Kanye West’s recent appearance on the Drink Champs podcast has dominated the conversation in Hip-Hop since its premiere on Thursday (Nov. 4), as the rapper, producer, and fashion mogul split time between giving insights into his career and airing dirty laundry.
Among the topics discussed during Ye’s sit-down with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN was the massive success of his Yeezy brand, which has carried the Chicago native to billionaire status. However, unbeknownst to many, Ye revealed that it was rapper Beanie Sigel who originally coined the name “Yeezy” during their tenure as labelmates on Roc-A-Fella Records.
According to The Broad Street Bully, Kanye has promised to pay him $50 million, along with a 5% stake in the brand to compensate him for his contribution. “I got a phone call from the muthafu**a the other day,” Sigel said during an appearance at a Philadelphia venue. “He said Sig gon’ get $50 million and five percent stock in Yeezy. And I don’t know if ni**as know, Yeezy’s did $1.7 billion last year.”
Beanie’s valuation of Yeezy appears to be on point, as the brand generated $1.7 billion in sales in 2020, with Yeezy himself taking home $191 million in royalties. Having inked long-term deals with Adidas and Gap, the growth of the Yeezy brand appears to be moving forward exponentially and could net Sigel a pretty penny if Kanye were to follow up on his alleged offer.
While he didn’t confirm an exact dollar amount, the DONDA rapper did acknowledge that he owed his former collaborator a few coins during his interview on Drink Champs, but that he hasn’t had the opportunity to pay off the debt as of yet. “I still owe Beanie money and I’ve been trying to give him this money for a minute,” Ye told N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. “I’m like, ‘This man made up the name.’ It’s like the lady who made the Nike swoosh, Phil Knight [co-founder and former CEO of Nike] made sure she was straight.”
Kanye also touched on the origin of the Yeezy name, as well as his personal relationship with Beanie during their time as labelmates in the early aughts. “[Yeezy] was Beanie’s name for me when I was in Baseline [Studios],” Ye said. “Like on some, ‘Oh, that’s Yeezy,’ make him one of us. He let me wear his State Property chain. He really just embraced me.”
Check out Kanye West’s Drink Champs episode below.