How Much Do Rappers Charge For Features?

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It costs a lot of money to make your favorite collaborations—and we’re not just talking about studio and production expenses.

Guest verses have become a very lucrative business in rap. Some artists trade verses amongst collaborators for free, but others have used features as an opportunity to cash out. Rappers were once tight-lipped about their feature rates, but over the last few years, some artists have been more transparent about how much money they’re bringing in. According to their lyrics and interview soundbites, it’s safe to say they’re raking in a lot of cash. If you want a verse from any major rapper right now, from Nicki Minaj to J. Cole to Lil Baby, it will likely cost you more than six figures.

A rapper’s guest verse rate is a sign of relevance, and as their popularity grows, so does their rate. DaBaby, for instance, went from charging $5,000 to $300,000 in a matter of three years. A higher price tag also means higher expectations, though. If an artist is charging six figures for a guest verse, it better translate to a big bump in sales or critical acclaim. 

We compiled a list of what some of the biggest artists in the industry are charging for guest verses, according to their past lyrics, interviews, and collaborators. Of course, these are just the numbers they claim they charge. There’s an incentive for artists to exaggerate and inflate the figures in song lyrics and interviews, so you can decide for yourself how accurate they seem. Rates can change quickly, too. Just because Kendrick Lamar was charging one rate a few years ago doesn’t mean he hasn’t raised it by now. With that being said, here are the closest publicly available figures we could dig up.

Polo G

Price: $150k
Source: GQ interview
Date: April 2021

Polo G only rose to prominence recently, but with the success of critically acclaimed albums over the last two years, his status has grown exponentially. In October 2020, Polo revealed on Twitter that he was charging $85k for a feature. But in a matter of six months, that price has already shot up. In April 2021, he said that he charges up to $150k for a verse. “I take everything I do seriously. So, I know you gonna get a good verse out of me,” he explained. His appearances on songs like Rod Wave’s “Richer” or SpotemGottem’s “Beatbox 5” helped both records rise up the streaming charts.

Nicki Minaj

Price: $250k – $500k
Source: Mentioned on “My Nigga (Remix)” and Davido in W magazine interview
Date: 2014 and October 2020 

Nicki Minaj has a long track record of delivering worthwhile guest verses, so of course, her feature rates are high. On 2014’s “My Nigga (Remix)” Nicki mentioned that she “just got 250 thousand for a verse.” But according to Nicki’s collaborator Davido in 2020, she “be charging people $500,000 for verses.” It might just be worth the money, though. A Nicki Minaj verse can potentially boost your sales and reputation. Doja Cat, for instance, has been building buzz for years, but recruiting Nicki Minaj for the “Say So (Remix)” helped catapult her into a whole new league. Together, they made history by scoring a No. 1 hit and becoming the first two female rappers to top the Hot 100 together. A Nicki Minaj feature does more than just translate to chart stats. She has also been known to draw critical attention to a record. Sada Baby’s “Whole Lotta Choppas” was a successful song, but the remix, which was released in October 2020, helped push the record to even more buzzy critical acclaim. The track didn’t break the top 20 on the charts, but it did find a place in a number of year-end lists. From “Monster” to “Bottoms Up” to “Say So (Remix),” Nicki Minaj’s presence on a track will often bring it to new heights.

Lil Baby

Price: $100k+
Source: Twitter
Date: June 2020

Lil Baby has been in his bag for the last year and a half, delivering some of the most consistently quality guest verses in rap. In June 2020, he alerted fans that he wants $100k for a feature. That’s a relatively low price for a rapper who had the most consumed album of 2020 in the US, especially when you look at his track record as a collaborator. On recent songs like J. Cole’s “Pride is the Devil” and DJ Khaled’s “Every Chance I Get,” Lil Baby gave two of his best performances yet, and in most cases, he steals the show from the other artists on the track. It’s difficult to take attention away from an artist as big as J. Cole, or even DJ Khaled, who often recruits at least three A-list artists to hop on a single track. But in each case, Lil Baby shined. At this point, $100k is a bargain. Although, his rate has likely increased since last June. Even Lil Durk and Quality Control’s Pierre “Pee” Thomas suggested Lil Baby should at least double his asking price. 

Kendrick Lamar

Price: $250k – $400k (if you can convince him to do it at all)
Source: Dave Free in a Complex cover story
Date: August 2014

Kendrick Lamar doesn’t give out guest verses often these days, but back in 2014 anyway, he was charging close to half a million per verse. According to Dave Free in a Complex cover story seven years ago, a typical Kendrick verse costs between $250k and $400k. The price tag is usually worth it, and in most cases, Kendrick can take a single to a new level. In 2017, he appeared on Rich the Kid’s “New Freezer,” which became Rich’s second-highest charting single of his career (No. 41). The record was also certified two times platinum. ASAP Ferg later revealed that he was supposed to be on the track, but Kendrick insisted on having the only feature on the song. Kendrick also has a crossover appeal that can elevate pop records. He collaborated on Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” in 2014, and in 2017, he salvaged what he could of Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know.” Over the past few years, the quantity of Kendrick features has decreased substantially, and if the rules of supply and demand apply here, we suspect his price has increased considerably since 2014.

