 2 billion. According to Forbes, since USD 1.5 billion of that net worth was because of Adidas, the end of the relationship means that Ye is now worth only USD 400 million.
What else contributes to Ye’s net worth besides Yeezy
In its 2020 report, Forbes said that, based on the statement of assets supplied by his team, Ye’s wealth included his label, G.O.O.D., as well as his recorded music and publishing rights, which were estimated to be at least USD 90 million.
Among other things were USD 297,050 for “livestock” and USD 3,845,162 for “vehicles” — the latter of which is particularly significant since Ye owns a fleet of luxury cars as well as supercars, including Porsche 991 and Lamborghini Urus, that are even more glamorous and powerful.
Besides his Yeezy brand, land and buildings were mentioned as his most significant assets in the 2020 report. Together, the two were estimated at around USD 100 million.
In 2021, Ye’s net worth climbed to USD 1.8 billion, and, on 12 September 2022, Forbes upped it to USD 2 billion.
Diamonds and gifts that Ye bought
With all of this wealth, Ye’s extravagant lifestyle and his love for swanky cars to costly gifts for himself, friends and family members don’t seem out of place.
He bought several items with his wife Kim Kardashian, to whom he was married from 2014 to 2022.
Among these is the Dartz Prombron bulletproof SUV, which he bought for Kim for USD 1.2 million, a 15-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond engagement ring worth USD 1.6 million and another 20-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond ring worth around USD 4 million. He also owned properties with Kim, including a mansion in Hidden Hills, California.
The power couple spent over USD 1 million for just beds in their Bel-Air mansion and around USD 750,000 for gold-plated toilets.
It is also believed that Ye and Kim may have also purchased a private island in the Caribbean for their daughter North West when she turned two years old in 2013.
Here are some of Ye’s most expensive things
Ye got a Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 from Kim Kardashian on his 35th birthday in 2012. At the time, the couple was dating. However, Ye could not personally receive the gift from Kim as he was in Ireland with Jay-Z for the ‘Watch the Throne’ tour.
One of the most expensive supercars of all time, the two-door supercar cost Kim USD 750,000. Ye’s Aventador has a black matte finish, which, to some, makes the distinctively beautiful machine look more like Batman’s Batmobile. The car is powerful, too; its 690bhp, 6.5-litre V12 engine delivers acceleration of 0-96 km/h in 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of around 346-354 km/h.
However, the car has had its share of troubles. In 2013, it was badly scratched by the electric gates at Kim’s Los Angeles house when Ye’s assistant was bringing it in after servicing.
Even though Kim and Ye are no longer together, the car remains with the rapper.
Custom Tiret Watch
Ye’s love for himself as well as ostentatious luxury watches became evident in 2011 when he bought a custom-made wristwatch from Tiret, an American luxury watchmaker.
It took five months for Tiret to make the one-of-a-kind wristwatch for Ye. It features Ye’s face on the face of the watch, formed by eight-carat white, yellow, brown and black diamonds. The design also includes the trademark shades that Ye often sports.
The dial itself is made of the gold mother-of-pearl. Large diamonds encrust the bezel of the watch, which gives off the sparkling glitter expected of it.
According to a TIME magazine report, the watch cost Ye USD 180,000 at the time.
Ye’s Tiret watch is not the only piece of eye-catching bling he owns. The rapper made heads turn at the BET awards in 2010, when he arrived wearing a massive gold chain around his neck. Known as the Horus chain, the piece of jewellery is a creation of Jacob & Co. and is estimated at USD 300,000.
The Horus chain is so huge that its pendant, carved in the likeness of the Egyptian god Horus, was seen reaching all the way below Ye’s waist.
Interestingly, he rather appropriately chose to wear the chain once again the same year during his visit to the Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York City for the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit.
According to reports, the Horus chain is made of 24-carat yellow gold.
The Horus chain is not the only Egyptian-inspired piece of jewellery that Ye has. At the BET Awards where he first wore the chain, he was also spotted wearing a unique ring.
Shaped like two pyramids, the ring is also a creation of Jacob & Co. and, like the Horus chain, cost Ye USD 300,000.
