After the release of Jay-Z’s 4:44 album earlier this year, many of us took note of the overarching lessons about family, wealth and personal finances he shared within its jam-packed lyrics. It was an extremely personal release, and one that let us into his home, family and even bank account in some ways. But Jay isn’t the only hip-hop icon who has dropped gems in his bars. If you dissect the lyrics of some of the most popular hip-hop songs, there are tips and tricks to follow that will set you up for success. Check out some of our favorites below, and let us know the songs that got your financial literacy in check!
“Never loan somebody what you need right back.” — Drake, “All Me”
When you’ve found success, it can be easy to want to give back to loved ones at any time. But just because you’re in a more stable place doesn’t mean you’ve got it to give. Be aware of your financial position — blowing money on handouts and lending money is still blowing money.
“Take those moneys and spread 'cross families
My sisters, Hattie and Lou, the nephews, cousins and TT
Eric, the rest to B for whatever she wants to do
She might start an institute
She might put poor kids through school
My stake in Roc Nation should go to you
Leave a piece for your siblings to give to their children too
TIDAL, the champagne, D'USSÉ, I'd like to see
A nice peace, fund ideas from people who look like we
We gon' start a society within a society
That's major, just like the Negro League
There was a time America wouldn't let us ball
Those times are now back, just now called AfroTech
Generational wealth, that's the key
My parents ain't have sh*t, so that shift started with me” — Jay-Z, “Legacy”
In that same vein, when you do have financial stability, the best way to maintain your legacy is to invest in the future of your loved ones. The impact you worked toward in your life will truly take flight later on. Imagine how much easier your life would have been with a helping hand in the form of business, knowledge or investments from the beginning?
“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"
Although this track is a digital short from SNL, there are plenty of financial gems within. Kendrick lays out the basics of financial literacy and success within the playful verses. The tips within are no joke.
"I'm not a businessman. I'm a business, man!" — Jay-Z in “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix)
Do you invest in yourself like you would invest in your business? The same precautions, investments and protection you would provide to a business should be applied to yourself, financially and as far as health and self-care. Looking out for number one is essential to financial success.
“Now that I've got your undivided attention, I'm
Gonna say this and run under condition one
Promise me you gon' stack, promise me you gon' ball
Promise me you'll invest three-fourths of it all
For what? So your kids, kids, kids can have some cheese” — Andre 3000, “Hollywood Divorce”
Investing in the future is a lesson Outkast drops loud and clear in this song. They also talk about the complicated relationship they have with fame and Hollywood, touching on the idea that those in the limelight are actually being capitalized upon. Rather than depend on something as fleeting as fame, they are advising listeners to invest and look out for the future — either theirs or that of their families.
“Financial freedom my only hope
F*ck livin' rich and dyin' broke
I bought some artwork for 1 million
2 years later, that sh*t worth 2 million
Few years later, that sh*t worth 8 million
I can't wait to give this sh*t to my children
Y'all think it's bougie, I'm like, it's fine
But I'm tryin' to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99” — Jay-Z, “The Story of O.J.”
In maybe his most blunt bit of financial advice, Jay-Z lets us know about investing in the right things and why what you invest in matters. Art is something that appreciates in value, and he demonstrates exactly how much. The last gem in this verse comes when he brags about sharing million dollar game for just $10. We know Jay-Z is all about owning our own and paying artists with TIDAL, and he proves how investing in music can provide you with the advice to make you a millionaire.
So, did you take notes? Drop your favorite financial gems you learned via hip-hop songs below. Put us on!