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10 Hip Hop Quotes To Teach Your Kids About Economic Mobility

From Drizzy and Weezy, to Bey and Jay, hear your favorite artists talk about their come-up and what we can learn from it.

  1. Started from the Bottom – Drake

I mean let’s start with the obvious one…

Workin’ all night, traffic on the way home And my uncle callin’ me, like, “Where you at? I gave you the keys, told you bring it right back”, I just think it’s funny how it goes Now I’m on the road, half a million for a show

In this iconic song about how his whole team got there, Drake gets frank about his life before he made it. He reflects on how he used to borrow his uncle’s droptop Lexus, as also mentioned in his other song Look What You’ve Done.

In fact, Drake, at a very early point of his career, made $50,000 annually, while taking care of his family. Considering that a Lexus Convertible costs about $100,000, that he had to borrow it from his uncle, to live within his means, is too real.

Today, Drake writes $50,000 checks to donate to college students and owns multiple cars over $1M.

2. Apes**t – The Carters

Gimme my check, put some respeck on my check Or pay me in equity, pay me in equity Or watch me reverse out the debt (skrrt)

It’s no news that Bey and Jay are no strangers to money (and lots of it.) In fact, Jay-Z is one of richest people in America. But, they’re also no strangers to equity.

In 2013, Jay-Z invested $2M in Uber, and his equity is estimated to be worth $70M in 2019. His better half, Beyoncé, was paid $6M in restricted stock in2015, after performing for Uber.

Knowing that Uber is only one of their many and diversified portfolio, it’s no wonder that they are well out of debt and flexing just a tiny bit in the Louvre for Apes**t.

3. Money Tree – Kendrick Lamar (feat. Jay Rock)

Dreams of livin’ life like rappers do (Like rappers do) Bump that new E-40 after school (Way after school) You know, “Big Ballin’ With My Homies” (My homies) Earl Stevens had us thinkin’ rational (Thinkin’ rational)

In this song, Kenny gets real about growing up in Compton on public assistance. He brings up house robberies, gang violence, food stamps, and dreams of living like Earl Stevens, aka E-40, who sings of a lifestyle far beyond luxurious.

Even after becoming a Pulitzer Award-winning artist, Kendrick hasn’t forgotten his roots. He has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Compton school district, even being honored in the California Senate.

4. Smuckers – Tyler, The Creator

Put that f***in’ cow on my level, ’cause I’m raising the stakes Mom, I made you a promise, it’s no more section 8 Well, when we ate, it was the steaks, now our section is great.

Similar to Kendrick, Tyler, The Creator, flashes back to his difficult childhood. Section 8, in this song, refers to section 8 government housing that his family lived in.

Not only did he get out of section 8 and eat steaks, Tyler is now a grammy-winning artist and owner of his clothing line, Golf Wang.

5. Diamonds from Sierra Leone – Kanye West

I remember I couldn’t afford a Ford Escort Or even a four-track recorder So it’s only right that I let the top drop on a drop-top Porsche It’s for yourself, that’s important.

A classic from the Old Kanye. In this iconic song, Kanye reminds you of the importance of indulging a little, especially if you worked hard to get to where you are.

It’s difficult to find the price of a Forde Escort in 2005, but as it was a popular affordable option in the 80s, you can guess how much they were worth at the time. His drop-top Porsche on the other hand? At least $110K.

Kanye, as a rapper-billionaire, is estimated to have a net worth of $1.3B. Even though he once tweeted to Mark Zuckerberg that he was $53M in debt, in 2020, his wealth is built from his clothing line, various real estate properties, and even livestock.

6. Oprah’s Bank Account – Lil Yachty, DaBaby, and Drake

You look as good as Oprah’s bank account

That’s it. Just that line.

Ok, obviously there’s more to expand on, but the lesson here isn’t the actual song but the queen of talk shows, herself.

At a net worth estimated to be $2.8B, Oprah is the richest black woman and the second wealthiest black person in America. It is widely known that she grew up in poverty and overcame many obstacles to become the media mogul that she is.

However, her wealth wasn’t solely built from her network and other media ventures. Oprah, in 2015, purchased 10% of Weight Watchers for $43 million. 4 years after the purchase, she sold about 1/4 of her stake for about 8-9 times what she paid. That’s about $80M in profit.

7. Tie My Hands – Lil Wayne

I lost everything, but I ain’t the only one First came the hurricane, then the morning sun […] Cause I came from the projects straight to success, and you’re next So try, they can’t steal your pride, it’s inside Then find it and keep on grinding Cause in every dark cloud, there’s a silver lining, I know

In this heartbreaking song about post-Katrina New Orleans, Lil Wayne gets raw in conveying the hopelessness he and his community experienced from the hurricane that sunk 80% of his hometown underwater.

Hurricane Katrina disproportionately impacted the African American community of New Orleans. A black homeowner in New Orleans was over 3 times more likely to have been flooded as a white homeowner, not because of bad luck but by discriminatory housing practices. The famous rapper was no exception, as he lost his house from the storm, as well.

Weezy, however, leaves with a hopeful note, consoling his community, that just as he was able to be successful, New Orleanians can, as well.

8. Juicy – Notorious B.I.G.

We’re throwing it back to an all-time classic!

Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis When I was dead broke, man, I couldn’t picture this

For those of us in 2020, too used to our Nintendo Switch’s and PS4’s, it’s difficult to completely understand Biggy’s obsession; especially considering that he also mentions limo’s and mansions in the same song. Well, it’s because either of those consoles would have cost over $300 in 1994. Adjusted to inflation, that’s about $550 per console.

This is, of course, excluding the games themselves which were $150 per pack in 1994. Yes. Your Super Smash Bros would have cost you $260 if you and the game were around 1994.

9. WTF I Want – Megan Thee Stallion

College girl like Moesha (Uh) with titties like Mia Khalifa (Woo)

Megan Thee Stallion, who graced us with an official summer anthem, compares herself to Moesha — the beloved 90s teen portrayed by Brandy — and Mia Khalifa — the Lebanese-American pornstar. What do these 3 women have in common? That they all went to college.

Megan has been fully transparent that she is a current college student at Texas Southern University, pursuing a Bachelor’s in Health Administration. She honors the legacy of her late mother, who preached to her that she goes to college. Her mother had very clear reasons for her insistence; college graduates are expected to make more than twice of what a high school diploma holder would make.

Even though her rap career has taken off, Megan hasn’t given up on her health care dreams yet. She shared that her dream is to open an assisted-living facility with her classmates with the money she’s made from her music.

10. 44 More – Logic

On the topic of college…

I done made 20 million dollars (Preach) I don’t flex to be acknowledged (Preach) At this point it’s common knowledge (Preach) All you haters been abolished (Preach) You in the club throwin’ dollars, but I’m savin’ mine so my kids go to college (Preach) Or maybe whatever they wanna do (Preach)

Megan’s mama isn’t the only one emphasizing college, since Logic proudly is saving for his children to go, too. Even though he’s made $20M, instead of spending it all, he’s saving it for his children (and possibly throwing shade at other honorees of this list.)

Logic’s logic (see what we did there) makes sense, as the average tuition for college is can be up to $36,801. For a four-year college, that’s roughly $150,000, excluding living and other expenses.

Want to learn more from other stars about building wealth?

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