Lil Wayne recently dodged a bullet and is hanging out at champagne parties in Miami over the last week of May — but is this rapper with a net worth of $140 million actually heading to the poor house?
Lil Wayne has plenty of assets, but the low prices of his recent club tour called Release Partiez (that was originally set to end on May 31 in St. Louis but has now been extended) can make fans wonder if Lil Wayne might be strapped and desperate to get his hands on cash — or is he?
The Miami Herald reported on May 29 that “Lil Wayne was seen ‘poppin’ champagne like he won a championship game’ Friday at Club Ivy on South Beach during Miami’s Urban Beach Week.”
Apparently, Lil Wayne was taking time from his club tour to host a party complete with a “$5,000 three-liter Moët Nectar Impérial Rosé Leopard Luxury Edition bottle.”
Lil Wayne did not drink alone, and his celebrity entourage joined him to watch performer The Game’s show — and Lil Wayne even requested a microphone so he could sing along with The Game.
Obviously, this does not sound like a someone that is in serious need of money — or is this all just a front?
The alleged $140 million that makes up Lil Wayne’s net worth is definitely a lot of money, but it could mean that the money is tied up in assets or investments — as opposed to cash in hand.
Is Lil Wayne actually rich for someone in the music industry in the first place? In comparison to other rappers, Lil Wayne did not make 2015’s top five richest rappers list this year. Nevertheless, Lil Wayne is only slightly poorer than Birdman (number five on the list with $150 million) and 50 Cent (number four at $155 million).
Forbes Magazine states that Lil Wayne’s current net worth is primarily based on income from his music. Forbes states about Lil Wayne in 2012, “[b]ut the bulk of his earnings came from playing over 50 shows in the past 12 months, grossing upwards of $600,000 per night.”
Fast forward three years, and Lil Wayne is touring again — but this time its a club tour and he’s only charging $60,000!
Of course, it makes sense that Lil Wayne is performing for an audience in a club that is a 10h of the size of a concert venue — but is playing smaller shows for 10 percent of what he usually charges a sign of trouble for Lil Wayne?
Signs of financial trouble that may mean Lil Wayne is trying to get his hands on cash instead of holding onto assets include him selling a house. Lil Wayne put his Miami mansion on the real estate market in April for $18 million.
Perhaps, in order to make ends meet until he gets his $51 million lawsuit against his old label paid out, Lil Wayne needs to sell off some of his wealth to supplement his $5,000-per-bottle champagne lifestyle.
However, Lil Wayne says that he is doing the club tour (at such low prices) to promote new upcoming releases (like Tha Carter V or #FWA) — and he isn’t the only rapper trying this angle.
As it turns out, Wiz Khalifa is also going the same route as Lil Wayne and is charging considerably less for club performances. In Wiz Khalifa’s case, XXL Magazine states that he will DJ a party for the low price of $25,000.
Is this kind of pricing normal? According to Distractify, clubs or venues that get Wiz Khalifa or Lil Wayne at prices between $25,000 to $60,000 are getting a bargain. Distractify published an article in 2013 that showed the booking costs to hire top musicians for events.
Need cheaper options than Lil Wayne’s $600,000 charge for a concert performance? According to Degy Entertainment, for $100,000, you can hire Snoop Dogg, Lana Del Rey, or Selena Gomez for a full concert with tens of thousands of fans.
Lady Gaga and One Direction, on the other hand, demand $400,000 more per show than Lil Wayne’s venue concert performance price at a cool $1 million.
How much does it cost to tour as an independent performer? Lil Wayne is independent of his label former label, and that means he pays out of his own pocket for his own tour buses, management, and other staff needed for a club tour.
By comparison, Billboard Magazine interviewed the band Pomplamoose about their experiences with doing a 30-day, 23-city tour at clubs similar in size to the ones Lil Wayne is frequenting for $60,000 apiece.
About Pomplamoose, Billboard said, “In total the tour ended up costing the band, which chose to tour with a full complement of four additional musicians and two crew members, $147,802. For a two-person concern operating without the financial backing of a label, that’s a very large, very scary number.”
The band ended up falling short by $11,819.
In other words, like any band of any popularity most likely knows, it appears that the Lil Wayne club tour idea is not necessarily meant to be for profit — and therefore the club tour is not an attempt by Lil Wayne to scramble for any cash he can get.
It turns out that the main purpose of club tours with smaller audiences tend is not lining Lil Wayne’s pockets in the short-term — but the long term.
DIY Musician states that touring and doing promotion in social media or smaller venues is what increases merchandise sales for a musician — and improves crucial ticket sales for larger venues (where Lil Wayne and others make the big bucks).
Right on cue, Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa are both starting concert venue dates with tens of thousands of fans in June — but it appears that Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa’s love touring clubs so much that they will keep doing them.
For instance, Lil Wayne was due to end his Release Partiez tour on May 31, but, according to SongKick, it now appears that he will continue to add dates throughout the year until further notice.
[Feature image via Getty Images]