Making it Rain: 8 Signs You’re a Victim of the Hip-Hop Effect

September 15, 2011  |  
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Hip-hop moguls continue to infect pop culture and set the pace for what is perceived as wealth; and while the likes of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West are, in fact, among the super-rich, the vast majority of their fans are not. But, it doesn’t stop them from making music that boasts of Hermes shopping sprees and overweight egos. Listen to Rick Ross long enough and most people start feeling a little bossy.

The “if you ain’t doin’ it big, then you ain’t doin’ nothin’” mentality behind hip-hop music and the culture it has created is directly related to hyper-consumerism and a false sense of wealth. Paycheck-to-paycheck living is neither rich nor wealthy. And, during recessions and depressions, the people still standing comfortably are those who are wealthy.

Think you may have fallen victim to a song or two? Here are a few signs the hip-hop effect has a hold on you:

1. You don’t have a budget.

Budgets allot for what you can afford and it should be a goal to always spend less than what you have. Wealthy people budget their money; they know when, where and how every penny is spent. Sacrifice in the short-run for long-term financial freedom.

2. You pay bills at leisure.

Bills exist because people deserve payment for their services. And, they should get their money on time. Late and non-existent payments negatively affect your credit score, which makes it difficult to get the large loans you may need in the future and can also affect your chances at buying cars and owning a home.

3. You don’t have any savings accounts.

Nothing is guaranteed and your financial situation can change drastically overnight. Just look at the former executives now waiting in unemployment lines. It’s important to save for rainy days, invest and stash for retirement. Social security isn’t what it used to be and you don’t want to be 75 years old struggling to make ends meet.

4. You drive a car you can’t maintain.

Luxury cars are expensive to maintain, from pricey insurance to gas to tags. If you get into a fender-bender and cannot afford repairs, you can’t afford the car. If an oil change means no groceries, give it back. Better to drive a healthy Ford Focus than an Audi A5 gasping for air.

5. You make $40,000/year and spend $10K on weaves.

Celebrity hair takes celebrity money. Cut your losses until your disposable income reaches that level and make the best of what you have.

6. Your apartment closet is filled with Jimmy Choos.

Chances are you don’t own your apartment, so it would be wiser to put your money toward purchasing assets rather than items that depreciate.

7. You wait at the bus stop, Coach bag in hand.

$400 handbag and no car? Not only are you asking for someone to rob you, it’s just not smart.

8. You have a smartphone and unlimited data plan but no health insurance.

Smartphones are not necessities and neither are unlimited data plans. You don’t need apps or the ability to surf the Web. If you can’t pay $200 per month for decent health coverage, surely you can’t afford a $200 phone bill. Prioritize. Health is more important than style.

LaShaun Williams is a Madame Noire contributor and columnist whose work has appeared in the New York Times. For more information, visit her blog Politically Unapologetic or follow her on Twitter @itsmelashaun.


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  • girliusmaximus

    I would give you 30 thumbs up if I could….

  • Anna

    As is Boost Mobile.

  • SoTrue


  • Ely

    I 100% agree with you Anna, but sometimes I hop on the Madison Avenue bus with my Birkin bag. If you ever see me please don't side eye me! LOL.

    • Anna

      Thanks for the heads up… LOL

  • Jimmy Swaggered

    When I was 15 years old, Snoop advised me to roll down the street while smoking indo and sipping on gin and juice. Fun time!

    Thanks Hip-Hop!!

  • SayCheese

    Great Idea Brodie.

  • Pingback: Making it Rain: 8 Signs You’re a Victim of the Hip-Hop Effect | BlakNewz()

  • Victoria

    The proof is in the pudding…All you have to do is post up on the sidewalk in any hood in America & count how many "Barbies" walk by lls. Bet you'll run out of fingers. And toes. Lol…

  • Anna

    Really? Laughing at you? You can sell the boat for a nice chunk of change BUT red bottoms get scuffed up when you walk on pavement.

    • Brodie

      I'm going to ask to see the soles when I visit her. Shes like family so I put up her:)

      But the boat is an asset plus a place for me to live and travel on when I retire.

  • elle

    Number 7 doesn't apply to everyone especially if you're a New Yorker where it's not practical to drive to work.

    • Anna


    • Bill

      And it goes double if you care at least a tad about the environment.

  • HeadSmackeroni

    Most morons complaining about health insurance these days have smarts phones with over $100 for the bill, LOL.
    That sh*t is amusing as hell.

    You can really tell people that grew up with money, from those that didn't.