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Billionaire Kanye West Claimed He Was $53 Million In Debt Six Years Ago. Here’s Where the Money Went.

Kanye West may be one of the first hip-hop artists to become a billionaire in 2020, but there was a time his overspending led him into debt. Today, the 45-year-old mogul is worth an estimated $2.2 billion. 

In 2016, the rapper famously tweeted in 2016 to announce his $53 million debt.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Kanye West leaving the Burberry S/S 2022 Catwalk Show during London Fashion Week September 2022 on September 26, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)

He had been overspending, and a lot of his money, it seems, was going to his then-wife, Kim Kardashian, whom he married in 2014. She filed for divorce in February 2021, and they are still in the middle of divorce proceedings.

Kanye’s Coins

Much of West’s wealth is tied up in his apparel businesses: The combined value of West’s Yeezy sneaker partnership with Adidas and his clothing line with the Gap were worth $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion, according to a UBS report from February 2022. But West recently severed ties with Gap and his partnership with Adidas is currently under review by the company after the rapper made remarks on Twitter deemed anti-Semitic.

West has assets worth an additional $1.7 billion, including a major investment in Kardashian’s successful Skims shapewear line.

His music catalog is worth $110 million, according to Bloomberg.

Here are 10 purchases on which Kanye reportedly has splurged:

1. Kardashian’s Engagement Ring: He spent an estimated $2.5 million to $3 million on the 15-carat diamond ring designed by celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz.

2. Jet-setting at more than $33,000 per flight. West favors private jet trips, domestic and international. According to TMZ, when Kardashian was pregnant with her daughter North in 2013, West made at least three trips from Paris to L.A. via private jet to attend doctors’ appointments with Kardashian. Those three trips reportedly had a $100,000 price tag.

3. Flowers for the wife: According to Elle, Kanye used to like to send lots of flowers to Kim. On Valentine’s Day 2014, for example, West bought 1,000 red roses for about $3,750. On a particular Mother’s Day, he purchased an entire wall of white roses, hydrangeas and peonies for $136,000, Bankrate reported. That totals roughly $140,000 for flowers within a six-month period.

4. Customized Birkin Bags: Up To $240,000. West also liked gifting his wife Birkin bags. The designer bags range from $10,000 to $100,000 each, according to “Entertainment Tonight.”

5. 2015 Christmas Gifts for Kardashian (more than $39,000) Santa was good to Kardashian for Christmas 2015. West bought her more than 150 gifts, including a multi-colored Louis Vuitton fur coat that retailed for about $39,000, according to People.

6. 2014 Christmas Gifts for North West: $74,000. West splurged on his firstborn, daughter North. He reportedly spent about $74,000 on gifts for her, including a $62,000 diamond tiara for the toddler, according to

7. Golden Skull for Jay-Z: West bought Jay-Z a $34,000 Lions & Sons’ Divora Skull in yellow gold, featuring red topaz stones, for Father’s Day, according to Complex. And he personally delivered it via private jet.

8. Jewelry to wear at BET Awards: At the 2010 BET Awards, he donned jewelry designed by Jacob & Co., jeweler to the stars, and valued at more than $300,000 for his performance, according to Rap-Up.

9. Diamond-Encrusted Teeth: West once told Vanity Fair that he had diamonds permanently installed across the bottom of his mouth. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Jay Rashbaum told the Daily News the cost would be at $1,000 to place each diamond tooth, not including the stones. The newspaper estimated West’s permanent grill was about $60,000.

10. Armored SUVs: West reportedly spent more than $2 million on a pair of armored Prombron SUVs built by Latvian-based Dartz Motors, according to the New York Daily News.

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