Kanye West is $53 million in debt – why this is not a big deal

If you spend any amount of time on social media, you may have heard or read that Kanye West took to Twitter in an attempt to share the pains of being trapped in a life of luxury.






In his recent Twitter rant, ‘Ye unveiled a newfound modesty revealing that he currently carries $53 million in personal debt. This he says, is due to him pursuing living out his dreams of becoming a player in the fashion industry.

While that definitely seems absurd and anything but modest, seeing as he is married to someone who gets paid millions for absolutely nothing and once dubbed himself the Louie Vuitton Don, a few recent articles in Yahoo! Finance and Vanity Fair among others pointed out how that is not as outlandish as us commoners think.

First off, launching a fashion line is tough and expensive. Yeezus has been trying since 2009 to get his foot in the door, and has had at least three forays into a fashion line that never made it into stores. One reportedly set him back $30 million according to a 2013 interview with Jean Touitou, the founder of the French line A.P.C.

Sure his Yeezy collaborations with Nike and now Adidas have been wildly successful, but according to West himself, his first season with Adidas cost him $16 million, according to an interview last year with BET.

From a personal finance standpoint, he’s not in a much more terrible position that any of us are (or will be) with our own personal debts. Kanye makes somewhere around $22-30 million a year according to Slate‘s  Jordan Weissman. And think about the power he holds in how far his reach extends, I mean the guy has 20 million Twitter followers, if he really wanted to raise the funds he’s cyber-begging Mark Zuckerberg for, he could reach out to a company and ask for a $50 million fee for a sponsored tweet.

Emily Jane Fox at Vanity Fair puts it this way:

“In some regard, West’s tweets may simply have been an elaborate and modern version of a pitch deck in search of that true marker of early 21st century creative genius: Series A funding. Indeed, he publicly solicited the help of Mark Zuckerberg, whom he asked for $1 billion to keep making art. He also said he would be willing to accept money from Google’s Larry Page. Any other hedge-funder or bigwig with pennies to spare would do, too. These guys, after all, know that $53 million is a small price tag for a moonshot.”

So before you go feeling sorry for this specific deeply indebted college dropout, just remember he ain’t gonna be hurtin’ too long.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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