Though dubbed Pyramid Ring (pictured above) by the press, the jewellery is designed to cover all four fingers instead of one or two and looks more like a knuckle duster than a traditional ring.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Fbg par Hermès
One of the most famous celebrities to have changed their names, Ye is the self-described “Hermès of verses.” So it comes as no surprise that the rapper owns a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Fbg par Hermès, which he bought in 2008 for USD 2.4 million.
Only a limited number of the car was produced. It means that should Ye want to part with it in good condition, the ultra-luxurious supercar could fetch far more than the price he paid to acquire it.
This special-edition Bugatti was built in collaboration with the French luxury fashion house, which is famous for its leather goods and lifestyle accessories. The ‘FBG’ in the car’s name stands for Paris’ famous Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Honoré — the street where Hermès has its headquarters and where the brand’s first flagship store was opened.
Being a Bugatti Veyron, the car is extremely powerful. It has a 987bhp 8.0 quad-turbo W16 engine and an acceleration of 0-96 km/h in 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 407 km/h.
However, the car’s looks distinguishes it from all other Bugatti Veyrons. It has a two-tone colour and has Hermès leather seats. The letter ‘H’ appears on certain visible parts of the car, including the aluminium grilles on the radiator and the rims.
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss
Ye is perhaps a much bigger car lover than Bill Gates, whose fascination for fast cars is pretty well known.
A year after getting the special Bugatti Veyron in his garage, Ye shopped for another limited edition mean machine — Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss edition. Named after late British motorsports legend Stirling Moss, only 75 models were ever built.
In 2011, Ye was spotted driving it at the Cannes Film Festival. The car is unique because it neither has a roof nor a windshield. Mercedes installed a 651bhp engine on a light chassis, which resulted in a top speed of 350 km/h and acceleration of 0-96 km/h in 3.5 seconds. At the time of its launch, the car was priced at just above USD 1 million.
Ye also owns another Mercedes-Benz, an SLR McLaren from 2007. The car has a top speed of 334 km/h and acceleration of 0-96 km/h in 3.4 seconds on the back of a 5.4 supercharged V8 engine.
Aston Martin DBS V12
James Bond has millions of fans around the world. And perhaps Ye is one, too. He used a sample of “Diamonds are Forever,” the theme song from the 1971 Bond film of the same name, for his song “Diamonds are from Sierra Leone” from his 2005 studio album, Late Registration.
In 2012, Ye bought an Aston Martin DBS V12 for around USD 200,000. Anyone who is a fan of James Bond movies knows that Aston Martin DBS is the preferred four wheels for the iconic British spy. Thus, the rapper’s purchase of the car led many to believe that Ye is truly a fan of Bond.
The Aston Martin DBS that Ye purchased has a 5.9-litre V-12 engine. It sails smoothly even at a top speed of 308 km/h and can rapidly accelerate to 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds.
Featured in the music video of his 2011 hit single, “Otis,” with Jay-Z, the Maybach 57 is one of the most expensive things owned by Kanye West.
However, Ye used his creative talent to redesign the car for the music video. The Maybach 57, thus, had flared-out fenders and other customisations that made it look like a machine from the Mad Max film franchise.
A non-customised Maybach 57 comes with a 5.5-litre V-12 engine and takes less than five seconds to go 0-96 km/h. It is priced at around USD 340,000.
Yet, when Ye sold the modified Maybach 57 at the New York Contemporary Art Evening auction held by Phillips de Pury & Co. in New York in 2012, it could only fetch USD 60,000 — far below the estimated USD 100,000 to USD 150,000 range. Many pointed out that this was because the car looked brutally mangled after Ye’s modifications.
Monster Lake Ranch in Wyoming
Ye owns two ranches in Wyoming. One of these is a 16 sq km property in Cody, which is surrounded by canyons. He bought the property for around USD 8 million in 2019 and put it up for sale for USD 11 million in October 2021. However, he pulled it off the market by August 2022.
