Livin’ large, cavorting around town in fancy cars, and spending the Benjamins on hot chicks and flashy rags. Do rappers in general give the wrong message about moola? You bet.
Granted, these songs stem from personal experience, creative expression, and an individual perspective. And there are plenty of rap songs that give a nuanced look at money and what it represents to the artists. That being said, rappers oftentimes do give the wrong message on how wealth is built. They also tend to exude unrealistic money habits (note: cool money management apps are not included.)
Here are some songs that reveal what rappers get wrong about money, as well as some #truthbombs. Warning: song lyrics may be explicit.
“Money Bag” by Cardi B
What It Says About Money: To appear like a wealthy “money bag,” one must be driving Bentleys, Maybachs and Ferraris. To be blingy is to be wealthy.
#MoneyTruthBomb: Sure, you may look like a million bucks, but the truth is: you could be swimming in deep debt. And, depending on your values and life goals, true wealth is expressed differently. For some, this means having the option to take some time off work to see the world. Others may decide to live out of an RV. There are times when wealth simply means enjoying financial freedom, and not having to stress out about money.
At the end of the day, money is a tool – nothing more, nothing less. Like modest types like Warren Buffet and Dave Grohl, some real-deal money bags prefer not to flaunt it.
“1st of tha Month” by Bone Thugs and Harmony
What It Says About Money: Now that you got paid, you should blow it on dope, booze, and other vices.
#MoneyTruthBomb: Waiting on your paycheck sucks. Whether it’s the first of the month or the 15th, we’ve all been there. You shouldn’t have to wait to get paid to treat yoself. In fact, if you’re a Chime bank member and set up direct deposit, you can get paid up to two days early.
To boot, spending it all on your vices is just plain irresponsible. A smarter way to spend on those guilty pleasures is to save for them. This way you won’t feel like you’re missing out on life too much while also keeping an eye toward the future.
“It’s All About the Benjamins” by Puff Daddy
What It Says About Money: We should aim to have massive wealth so we can achieve big baller status and flaunt our wealth. Wads of cash are to be spent on flashy rides, swimming in hot women, and donning five-carat diamond rings.
#MoneyTruthBomb: Blowing your cash and living entirely in the here and now will only lead to destitution. Before you know it, you’ll be in the poorhouse.
I consider this a half-truth. In my humble opinion, money is – in many ways – everything. It affects our physical and emotional well-being in profound ways. If kept unchecked, money woes can create stress and prevent you from living life to its fullest.
There’s nothing wrong with being money-hungry. By all means you should focus on building your wealth. But, it’s best not to blow it. Instead, practice a bit of prudence. While you should certainly enjoy life, you should save for the future, too.
“I Get Money” by 50 Cent
What It Says About Money: If you have a lot of money, you should try to spend all of it on the high life.
#MoneyTruthBomb: Instead of blowing your hard-earned money to appear rich, you’ll want to spend it in line with your values. You should also set some aside some cash for emergencies, and prioritize your other saving goals such as retirement, a house and your kids’ college fund.
“$ave Dat Money” by Lil Dicky
What It Says About Money: I thought I’d end things on a positive note and include a rap song that revealed a money truth. Granted, this is a tongue-in-cheek rap song that goes against the mainstream, but it makes a point to preach good money habits. Yes, save that money, don’t charge on credit and buy off-brand at Walgreens. Build your savings as soon as you can, and purchase your flights for travel well ahead of time.
#MoneyTruthBomb: Chances are that true wealth isn’t going to come from an unexpected windfall of cash or inheritance. If you want to enjoy high net worth, “slow and steady” wins the race. It’s those everyday habits that will help you build that stash of cash.
Keep It Real By Focusing on Developing Solid Habits
These rap songs may spread unrealistic ideas about financial habits and how to make money, but this doesn’t mean you have to live your life this way. Instead, try focusing on the nuts and bolts of financial wellness, such as understanding spending triggers and automating your savings. This will set you on the right path to a financially fit you.