10 Most FIRE Hip Hop Tracks in the World

My love for hip hop and rap music is no secret. And neither is my passion for FIRE and all things financial well-being. I’ve combined these loves before, but never like this…

I thought of this while driving to work and listening to my Spotify playlist. Ever since I’ve gotten into personal finance, it seems that I’m finding little crumbs of the topic all over the place. And my music was no different.

So, into my brain popped this idea…

What I want to do in this post is share the top 10 most FIRE hip hop songs!

What does this mean?

It means that these are the 10 hip hop and rap songs that embody or illustrate or rhyme about something related to the Financial Independence Retire Early movement.

Now, not every FIRE-related principle highlighted in the song is going to be a good one. A bunch will definitely be examples of what not to do if you want to achieve FIRE.

Let’s jump in!

hip hop

The top 10 most FIRE hip hop songs

1. “Money Ain’t A Thang” – Jay-Z & Jermaine Dupri

FIRE Principle:

Abundance Mindset

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“In the Ferrari or Jaguar, switchin’ four lanes
With the top down screamin’ out, money ain’t a thang
Bubble hard in the double R, flashin’ the rings
With the window cracked, holler back, money ain’t a thang”

Analysis:

If this isn’t abundance mindset, then I don’t know what is. Jay and Jermaine don’t look at price tags, they know they can up their game to get whatever they want to fulfill their lives. FatFIRE all the way.

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2. “On Me” – Lil Baby

loan refinancing

FIRE Principle:

Savings Rate

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“Why she talkin’ crazy ’bout me like I don’t do more than my part?
I can’t play with my creation, give the world to my lil’ boy
I been savin’ more than I been spendin’, that’s what I be on
I’m a human, I’m not perfect, I know sometimes I be wrong”

Analysis:

Lil Baby spells it right out. He’s saving more than he’s spending. He’s creating that savings rate to grow his wealth. Too many rappers and doctors alike are spending way more than they are saving. But one day, the bill will come due regardless.

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3. “Trap or Cap” – Young M.A.

FIRE Principle:

Invest Your Money

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“Flip a check soon as you get a check, make that money stretch
Spend a check, just to get a bitch, man that’s a dummy flex”

Analysis:

I’ve gone in depth on this classic before.

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4. “Whole Lotta Money” – BIA

FIRE Principle:

Over-consumerism

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“I put all my jewelry just to go to the bodega
And I keep it with me just so that I’m feeling safer
Fendi on my body, but my feet is in Bottega”

Analysis:

BIA’s all about the brands. Grabbing Fendi to hit the neighborhood bodega. Who are you trying to impress? And if they’re impressed by that, their opinion probably doesn’t matter that much. Don’t try to keep up with the (Mike) Jones’s BIA!

Related Post:
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5. “Sweatpants” – Childish Gambino

FIRE Principle:

Entrepreneurship

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“Top of the holy totem
Ri-ri-ri-rich forever, a million was not the quota
My father owned half the MoMA and did it with no diploma”

Analysis:

Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino is an entrepreneur in his own right as an activist, comedian, actor, and rapper. But in this verse, he’s talking about his dad, who I know nothing about but must have done well for himself without a formal education. And while I am very glad for my education, there is a lot that I didn’t learn about that is helping me to improve my financial well-being now…now how to be an entrepreneur.

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6. “All Falls Down” – Kanye West

FIRE Principle:

Consumer debt

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“But I ain’t even goin’ act holier than thou
Cause f**k it, I went to Jacob with 25 thou
Before I had a house and I’d do it again
Cause I wanna be on 106 and Park pushing a Benz
I wanna act ballerific like it’s all terrific
Got a couple past due bills, I won’t get specific
I got a problem with spending before I get it
We all self conscious I’m just the first to admit it”

Analysis:

This is one of my favorite Kanye songs. And really one of my all time favorite hip hop songs. It’s a really vulnerable admission from him at an early part of his career where he was still trying to make it. His problem spending money that he doesn’t have via consumer debt. And we’re not talking about just a little bit. He’s going to Jacob the jeweler with $25,000 that he doesn’t have to buy a necklace. Why? Because he’s self conscious. I think we can all relate…

Related Post:
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medical surveys

7. “Crew” – Goldlink

FIRE Principle:

Short Term Volatility

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“She see money all around me
I look like I’m the man, yeah
But I was down and out like last week
Tell me where have you been?”

Analysis:

In this context, the rapper’s talking about how before he had money, no girls were interested in him and now they’re acting like they’ve always been there. This could be a valuable lesson in watching out for hangers-on as we accrue more wealth. But when I first heard this, I actually thought of those people that invest in day trading or crypto and have to experience the daily ups and downs and unmitigated risk that is just not necessary. Invest for the long term. Invest in the overall market.

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8. “Middle Child” – J. Cole

FIRE Principle:

Establish Your Why

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“Everything grows, it’s destined to change
(You know) I love you, I’m glad that you came
I hope that you scrape every dollar you can
I hope you know money won’t erase the pain”

Analysis:

In this song, J. Cole is talking to the younger generation of rappers coming up. Rather than try to break them down so he can stay up, he’s offering help and trying to grow the field. It’s also an example of abundance mindset in the sense that he knows that every dollar his colleague makes doesn’t take one away from him…there’s plenty to go around. But I really love the last line which contains a potent warning. Money won’t make any problems go away. Notorious B.I.G. might even say that it brings on mo’ problems. So, you need a strong “why” for your financial independence to make sure it is not empty and lonely when you achieve it.

Related Post:
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9. “JU$T” – Run The Jewels

FIRE Principle:

Tax Man Cometh

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“Business time, I’m on mine, I be mindin’ mine (Make money)
Every time on my grind, I’m just tryna shine (Stay sunny)
Make a dollar, government, they want a dozen dimes (No cap)
The petty kind, might kill ya ’cause they see you shine (Stay strapped)
I done had to have a talk with myself plenty times (For real)”

Analysis:

This verse is from Killer Mike who makes up one half of Run The Jewels. There’s a lot of complexity to this whole song and it’s definitely worth a full listen. But here, the realization that everything that you earn is not really yours comes to a head. Obviously, the tax man gets a huge beating here like always. But there are others, like Killer Mike makes sure to allude to. Look at his business in music…how many layers of corporation are there that make money off of his sales? Most of us are employees…but finance can make us free from this.

Related Post:
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prudent plastic surgeon graduating to success

10. “Pardon” – T.I. feat. Lil Baby

FIRE Principle:

Real Estate Investing

Just a taste of the relevant lyrics:

“I’m a vet’ at this sh*t
And all I ever been was authentic
20 years I been handlin’ my business
Get in my bag, stackin’ my pennies
Buyin’ everything on the west side of the city”

Analysis:

T.I. is no joke. He’s a rap mogul. Been doing this for a long time. But he’s smart. And he’s putting his money into real estate in the hot market of his hometown Atlanta. He knows…done right, real estate is a real wealth accelerant!

Related Post:
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What do you think? What other hip hop (or any other genre) songs embody FIRE principles? Can music help spread the word? Let me know in the comments below!

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