Editorial: How much do rappers charge for features?

With the resurgence of live performances this summer amid pandemic deregulations, artists had to find a way to stay financially afloat without any concerts or touring over the past year.

Touring accounts for most of an artist’s annual revenue — and without it — it can cripple their financial responsibilities to not only themselves, but their respective teams, friends and family. However, equipped with the power of streaming services and social media, another avenue rappers explored throughout COVID-19 is taking advantage of the collaborative aspect of hip-hop.

Feature prices have been a long discussed topic in hip-hop, and to help put it into perspective, here’s a tier list of how much some of our favorite artists charge for a guest spot:

$500k-$1M+

These artists are all guaranteed to provide a massive audience to anyone they work with. Travis Scott, Kendrick, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and Chris Brown populate this list. Rappers like 21 Savage, Roddy Ricch and J. Cole only work with people that they deem worthy of collaboration, rendering a verse from them near priceless.

Chris Brown and Drake via @champagnepapi on IG

$250k-$500k

Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Wayne and Future could all be in the tier above but have made themselves a little more affordable to increase the number of newcomers they get the chance to work with. These are all artists who are ahead of the curve when it comes to collaborating with up-and-comers, so it makes sense that they charge a little less than the elusive group at the top.

Young Thug and Lil Uzi Vert in the music video for ‘What’s the Move’

$100k-$250k

In this tier, we find the certified hitmakers of our generation. These are rappers who have been consistent enough in recent history to justify a six-figure price range. Lil Baby, Polo G, Gunna, Rich the Kid, NBA Youngboy, Offset and 2 Chainz are all artists that would provide a fantastic opportunity for any new artist to gain a huge amount of followers.

Lil Baby and Gunna via Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

$50k-$100k

Even if you’re not trying to drop six figures on a feature, there are still plenty of options for features. Ski Mask the Slump God, Swae Lee, Lil Yachty, PnB Rock, Meek Mill, Moneybagg Yo, Blueface, Megan Thee Stallion, NAV and Tory Lanez are nothing to scoff at. Consisting mostly of newer artists, the difference in price is reflected only in length of career rather than actual skill.

Ski Mask the Slump God and Lil Yachty via Republic Records

<$50k

$50,000 is still a large amount of money, but the range for features is so steep in the rap game that these are the most affordable on the spectrum of artists who are getting steady plays. Dave East, Boosie Badazz, Lil Tecca, Yo Gotti, Kid Laroi, Tech N9ne, Lil Durk, G Herbo and NLE Choppa are all options within this budget. The caliber of artists here is a little more generous, but considering the numbers these rappers put up, they are definitely entitled to their prices.

G Herbo and Lil Durk via @lildurk on Twitter

Generally speaking, the amount of money being charged for a feature from an artist ultimately depends on the relationship between collaborators. Many artists do pro bono features for the newcomers they want to work with as the soundscape continually evolves.

Nevertheless, it seems as though you’ll be charged a pretty penny to get your favorite artist on one of your songs.

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