JAY-Z, Kanye West and Diddy count themselves among Hip Hop’s wealthiest individuals, and they can now also consider themselves among several celebrities who won’t have to pay back the federal government over Paycheck Protection Program loans.
According to The Daily Mail, the trio took out a total of $6.3 million in PPP loans to help secure 335 jobs amongst their various companies. Diddy borrowed $1,929,252 for his Revolt Media company, Ye borrowed $2,363,585 for his Yeezy LLC company, while Hov took out a combined $2,399,517 for two companies, Tidal and Armand De Brignac Holdings. Per ProPublica, Yeezy’s loan status is “not disclosed” despite the Yeezy sneaker line increasing in profits during the pandemic, from $1.3 billion in 2020 to $1.7 billion in 2021, an increase of 31 percent.
The Paycheck Protection Program was offered for small businesses and companies to help keep employees afloat during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program ended on May 31, 2021, and existing borrowers are eligible for the loan forgiveness program as the economy has slowly begun shifting back toward pre-pandemic levels.
Not everyone who took out a PPP loan were given the chance to be granted forgiveness. Several individuals, including Mo Fayne of Love & Hip Hop fame and Baby Blue of Pretty Ricky were handed down prison sentences for fraud relating to misuse of PPP loans.
Fayne was sentenced to over 17 years behind bars for running a multi-million dollar ponzi scheme, bank fraud and wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Nothern District of Georgia said Fayne submitted a $3.7 million PPP loan application to United Community Bank in April 2020 to assist with his trucking company. However, the federal government concluded Fayne had improperly used the money given to him through the loan program, buying custom jewelry, paying back child support, leasing a new Rolls-Royce and more.