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Why is Kanye West in $53 million personal debt?

The American hip hop recording artist only needs to explore his options if Facebook and Alphabet’s CEOs don’t respond to his plea.
By Lynda C. Corpuz |



Kanye West
IN TROUBLE. Kanye West's West’s debt would not have ballooned like that if he did not undertake costly creative projects with his own money. Photo from Flickr / Jason Persse

Even if Forbes reported that he raked in a pre-tax total of $72 million in the past 3 years, American hip hop recording artist and record producer Kanye West said via Twitter over the weekend that he is saddled in $53 million of personal debt.



Also via Twitter over the weekend, he appealed to Facebook's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion in his ideas. He also appealed for help to Alphabet Inc CEO Larry Paige to bankroll his ideas.


West himself said in 2015 that he was $16 million in personal debt.  But why the husband of Kim Kardashian (who also dabbles into ventures such as fashion, with his own clothing line selling high-end coats and jackets for $3,000 to $4,000), incurred such debt?


Related: 3 entrepreneurial lessons to learn from Kanye West 


West’s debt would not have ballooned like that if he did not undertake costly creative projects with his own money, Forbes’ Zack O’Malley Greenburg wrote, as based on industry insiders he spoke with. 


“He could get a corporate backer to front much of the cost,” Greenburg wrote for Forbes.



Public appeal


West tweeted that while he is personally rich and can buy furs and houses for his family, he further wrote, “but I need access to more money in order to bring more beautiful ideas to the world,” TIME magazine reported.



“If I spent my money on my ideas I could not afford to take care of my family. I am in a place that so many artist[s] end up,” he tweeted on February 16 (Manila time).


If Zuckerberg or Paige do not respond, West can still alleviate his financial woes by going on a tour—which is timely since he just launched his album, The Life of Pablo. Citing Pollstar, “West could bank tens of millions in just a few months on the road if he can keep costs under control,” Forbes added.


He can also opt to partner with organizations to create brands, like how Diddy and Dre partnered with Carlyle group, Diageo, HTC for “successful brands of their own,” Forbesnoted.


He is polarizing, sure, often having a spat with Taylor Swift, but West, more humbly tweeted, as TIME noted, “I just feel rich people are always too cool to ask for help trying to impress each other at dinner parties….I know y’all tired of music controlled by money and perception. I’m proud of every dime of debt I got.”



And looks like help is on its way, as West tweeted, “I am ultra light beaming right now. So many people have called or emailed to help today hedge fund guys, billionaires, etc.”




Lynda is the editor in chief of Follow her on Twitter, @lyndaccorpuz.

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