If you made a list of the most prevalent themes in the rap game, money and making money would probably be at the top of the list. Almost nothing is as ubiquitous in a genre of music as money—and hustling—is to hip hop, and it’s been that way since the very beginning. In this article, we’ll look at the 21 best rap songs ever written that were all about money, making money, and the things money brings you.
1. C.R.E.A.M. – Wu-Tang Clan
How could we open this list with anything other than Wu-Tang Clan’s song about how ‘Cash rules everything around me.’ They had it right, money is the thing that rules the world, much more than any single person in general. “C.R.E.A.M” as an acronym became ridiculously popular, thanks in large part to Method Man’s hook in the track and how popular the song was as a whole.
Something about it resonated with people, a track about the ups and downs of the drug game and the unfiltered way it gives the masses a new perspective on the community. Paper chasing isn’t a new thing in the rap scene; it’s everywhere, but nobody described it as well as they did in this single.
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2. Money Trees – Kendrick Lamar Feat. Jay Rock
Not having money, especially not even having enough to get by, is like a huge cloud that hangs over your life. That cloud is obviously going to cast a dark shadow as well, forcing a lot of youngsters into a life of crime to try to find some level of come up.
You’re much better off in the shade of a tree made of money than under the cloud of not having any, which is exactly where Kendrick Lamar is taking listeners of Money Trees. It sees the narrator surviving on government assistance and slinging crack rocks to survive, dreaming of being shaded by a money tree instead of the harsh reality of their life.
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3. Get Money – The Notorious B.I.G. Feat. Junior M.A.F.I.A.
Biggie is absolutely going to be on this list, and his group, Junior M.A.F.I.A., put out one of the best rap songs about money ever in Get Money. A track that sees Lil’ Kim and Biggie duel over verses about hurt feelings, getting money, and gold diggers is as good as it gets. The game is full of lies, with most people just trying to get ahead in any way they can.
Can you really trust the people you surround yourself with, or are they out to get you as well? Those are the big questions this song asks, setting the stage for the female rappers we know and love today and giving the Junior M.A.F.I.A. one of their all-time hits.
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4. Mo Money Mo Problems – The Notorious B.I.G.
In the grand scheme of hip hop, this is one of the most popular and best-known tracks out there. It honestly ranks pretty high on any list of the best rap songs of all time, and it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that. Biggie was an absolute master, and it’s a shame his career was so short. Mo Money Mo Problems is all about how the more money you have, the more problems you end up having. Without money, your biggest problem is money, but with it, everything else takes new importance.
5. Money On My Mind – Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne borrows the chorus of Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s Get Money for his hit single Money On My Mind. He mostly discusses his love of money and all the ways he flaunts it, telling listeners that his love for the paper has been a part of him since he was young. Finance is his main focus, and his biggest motivator because it brings him all the things he really cares about. He can’t get enough money, something a lot of people can relate to, since life seems to suck all the funds out of your bank account in the blink of an eye.
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6. I Get Money – 50 Cent
Early 50 Cent is often the best 50 Cent. His entry into the rap scene had to be big for him to reach the heights he has in the hip hop hierarchy, and I Get Money is one of the hits that got him to that point. The effortless flow would be the best way to describe this one, seeing 50 Cent drop one of his best hooks in an incredibly catchy song about getting money.
7. Foe Tha Love of Money – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Hustling for money is another prevalent theme of the rap genre. It’s also something that has become pervasive in society, with a lot of young people finding the rising cost of living a heavy barrier to getting the lives they actually want.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony pays tribute to all the hustlers out there with their song Foe Tha Love Of Money. It’s one of the best explanations out there of the mindset of hustling in the hood, packaged into a unique midwestern flow that made it incredibly popular across the nation during the East-West rap feud.
8. Cash Money – Tyga
Tyga is mainly known for two things: his love of luxury and his songs that make great dance club tracks. But that kind of lifestyle isn’t cheap, which is probably why his discography is full of songs about getting money, spending money, and all the things money can buy. Cash Money is probably one of his best, a massive hit that found better reception on dance club floors than it did in the lyrical community. Some thought it was too repetitive, but that made it the perfect club track, so who cares.
9. Gold Digger – Kanye West Feat. Jamie Foxx
Everyone has heard this song about gold diggers by Kanye West. It’s funny in a way, with him dropping bars like he’s just having a casual conversation with the listener about how that girl is just after his money. It’s a track that’s forever carved into the brains of all the millennials and Gen Z-ers out there and a massive reason why he made it as far as he did in the music industry. For how popular the song is and was, you could easily make an argument that this is one of the best tracks he ever produced.