Named the Monster Lake Ranch, the Cody property has two freshwater trophy lakes and is in one of the most picturesque locations in the region. The massive property has its own restaurant and saloon, event venue, office building, maintenance shop, go-kart track, shooting range, livestock corrals, sheds and horse barns.
Bighorn Mountain Ranch
Ye bought Bighorn Mountain Ranch two months after purchasing the Monster Lake Ranch. The second ranch is bigger, measuring roughly 27 sq km, and cost Ye USD 14.5 million. It is located in Greybull, around 80 km from his Cody ranch.
According to the New York Post, Ye reportedly spent some time in Bighorn Mountain Ranch following his divorce from Kim. He also created his 10th studio album, Donda, while at the ranch.
The ranch has seven bedrooms, of which five are in the main house. It has multiple kitchens and dining rooms. There are also two heated helicopter pads for year-round operations. Log cabins and lodges on the property have walk-in saunas.
Everything — from the living room to bedrooms in the buildings of the property — is luxuriously furnished. Terraces provide excellent views of the ranch and mountains around, both of which are abundant with flora and fauna. A creek runs through the ranch.
Ye renovated parts of the property in June 2022.
SHERP is a Ukrainian all-terrain vehicle (ATV) made by Quadro International, famous for its tank-like car that can easily travel on land as well as in water.
Ye reportedly has eight of these vehicles, which are parked at his Cody ranch. Each of his all-black ATV beasts costs around USD 120,000. And he even gifted one SHERP to fellow rapper 2 Chainz, whose pictures the latter shared on Instagram.
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SHERP produces multiple variants of its ATP designed for intense operations such as rescue missions, oil exploration and deep diving. They can be customised to carry cargo or passengers from two to 22. Normally, the vehicles have an approach clearance of one metre. They are slow but incredibly efficient in off-road travel, including the toughest of terrains. One of its most unique features is that SHERP vehicles have an incredibly low turning radius, which makes it possible to easily turn the vehicle in the narrowest of paths.
Ye showed off one of his ATVs in his 2019 music video, “Follow God.” The video was filmed on the Cody ranch and featured his father.
Hidden Hills mansion
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When things were not going right between him and Kim, Ye bought a single-storey mansion in the posh Hidden Hills, California, in December 2021. The mansion is located just across the road from another mansion that Ye and Kim bought together for USD 60 million, whose full ownership went to Kim as part of divorce proceedings in October 2021.
The new mansion that Ye purchased cost him USD 4.5 million. The 334-sq-metre property has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, with a pool and a horse stable. Its massive front lawn is covered by drought-resistant AstroTurf.
The property was in possession of its original owners since it was built in 1955, which means its ownership never changed hands till Ye bought it.
Another of Ye’s real-estate possessions reportedly includes a beachfront house in Malibu designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who is also known in horological circles for his watch collaboration with Bulgari.
The 340-square-metre three-storey house was built in 2013. Its previous owners include voice actor Edie Boddicker and her composer husband Michael Boddicker followed by Richard Sachs.
The Malibu home has a glass pivot door facing the beach. There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms. It has direct access to Malibu beach and faces the Pacific Ocean.
The house was originally listed for USD 75 million, but Ye acquired it in September 2021 for USD 57 million. He immediately got down to renovating the property to his own liking.
Although celebrities owning private jets is not new, possessing the Boeing 747 is rare and expensive. The double-decker aircraft is designed to seat 660 people for a commercial flight. It is also the aircraft type which is operated by Air Force One for the US president.
Perhaps Ye was all too clear about his presidential ambitions in 2018 when he received a private Boeing 747 as a gift from Team Adidas for his Yeezy brand.
Dubbed the “Yeezy floating office,” its interiors are redesigned to make it fit for a private luxurious flight. One of the biggest private jets owned by a celebrity, the massive space of the aircraft houses everything — from a luxury double-bed suite to guest rooms and lounge area to marble bathrooms fit for its high-flying owner.
Kim gave her fans a look inside the aircraft when she was boarding it with Ye, who can easily call himself the owner of the biggest private jet in the world.
(Main and Featured images: Angela Weiss/AFP)