Music influences many aspects of how we live: from our style to how we see ourselves.
Music is the one art form that truly speaks universally to people from all walks of life, across many genres and cultures. It discusses social highs and lows, fads and falling-outs, and human aspirations. No other topic has been ventured or paid tribute to so widely in popular music as money: where to get it, what to do with it, and who you’d become with tons or little of it.
Listed below are Team Loanerr’s top five picks for tunes that glamorize, fantasize, bemoan and glorify the want and need to have the one substance that most people can’t do without: money.
1. “Money Honey” — Lady Gaga (2008, The Fame)
Lyrics that stood out to us: “Damn, I love the Jag, the jet, and the mansion/Oh yeah/And I enjoy the gifts and trips to the island/oh yeah/It’s good to live expensive, you know it.”
- Rolling Stoneartist chart ranking: #25
2. “Blowin’ Money Fast (B.M.F.)” — Rick Ross feat. Styles P (2010, Teflon Don)
Lyrics that stood out to us: “I think I’m Big Meech, look at my timepiece [a wristwatch]/It’s an Audemars, hundred racks at least.”
- U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #60; #4 (peak in ‘Rap Songs’ category)
3. “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” Seeb Remix — Mike Posner (2016, At Night, Alone)
Lyrics that stood out to us: “I drive a sports car just to prove/I’m a real big baller ’cause I made a million dollars/And I spend it on girls and shoes”
- U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #4
4. “Thrift Shop” — Macklemore feat. Ryan Lewis (2012, The Heist)
Lyrics that stood out to us: “One man’s trash, that’s another man’s come-up […] I’m at the Goodwill; you can find me in the bins”
- U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #1
5. “Money to Blow” — Birdman feat. Drake (2009, Priceless)
Lyrics that stood out to us: “I am on a twenty-four hour champagne diet/Spillin’ while I’m sippin’/I encourage you to try it/I’m probably just sayin’ that cause I don’t have to buy it/The club owner supply it”
- U.S. Billboard Rap Songs: #12
These particular songs share a common message: that money can create happy times as well as sad ones. They also pinpoint the reality of money and how celebrities’ lavish attitudes rub off on the rest of us as something to aspire.
In “Money Honey”, the acknowledgement of “living expensive” is not a vice but a celebration (also reflected by Drake) to take part in with no guilt or concerns for the next day’s events. This track works as a contrast to Macklemore’s caution to spend his own money on expensive clothing by shopping at Goodwill.
Unlike the musicians, however, most of us can’t afford Jaguars, Audemars watches or mansions — we rarely get drinks on the house!
Frankly, most of us should be practicing better spending and saving habits. Uncouple the facts of our bank account balances from the fictions of the “high life”.
The average Canadian adult carried $3,745 CDN in total credit card debt in 2015[i]. As of 2016, the average Canadian holds over $21,580 in overall debt [ii] and 16% of adults carried over some amount of debt month-to-month [iii]. In other words, being in moderate debt is an economic norm, and most people are paying their balances off, even as household incomes nationwide have increased just 0.6% this year [iv], which is hardly a reason to splurge on an $800 vintage pinot noir.
However, whichever way you take to heart the messages of money from these deeply-worded tracks, no matter your financial situation, being responsible about how you spend money is important beyond your wants — especially if you have a family or other dependents.
Ludacris explains a relatable reality that most of us without millions would take well to heed:
“No matter how much money I ever get, I’m going to want to provide for my family and never have to go back to really struggling. You don’t ever want to go outside; don’t ever want to be left in the cold. You want to be safe.” – Ludacris
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