10. I’m So Paid – Akon Feat. Lil Wayne And Young Jeezy
Flexing is nothing new to rap, with every big artist having at least one or two songs about their luxurious lifestyle. Akon is no different, celebrating all the financial success he has found in life. Unfortunately, he dropped it right at the height of the 2008 recession, so a lot of people who were struggling weren’t big fans of the flex during that time period.
11. Dead Presidents – Jay-Z
Look, when Jay-Z talks about getting money, you should probably listen. Crowned as the first billionaire in hip hop, he is also one of the best in the game. Dead Presidents was all about the hustle of making money and the goal of having plenty of pieces of paper that had dead presidents’ faces on them.
12. It’s All About The Benjamins – Puff Daddy
There are so many names for money, so trying to keep up can be exhausting. Benjamins refer to hundred-dollar bills for the people out there who are clueless. It’s All About The Benjamins was one of the biggest rap songs when it came out, centered on how important money is and how great life is when you’ve got plenty of it to spare.
13. $ave Dat Money – Lil Dicky Feat. Fetty Wap And Rich Homie Quan
$ave Dat Money by Lil Dicky sees him team up with Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan to write a very atypical rap song about money. Rather than the typical lyrics of blowing massive amounts of cash and always chasing more, Lil Dicky drops some hilarious and catchy lyrics about saving that stuff for later down the line. Yeah, stacking paper is a good thing to do, but if you spend it all, you’ll always have to keep chasing it. Who would have guessed there would be a track about financial responsibility and literacy on this list?
14. Hustlin’ – Rick Ross
Hustlin’ is one of the best songs Rick Ross ever dropped in his solo career. His deep and powerful vocals just feel motivating, making you want to go out there and hustle for some money yourself. It’s another one of the catchiest tracks in this article, forever enshrined in the minds of hip hop heads for the fantastic hook he put into the song and how sharp the actual percussive element of it was. It’s one of the tracks that helped cement his place in the scene for years and one of the most memorable songs of his career.
15. Money Ain’t A Thang – Jermaine Dupri Feat. Jay-Z
Once you have enough money, you stop caring about spending it as much. You have more than enough, so why would you care about some of it going out the door? Money Ain’t A Thang was one of the best songs of the 90s and was all about showcasing both your talents in hip hop and the massive amounts of money you have.
16. Money, Power & Respect – The LOX Feat. DMX & Lil’ Kim
Money Power Respect was a massive hit in 1999, thanks in large part to the spectacular guest vocals by Lil’ Kim and DMX that only made The LOX’s lines better. It’s one of the few songs out there that doesn’t just highlight the luxury money affords you, but the respect from people that comes with having a bunch of money.
17. Money To Blow – Birdman Feat. Lil Wayne And Drake
Birdman, Lil Wayne, and Drake teamed up for this huge hit from 2010. Money To Blow is ridiculously catchy and easy to sing along with, two traits that helped it reach number 26 on the Hot 100 and turn into an international hit.
18. Money Maker – Ludacris Feat. Pharrell
Money Maker isn’t exactly about making money, but we’ll let it slide. Ludacris was laying down the bars to get butts shaking in clubs everywhere, telling the girls to shake like they were about to get paid. It’s not a flexing song like a lot of the rest on this list, it’s all about the booty—not the pirate kind—for this one.
19. Money – Cardi B
Cardi B is quite a success, she’s got just about everything she could ever dream of in terms of material possessions. But the one thing she gets that she likes best is her checks. Money is her biggest flexing song, listing off all her stuff and telling the world how much she really has in the bank.
20. She Got Her Own – Ne-Yo Feat. Jamie Foxx And Fabolous
Perhaps the polar opposite song to Gold Digger, She Got Her Own was a huge hit from Ne-Yo about a woman who had her own money. Not only did she not need to rely on anybody to provide for her, you knew she wasn’t interested in you for your money, which was a rare find.
21. Get Money – Lil Baby
Lil Baby is one of the most relentless rappers out there when it comes to flow and speed. Get Money was a perfect return to form for the rapper on his My Turn album, throwing a bouncing beat behind lyrics about chasing paper and never stopping and never forgetting where he came from. It’s also prime Lil Baby simply because it’s emotional. You can really feel his connection to the song as he lays bare his life for audiences everywhere.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.