Apparently money never gets right. A couple weeks ago I saw a 20/20 special episode on the richest Americans and their charitable endeavors. In it Ted Turner, a man who's designated a large portion of his billionaire wealth to charity, talked about not being ready to retire from his career of getting money for fear that he has not yet gotten enough money. He's not secure that his current wealth will be quite enough to sustain him for life. Really?
Kanye West's new single "Can't Tell Me Nothing" addresses the same issue. He's got lots of money, just not enough. "Wait til I get my money right..." goes the hook. As he tells it, money being right is more to do with the monied person's overall "rightness." For my money, West's is #1 of the current big three money/pop/hop tunes. Likely there are more than three--i don't keep up with the kids like I used to--but as of now my iPod is spinning:
3) 50 Cent, "I Get Money"
2) Swizz Beatz, "Money in the Bank"
1) Kanye West, "Can't Tell Me Nothing"
Kanye's is first cuz I listen to it the most. It's the most thought-full even though they're all about the same thing: Money's not real, being all about money is not real.
3) "I Get Money"
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50 Cent to Audience: Not only do I run New York just because I say so, but I also run you. Give me all your money. I thought so.
Gollee, gee whiz, and boy oh boy do I hate (meaning also like) 50 Cent. His whole-hearted embrace of a money-by-any-means-above-all-else-ideology puts him in diametric opposition to my point of view. But of course polar opposites become the nearest points in a circuit. I.E. there are no two things more alike than opposites. I say that to mean I LOVE "I Get Money." To say nothing of that hearty beat built on a classic 50 cent rape of a classic, his trademark exaggerated dicky-ness is just soooo extremely satisfying.
For real, how is that bastard gonna say he's selling quarter water in bottles for $2 dollars??!! The ink is not yet dry on Coca-cola's check. Plus he's totally shitting on his quarter (vitamin) water hood babies that underwrite his entire career. And that's just the first line. No respect. That's 50's whole story--no respect, in a bottle. In every one of his hits he spouts a variation on the theme "Fuck you." And that "you" could be anyone or anything. Seriously anyone, except maybe his biological son...maybe.
Audience to 50 Cent: You know what, Fif? You do run New York, and me. Here's my money.
What's his secret? I'll never know. It's not like you can uncombine the chemistry of his talent and ambition and timing and lack of ethics. They all contribute, who knows in what quantities. All I know is, it is a fantasy what he's selling. He knows it, the buyer knows it. Same with Kanye, and any superstar really, but I feel less dirty about Kanye's trek through the culture cuz it feels less like a rape, more like a choice. Why is that?
2) "Money in the Bank"
Gold Digger Enamel on Board 19" x 19"
First of all, Kanye West made this song two years ago and it was called "Gold Digger." Second of all, it sounds mad hot. I bet it bangs in the club. We'll see. Third, WHY do Hip Hop men hate taking care of women so much? You don't hear many women (besides Remy Ma) saying things like, "We don't love them kids," or some such.
Not that women are the same as babies. But Swizz's (and Kanye's...and damn near every rich man's) argument presupposes that the money is the man's. Let's just try and figure out what happened to all this woman's money that she has to go digging for yours. What could have happened? Is she a crackhead? A hooker? Otherwise she should be able to support herself, right? If she's one of the above then maybe you shouldn't be dating or writing songs about her. Are you her slave? How can you be at once a goldmine and also a slave?
Regarding the challenges facing today's professional women I recently heard the aphorism, "Everyone needs a wife." I.E. adult life can't be sustained by one adult. I.E. homes must be made. Who's home-making in your life? Cuz somebody needs to be or else you won't have a life. Please explain to me why home-making is supposed to be free or minimum wage-earning. If the goal is to team up with someone and work as a team, then why can't we share our shit? Isn't said shit really ours anyway regardless of who walks it through the front door? Must one of us always be out to get the other or are we destined to be forever opposed by gender?
1) "Can't Tell Me Nothing"
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Seriously, it's my favorite. So much so that I have nothing to say about it. It says everything for itself. What do you have to say?