Money

Mo’ Money, Less Problems: 10 Times Rappers Gave Great Financial Advice

A truth universally acknowledged is that hip hop artists love to talk about money. They make it rain on the bonnet of fitted-out cars, invest in popular burger chains and wax lyrical about starting from the bottom. Considering they’re constantly surrounded by cash, it’s no surprise their lyrics drop some sound financial advice.

Sure, financial advisors are a great resource for cash flow organisation but they can also be expensive and a pain to find. So, for a life hack that doubles as a club jam, why not turn to your favourite rapper for some finance tips.

Here’s the playlist:

#1 “Mo’ money, mo’ problems”

Notorious B.I.G. ft Puff Daddy, Mase, ‘Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

Not only does money give you more options in life (and choice can be equally liberating and terrifying), but people have a funny way of magnetising towards someone who’s cashed up. Other people’s financial problems can suddenly become yours, if you’re not careful (see lyric #3).

It’s crucial to educate yourself about once foreign, grown up subjects like: what are investment properties and where should I get one? What on earth is a credit rating? Should I care about investing in shares? Is there any point to superannuation? Mo’ money, mo’ time spent preventing potential future problems this money may attract.

#2 “Where da dough at, baby? In the bank but you know I ain’t tryna blow that, baby”

Lil Dicky ft Fetty Wap, Rich Homie Quan, ‘$ave Dat Money

Sometimes the most simple of advice is the most effective. Where is your dough at? It should most certainly be in a bank account, and if possible, a high interest savings account that rewards you for not making withdrawals. Bank accounts are great for security purposes and they protect your large swathes of cash from gusts of wind.

#3 “Been taught to never loan somebody what you need right back”

Drake ft. 2 Chainz, Big Sean, ‘All Me

Loaning is awkward and weird, especially if you actually need the money for yourself. It also has the potential to ruin friendships and relationships if it gets out of hand, and nobody wants to end up burned like Drake. (Who hurt you, man?)

Firstly, are you actually in a position to loan money? And do you know if the person asking is in a position to pay you back in an amount of time you’re comfortable with? It’s hard when it’s family or friends; you can wind up making an emotional decision that could restrict your own plans. If you really want to support your friend Sean’s home tattoo parlour startup, make sure you have clear, written communication about any financial exchange. ‘Money and friends don’t mix’ is a saying for a reason.

#4 “I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in hell, I am a hustler baby, I sell water to a well”

Jay Z, ‘U Don’t Know

Relevant to freelancers or small business owners, here, Jay highlights how crucial it is to be able to put a unique spin on your services. Supply and demand is all about how you frame a product. Give them an offer they can’t refuse.

#5 “Cash rules everything around me”

Wu-Tang Clan, ‘C.R.E.A.M.

This is more of a cautionary tale about having an appropriate relationship with your cash flow. Understand that your finances and how much you earn will ultimately dictate what you can and can’t do. Five-day music festival in Byron Bay? Don’t ask us, C.R.E.A.M.

The Cusp finance expert Rob d’Apice says when you get your pay packet, “pay yourself first”. Use the 20% rule – “put 10% of it in one savings account and 10% in a separate type of savings account. Keep one for big short-term purchases: overseas holidays, a new Macbook… And keep the other one for the long-term: you’ll use this to buy a house or start a share portfolio.”

#6 “To whom much is given, much is tested”

Kanye West, ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing

Are you going to blow all of your cash money on designer wear, like Kanye? Or are you going to create a designer wear business, like Kanye? Search within yourself and figure out which Kanye is the Kanye you’d like to be, because the world has an uncanny way of testing you when you’re on top of it, and having a stable financial base is a good way to get through any challenges.

#7 “Floss a lil’, invest up in a mutual fund”

Busta Rhymes, ‘Dangerous

According to Urban Dictionary, ‘floss’ is street slang for showing off ridiculously expensive cars and clothes to your friends. So definitely take Busta’s sage advice and just floss a little*. Have some fun, but be sure to put the rest into a high interest, strong return mutual fund. Word up.

*For dental hygiene purposes, you should actually do that kind of flossing a lot. Preferably twice a day, according to dental professionals.

#8 “Earl Stevens had us thinking rational”

Kendrick Lamar, ‘Money Trees

Earl Stevens, also known by his stage name, E-40, is an established rapper, entrepreneur, investor and owner of multiple businesses. Due to savvy business decisions and logical thinking about the longevity of his career, he now has a net worth of $11 million (US$8 million). Get thinking rational, make decisions now while your metaphorical rap career is tight, to benefit you in the long term.

#9 “I’m up when the bird’s chirpin’, make actions, f**k rehearsing”

Tyler the Creator ft Domo Genesis & Earl Sweatshirt, ‘Rusty

Sometimes making money means actually doing things even when you don’t necessarily want to do them. Like, getting up at dawn for work. Or, just getting up. Nobody became a baller without a little elbow grease. Even Donna Summers agrees – she works hard for the money.

#10 “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man. Let me handle my business, damn.”

Kanye West ft Jay Z. ‘Diamonds From Sierra Leone

Make like Jay and understand your worth. Don’t undersell yourself or your services: back yourself and you’ll make bank. And don’t rely on just one person to handle your accounts, you should always know first-hand what is happening with your finances. Handle your business, remember? Damn.

Enjoy the shade of your money tree, ballers!


Josephine is a writer from Sydney. She has written for AWOL, Kaleido Press and is a commissioned poet for the Disappearing 2.0. She tweets nonsense here @josieannparsons.