B.M.F (Blowing Money Fast)

Aug 09, 2010 @ 2:32 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 6 Comments

Hip-Hop is the first thing that I discovered on my own when I was young that i feel in love with. The genre has reinvented itself several times since its birth. It went from being the ghetto CNN, the conscious of the people, and rapping about the social ills of the time to becoming an elitist uber misogynistic movement that only talks about “money, hoes, and clothes”. According to CNNmoney.com the recession started in December 2007. This is the worst economic crisis since the great depression. Everybody knows someone who has been out of a job on a long-term basis. People with degrees are forced to work out of there field for lower pay to remain afloat. Most Americans have been on unemployment for at least two years. This group of Americans is affectionately known as the “99-ers”.

By now you must be wondering what does this have to do with hip-hop, well sometimes I wonder if hip-hop artist are aware that the majority of their loyal fan base can’t afford a “champagne diet”. I remember the first time I heard the song “money to blow” by Baby ft Drake and Lil Wayne, I loved the beat the lyrics were okay, but I remember being super offended by the lyrics. I don’t have money to blow and even if I did in this horrific recession, I would have to think twice about doing that. I understand that wealth is the sacred-calf in capitalism, especially for people of color because wealth is new to us in America. As minorities our relationship with money is highly volatile and toxic. Our first inclination when we get some money is to spend it on depreciating assets. Depreciating assets such clothes, shoes, cars, and any other items that “symbolizes” that you have money to blow.

If you are systematically poor and your house is located on the poverty line and your favorite rapper is talking about blowing money fast, I have to wonder what those lyrics do to one’s psyche. Music or art should reflect in my opinion reality. I understand completely that art is a form of escapism. In this urban jungle we can use all the legal/cheap escapism that we can get, but I would like the music I listen to reflect my reality and the world I navigate through.  Grant it I know Drake doesn’t drive a scion like me, lives with his mother, or worries about student loans and surmounting credit card debt, but as an unemployed American I want to be respected and want my voice heard in every arena. Hip-hop use to be the pulse of the community. Hip-Hop artist were the griots of there specific community that used their lyrics to give us a preview of the native condition of ghetto people, but now all we get is debauchery, lustful lyrics, and whole entire albums of rappers giving fashion designers/labels, liquor companies, and luxury car makers free publicity. The most disappointing thing that I find in these vapid self-indulgent lyrics is that the rappers aren’t even clever in the way in which they paint the decadent picture.

NPR.com reported that unemployment rates among Blacks is at 10% much higher than the national average and among other minority groups. With a recession that is plaguing both the private and public sector how can the subject of the recession be ignored in hip-hop?  A genre of music that started on a grass-roots level.  The rapper Young Jeezy released an album in 2008 called “Recession”, but I can’t take an album named “Recession” seriously when you have lyrics that state “My Presidents Black my Lambo’s blue”. This is where I have to part with Jeezy because my scion is blue but its  no Lamborghini. Has hip-hop become so mainstream  and out of touch that it no longer cares about the fans it claims to mainly represent?  What happened to keeping it real? The overwhelming majority of hip-hop fans are working men and women who can’t buy out the bar. They act like they can, but they can’t. Hip-hop needs to start acting like it gives a damn about the masses and our current reality!

Categories: Mind Over Chatter

6 Responses to “ B.M.F (Blowing Money Fast) ”

  1. Well said, but I will keep this comment short and to the point the main issue is that Hip Hop has changed and it has changed for the worst. These artist are selling out just to get a buck. Their message is set on a connotative tone and it’s not about speaking for the masses but for themselves. It’s about trying to make it out and living the life we all dreamed about. I won’t reiterate what you’ve already expressed but I will say this no matter how much we try to get the masses not to conform to the social norm we’ve just have to remember that if we listened to an artist that can keep our channels open, the message will flow through and the speech will be received and decoded by the masses.

  2. I’m glad that you high-lighted this issue, rappers “putting on” for their fans is detrimental in more ways than one. Like you stated, rappers’ discography often displays outlandish indulgence; which prompts their fans to seek immediate satisfaction to keep up with their favorite artists. But the problem for me is the fact that the artistry of Hip-Hop has deteriorated to gimmicks. Music is suppose to inspire and be a reflection of the times, in the case of modern Hip-Hop it inspires nothing but bad spending habits and it reflects the reason why we got into a recession in the first place. I don’t want to sound like a music-elitist, but there is a connection between people who listen to these Marie-Antoinette-esque rappers, and people who are in immense debt. Its sad to say but the once voice-of-the-people genre is now the bane-of-black existence.

  3. I tottally agree…yet I always end up bumping to the music and cranking it up. Honestly I always felt that Cash money (Baby ,Birdman especially) boast’s too much about having money. The beat and the melody masks the realities of how we’re living our lives. However, who wants to hear a rap song about the recession. Music is suppose to sometimes heal the wounds of our realities. It just too bad that rappers lyrics simply just say”NAH NANNY BOO BOO” I got more loot than you. & we sadly love them for it…FML!!!LMAO…can’t wait until I’m done with school. But then again I’ll be stuck in that pattern of owing the school and still being in debt…EFFF!!!!!!!!!!

  4. @ JKay -If the country as a whole is experiencing a recession why would you not want to hear about it? It ridiculous for rappers to assume that everyone listening to their music is “balling out of control”. What is wrong with keeping it real?! Every rapper is not swimming in the dough, therefore be real! I would love to hear a clever lyricists over a tight beat rap about the recession and relate to me where I am! We have to stop accepting fantasy for reality. GOOD MUSIC can be enlightening and dope at the same time.

  5. Very well said. I’ve been saying this for years, I cant relate to a lot of the music : /

  6. Lutze you make very good points. However, we can’t just blame rappers for what happened to Hip-Hop. We share in the blame. What artists are we supporting? What albums are we buying? Why is it that when Eminem came out with positive lyrics most people didn’t know who he was? Why does Jay-Z have to “dumb down” for his audience in order to sell albums?

    I think music can have a nice beat and have meaningful lyrics too. We don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. It doesn’t depress me to hear Hip-Hop tackle the hard issues either. If important issues don’t get talked about then they get ignored.

    I’m glad Lupe Fiasco and other Hip-Hop artists out there refuse to dumb down their lyrics. We need to talk about these artists, request their songs on the radio, buy their albums and go to their shows. Only then may we start seeing Hip-Hop truly be “the conscience of the people” again.

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