21 Savage

Price: Six figures
Source: 21 Savage’s manager Meezy 
Date: January 2021

21 Savage has been relatively selective when it comes to greenlighting features. He usually only agrees to do a handful of features each year, and it will cost you six figures, his manager Meezy confirmed in January 2021. Although Meezy wouldn’t specify the exact price, your $100k+ will score you some of the best trap lyrics in the game right now, and potentially earn some mainstream success. 21 Savage helped boost Cardi B’s success when he jumped on 2017’s “Bartier Cardi.” Though the Bronx rapper was coming off the massive success of “Bodak Yellow,” she confirmed that a lot of rappers said no to collaborating on her debut album Invasion of Privacy, but Savage’s slick and menacing verse on the second single turned “Bartier Cardi” into an undeniable banger and helped build Cardi’s credibility in rap. The collaboration also peaked at No. 14, which outperformed other singles that dropped from the album, like “Drip” with the Migos and “Ring” with Kehlani. 21 Savage has a track record of helping artists get their first Billboard placement as well. “Rockstar,” his collaboration with Post Malone, became both artists’ first-ever No. 1 single and has been certified diamond since March 2019. 

DaBaby

Price: $300k
Source: Instagram Stories
Date: February 2021

Back in January 2019, DaBaby was charging just $5,000 for a verse. But after the success of albums like Kirk and Blame it on Baby, he revealed that his price has gone up. Now, the rapper is charging $300k for a verse. Sure, it’s a steep price for a fairly new artist, but that bag can potentially lead to a commercial boost. On Oct. 1, DaBaby hopped on the remix of Dua Lipa’s pop anthem “Levitating,” and it was an automatic hit. The record peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received rave reviews from critics. While the remix had the same production as the original, DaBaby added a fresh intro and a pop rap verse that blurred genre lines. His verse boosted its radio appeal, and the song ultimately peaked at No. 4 on the US Mainstream Top 40 chart and No. 2 on the US Adult Top 40. Three stacks can get you an undeniable rap hit as well. On Megan Thee Stallion’s May 2019 single “Cash Shit,” DaBaby gave a memorable performance with a verse full of braggadocious one-liners. The track only peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it ignited a spark between Megan and DaBaby, and that chemistry would later come up again on their 2020 collab, “Cry Baby.” 

YK Osiris

Price: $100k
Source: Instagram Live
Date: October 2020

“Stop asking me for verses… If you don’t got $100k, I’m not doing it,” YK Osiris declared on Instagram Live in October 2020. While the Jacksonville, Florida rapper has found some notoriety, thanks to singles like “Valentine” and “Worth It,” it’s difficult to find receipts to back up YK Osiris’ lofty asking price. As of 2021, YK Osiris has yet to deliver any huge features. In 2019, he appeared on DaBaby’s single “Gospel” along with Gucci Mane and Chance the Rapper. The single peaked at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100, but attributing the track’s success to YK Osiris would be overlooking the influence of the three other artists, who have much bigger platforms. So it looks like YK Osiris may have to put in a little more work before he makes such a big ask. 

Roddy Ricch

Price: Money can’t buy (he’s turned down $100k+ features)
Source: Beat 92.3 radio interview with Roddy
Date: April 2020

In July 2019, YouTuber Patrick Cc confirmed that Roddy was charging around $25k for a feature, which is incredibly low considering what you could get for it. But it seems that Roddy quickly changed his standards. As of April 2020, he suggested that artists couldn’t just buy a feature from him. In fact, he’s actually turned down $100k for collaborations. “I just be into myself because shit that’s forced, I don’t like that shit,” Roddy said in a radio interview. “It ain’t about the money to me. It’s about just really making good music.” Roddy explained that he would rather spend his studio time collaborating with people in the industry with whom he had real relationships with. That standard is likely a big reason why his collaborations have performed so well. Roddy and DaBaby’s “Rockstar” spent seven weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020. Nipsey Hussle’s “Racks in the Middle,” which Roddy provided the hook for, peaked at No. 11 and earned a 2020 Grammy for Best Rap performance. Mustard’s “Ballin’” was another song that earned notoriety, becoming Roddy’s first Grammy nomination for Best Rap/Sung Performance. It’s all success that money can’t buy.

Rich the Kid

Price: $120k
Source: Instagram Stories
Date: January 2020

In January 2020, Rich the Kid revealed on his Instagram Stories that he was charging $120k for a verse. In the past two years, Rich the Kid appeared on a fairly large number of songs, including Tyga’s “Girls Have Fun” and Gucci Mane’s “She Miss Me,” but none of them really match the six figures he’s asking for. Only one of the seven tracks, Blueface’s “Daddy,” charted on the Hot 100 (No. 78). 

J. Cole

Price: $2,000 per word
Source: “The London” 
Date: March 2019 

In 2019, J. Cole broke away from his reputation as an artist who rarely collaborates by delivering a string of features. In his verse on Young Thug’s “The London,” Cole hinted at how much he charges. He didn’t give the number in a traditional way, though. He revealed his rate by the word, rapping, “A verse from me is like eleven birds/Just did the math, that’s like two thousand dollars every word.” On the same single, Cole’s verse is approximately 210 words, which by his calculations would come to $420k. On other records, Cole usually stays between 200-350 words, which could mean his price racks up to $700k. This, of course, is true only if you believe the lyric. It could have just been a boastful line, and Cole isn’t really out here charging by the word. Who’s to say?

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