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How Bitcoin is Infiltrating Rap Culture

How Bitcoin is Infiltrating Rap Culture

Hip-hop star YG and an all-star cast of rappers, including 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Nicki Minaj recently dropped the single “Big Bank.” With lyrics about Bitcoin, Big Sean is the latest rapper to publicly express enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies.

“Big Bank” has been trending on Billboard Hot 100 for most of June 2018. With precision and swagger, Big Sean raps:

“I turn my Ws to Ms, yeah I flip those/ I might buy her red bottoms with the crypto / Three coins, that’ll pay yea whole semester/ But you got to ride it better than a Tesla.”

Given the average cost of a semester at a four-year college and the declaration that Big Sean can pay it off with just “three coins,” it can be inferred that Big Sean is rapping about Bitcoin. Currently valued at around $6,200, Big Sean is not the first rapper to express an affinity for Bitcoin.

2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Nicki Minaj’s star in YG’s “Big Bank.”

50 Cent – Bitcoin Whale or Not?

In January 2018, rapper 50 Cent made headlines for supposedly making over $8 million in Bitcoin from the album sale of Animal Ambition. Although the 2014 album was one of the worst selling albums of his career, Bitcoin’s meteoritic rise, from $662 to over $10,000 at the time of the announcement, made the 700 Bitcoin received for the album, beyond profitable for 50 Cent.

The since-deleted Tweet from @50cent.
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Despite posts referring to his Bitcoin riches on social media, they are now deleted from Instagram and Twitter. In February 2018, he refuted owning any Bitcoin in bankruptcy documents. Instead, his lawyers claimed that the majority of Bitcoin he earned from the album sales were converted to US dollars by a third party.

While it is unclear whether 50 Cent lied to his social media followers or the bankruptcy court regarding cryptocurrency, his historic move in 2014 still makes him one of the first recording artists to accept Bitcoin for online transactions in the music industry. It will be interesting to see if other artists follow suit and accept Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency like Ethereum and if they end up holding, instead of selling the currency.

Migos Star Likes Bitcoin

It appears Offset is trying to avoid the fate of 50 Cent, who despite being worth over $100 million at his peak, filed for the aforementioned bankruptcy. Offset, member of platinum recording trio Migos and husband of Cardi B, spoke about Bitcoin in a January 2018 interview with Rolling Stone:

“I want to have a generational money. I got three kids, bro. I need all my kids to be educated and wealthy. I don’t want to be one of those rappers who had it but right now they be on a TV show to keep them going. I would rather be out the scene, getting my money on Bitcoin.”

From his statement, it appears that the artist of mega-hit “Bad and Boujee,” shares the crypto-world’s belief in Bitcoin as valuable and here to stay.

Cryptic Kanye

Kanye West returned to Twitter in April 2018 with a string of cryptic and controversial tweets. Despite Anthony Pompliano’s best efforts to get Kanye to tweet about Bitcoin, the closest endorsement so far has been this tweet:

Although the musical visionary talks about buying Bitcoin in an interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Kanye has yet to claim he has personally invested in Bitcoin. Always the trendsetter, an endorsement by Kanye could inject a new wave of interest in cryptocurrency.

Pop Culture Embracing Crypto

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In addition to their monetary value, cryptocurrencies could also offer celebrities another way of strengthening their brands. Colombian World Cup star James Rodriguez recently became the first major athlete to launch their own cryptocurrency. It might be just as a matter of time before a major musical artist does so as well.

Rappers could also leverage their popularity to create a presence on up-and-coming social media sites like AskFm and get paid in a cryptocurrency to answer fan’s burning questions.

Despite the overall cryptocurrency market slump of 2018, lyrics like Big Sean’s clearly demonstrate an interest in cryptocurrency within the music scene. Perhaps in the near future, in addition to the big chains and fancy cars, a Trezor full of crypto will signify a real sign of wealth.

Cover Photo by Nainoa Shizuru on Unsplash

Filed Under: Analysis, Bitcoin, Culture
David Lee

David is a data scientist with a degree in biology. He is excited about Bitcoin and the potential applications of blockchain technology. He is based out of Seattle and enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and music.

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