by David Miller
Finance professor Dr Boyce Watkins once said to me that “Anyone who goes out of their way to prove they have money is typically either broke or on his way to becoming that way. He’s also covering up low self-esteem with a super-sized ego.” It’s difficult not to believe that’s true when you hear about some of these rappers.
You see rappers on TV shining like crazy and bragging about how much money they have. But most of this is a really ugly lie and one that makes black people look as ignorant as any minstrel show in the history of our country. You’ve seen what rappers say about themselves on TV, but here’s some truth about how your favorite rapper is probably going broke right now:
1) Ludacris was in a custody battle with the mother of his child and claimed in court filings that he earned only $55,000 over the previous year. That’s hardly the paycheck of a baller. Yes, that was $55,000 and yes, that was 2013. Check the link if you don’t believe us. Luda may have been lying in court, but either the courts are stupid or he’s not as financially secure as you may believe.
2) Lil Bow Wow was in court after his Bentley was repossessed. He revealed that he had only $1,500 in his bank account. He now has a job on BET’s 106 & Park, but this is probably not enough money to get him out of debt. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bow Wow owes $90,000 to the IRS and another $280,000 to a luxury car leasing company. So, while the depth of his financial distress remains unclear, it’s very clear that he’s living on the edge financially.
3) Xzibit – former host of the MTV show, “Pimp My Ride,” filed bankruptcy after owing over $1 million dollars to the IRS. He hasn’t had a hit record since Bobby and Whitney were in love with each other. He has filed bankruptcy twice since 2009.
4) Method Man was arrested for failing to pay taxes back in 2011. He resolved the matter, but remains in debt. He also keeps trying to make a comeback, but it’s just not working out.
5) Fat Joe – went to prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion after owing over a million dollars to the IRS.
6) Lil Flip went to court and told the judge that he can’t pay more than $500 per month in child support. According to most estimates, this means that he isn’t earning more than about $3,000 per month. He’d be better off collecting trash for a living.
7) Ja Rule went to prison for two years for tax evasion after owing millions to the IRS. He gets out soon, and will spend the rest of his life paying off the debt. He does have a cookbook coming out, so maybe that will make him a billionaire.
8) Beanie Sigel – He used to rap next to Jay-Z, but he too went to prison for drug possession and also had serious trouble with the IRS. Those lawyers can be expensive when you’re committing your life to “keeping it real.”
9) Young Buck from G-Unit went bankrupt and lost his home, forcing him to sell his jewelry and everything else. If you listen to any of Buck’s songs, you’ll hear that he usually rapped about how much money he had and even made fun of other rappers who’ve gone broke. Now, he’ll just be making jokes about himself; that’s if anybody ever listens to his music again.
Mark Dice does an interesting video on the topic. He comes off a bit condescending and maybe even racist, so that’s tough to swallow. But if you listen to the gist of what he’s saying, he’s speaking quite a bit of truth about the buffoonery and financial irresponsibility that is prevalent in hip-hop music on the radio. Dice states that many of the artists on television are actors, and that the seemingly authentic lifestyle that young people are emulating is merely a facade. What’s most pathetic is that many of the artists selling this imagery to teenagers are in their mid to late thirties, so they’re a little too grown to be thinking and dressing like kids.
It’s actually a little sad when you think about it. Maybe we can do better for the next generation: Let’s teach our kids how to be true ballers by going to college and running their own businesses, instead of being pawns for white people who think we’re stupid. We have enough rappers and athletes already.
If you think that hip-hop is messing up our kids, watch this interview with the rapper Dee-1, who is changing the game of hip-hop and using it as a way to build black kids up and not tear them down. Check out the video and make sure you subscribe before you go.