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With the news that Lamar Kendrick won a Pulitzer Prize for music, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the best hip hop lyrics on money.
#1. “Let’s toast to paid mortgages, lasting marriages.”
This is one of my favorite lines from Talib Kweli. It really hits home for me. Paying off my mortgage was one of the best things that I ever did. It even did wonders for my marriage. By paying off our mortgage, my wife had the ability to stay at home to take care of her special needs sister and later, stay at home with our children. It has been a huge blessing to us and one that has helped strengthen our marriage. Both paid-off mortgages and lasting marriages are things to celebrate.
#2. “Money trees is the perfect place for shade.”
(Kendrick Lamar, “Money Trees”)
Growing up, whenever I asked for a new toy, my Dad would ask me if I had gone outside to water the money tree. I didn’t typically enjoy that response. However, years later, I now appreciate the concept of having a money tree.
My money tree is currently growing in the stock market. More importantly, my money tree provides shade (protection), when emergencies pop up, or even when I’m spending in areas I value.
#3. “Invest in your future, don’t dilute your finances, 401k, make sure it’s low risk, then get some real estate, 4.25% thirty-year mortgage.”
(Kendrick Lamar, “YOLO”)
Back-to-back lyrics on money from Kendrick Lamar. Although it’s from a parody song, it is still great advice. I love the advice on investing for your future. Don’t dilute your finances or invest with a lot of risk. Too many people try to get rich quickly and don’t take a long-term view on how to get there. By diversifying your portfolio, you increase your chances of reaching your financial goals.
#4. “Diversify your millions, you can live off the interest / Make every revenue stream flood, see where it took me.”
Kendrick Lamar isn’t the only one rapping about diversification. I love that Xzibit advises not to live off of all of your revenue. Instead, he suggests living off the interest to allow your diversified money to grow over time. I would love to grow my investments to the point that I would never need to touch the principal and could live only off the interest. The chances of being able to do this are small, but nevertheless, I am trying.
#5. “My mind on my money and my money on my mind.”
(Snoop Dogg, “Gin and Juice”)
Snoop Dogg was 22 when he came up with this line in a collaboration with Dr. Dre. I love that he knows that he has to pay attention to his money. Snoop is also famous for saying, “If you stop at general math, you’re only going to make general math money.”
He knows that he can’t outsource this responsibilities to others. The only person who truly cares about your money the most is you. Too many people hand over their money to a professional and don’t do the leg work to stay on top of their finances. Then, they act surprised when things go awry while they aren’t paying attention.
#6. “I’m surrounded by fake-a** crooks/They swear they kingpins but don’t have money on they books/I hear so many lies it make me sick.”
Many people on social media try hard to show off their wealth. They want to paint an image of an amazing life, but sometimes that image is fake. As I shared in my post, Why Do Your Friends Seem To Have More Money Than You, the image that many of your friends portray is simply not reality. That’s why I am a huge believer in stealth wealth. Nobody needs to know about your wealth except for you. The need to flaunt it may highlight a latent insecurity.
#7. “Control what I hold and of course be the boss of myself, no-one else will bring my wealth.”
(Big Daddy Kane, “A Job Ain’t Nothing But Work”)
I love that Big Daddy Kane is asserting that you need to be self-reliant when it comes to your wealth. You need to take the bull by its horns and figure out a way to hustle on your own. The chances of winning the lottery are low. Instead, control what you can control. Don’t make any excuses as to why you aren’t where you want to be with your wealth today.
#8. “Save dat money!”
(Lil Dickey, “Save Dat Money”)
If you want to build wealth, you need to figure out ways to save your money. Charles Dickens said it best: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and sixpence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”
#9. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want millions / More than money saved, I wanna save children.”
(Common, “The 6th Sense”)
Making a ton of money is great. But, there is more to life. What good is it if you have a lot of money but don’t give back to society? Don’t be a Scrooge with your finances. You’ll stay perpetually unhappy trying to earn an extra buck, hoping an extra buck will make you happy. In contrast, think about the people that give away as much as possible each year. They seem to be the happiest people.
#10. “We don’t lease we buy the whole car.”
(Jay Z, “Can I Live”)
Leasing a depreciating asset is a terrible way to spend your hard-earned dollars. Like Jay Z, unless I can pay for it in full, I won’t buy it. Even if your car is slightly beat up, there is something to be said about owning a vehicle outright and not having a bill hanging over your head.
#11. “Floss a little, invest up in a mutual fund.”
(Busta Rhymes, “Dangerous”)
Life should be enjoyed. There should be a balance between investing for the future and enjoying yourself today. Going in either direction too far can lead to misery. So, determine the “right” balance for you, and strive for that.