FEATURE: The Drought

Ballin’ til you fall may not be such a good idea nowadays. Budgets are being cut, albums are collecting dust on the shelves and concertgoers are becoming scarcer.  With the music industry being one of the recession’s hardest hit victims, even typically flamboyant rappers have been forced to re-assess their spending habits. Some confessed to cutting back while others say they’ve yet to feel the crunch.

XXLMag.com caught up with the likes of E-40, Akon, Pusha T and Mr. Recession himself, Young Jeezy, to discuss the effects of the recession.

Young Jeezy: I mean, I probably cut back on some of my spending habits, you know what I’m sayin’? Not really habits, but it’s probably some things that I always want that I don’t need, so I’m cutting back on the extra stuff…Wants and needs are two different things, nah mean? So I’m focusing more on what I need.

Akon: I’ve been very blessed to be in a situation where music and fashion is always recession proof in a lot of different ways, because it’s really what we turn to when we’re going through hard times. If I got to the point where the recession actually affected me I would cut back on all them cars I got. I would start selling them if I can. That’s the only thing I spend more than I have to on. Only cause it’s my fetish and I just love cars, but I already know it in my mind that I won’t buy it if I ain’t ready to let it go tomorrow. I know at the end of the day, my hustler mentality if I have to survive, that car is out of here, straight up.

Pusha T: If you’re asking me have I felt the recession, look, let me tell you that I’m so happy at gas prices right now, and this is something that I’ve never in my life noticed. Some things you just chalk up like, what, it has to go in the car. But it was so bad that it had me thinking like, ‘Damn, am I really gonna drive uptown?’ So I definitely felt it. But just like with everything, you adjust and the background that The Clipse have, that’s all we know, to adjust and roll with the punches and make our way out of it.

E-40: It’s the ripple effect. If there ain’t no money out there in the streets, any money out there for our audience to go buy our music, then our sales go down. That affects our pockets. A dude might be financially comfortable or whatever, but then you have people that’s affiliated with you that might be going through it. Sometimes you gotta sacrifice and come out the pocket. They think it won’t hurt you, but in a way if you do with four, five different people, it do affect. It’s life in general. Everybody getting it right now as far as this recession. Right now, it’s either feast or famine. You’re either eating or you ain’t, so you gotta hold on like a hubcap in a fast lane. The strong gon be able to survive.

Buckshot: There is no such thing as a recession, the recession is an illusion. And people like Buckshot and Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton and Bill Gates and all of these other people that deal with corporate business, we all know that it’s an illusion, it’s a scare tactic and it’s meant to do what it’s been doing to people.”
“Stop buying what you have no interest in. That means if you and your whole neighborhood supports and buys Timbs, don’t do that unless you own stock in Timberland. If you buy Louis Vuitton then buy stocks in Louis Vuitton, so when you wearing Louis Vuitton at least you made $15 or $500 or $5000.”

Evidence: I’ve had the best two years in many years these past couple of years, financially. I mean, all I did was shows. Shit, you do 150 shows, you don’t come home, I mean it’s not comfortable, it’s not ideal, I’d much rather be in my backyard, but my accountant was like, ‘shit, you did really good this year.’ I was like, really? All these little things added up. All these little fucking hustles. Like, I do feel it, there was a couple days when shit was fucked up. And now my family’s feeling it, my cousins are feeling it, my father is feeling it crazy. It is effecting me indirectly, but I’m like yo, I been hustling all year, like really grinding.

Big Daddy Kane: Not really because I don’t ball out like that anyway. I’m not a kid no more, those days are long gone. The silly stuff like that isn’t even important anymore, so I don’t think I’m doing too much differently.

Tru Life: Oh nah, that shit [recession] ain’t touched me not a bit. It ain’t a game man. I just bought 4 or 5 brand new black cars and only because I felt like the haters thought I was doing bad or something. Now it looks like a funeral when I pull up. They just saw me being humble, I’m a real humble dude. You know I live by my needs, I don’t really live outside of my needs. I’m not the nigga running around with the fancy car living in the projects. Like, I went and bought my house before I bought anything. I’m doing pretty well. Never had an album out in my life. But I’m doing real good by the graces of Allah. It’s all Allah’s will. I respect that, that’s why I give back all the time. I help out all the time. They talk about me doing all the foul shit but never talk about you might catch me in the Bowery, in the homeless shelter washing dishes or something my nig. That’s the kind of dude Tru life is. I just wanted to show niggas I ain’t starving.

Saigon: Has the recession affected me? Nah I wouldn’t say so. I don’t think the recession affects any poor people – people who grew up poor – cause we’d been in a recession since we was born. When has there not been a recession in the hood.-Compiled by Carl Chery, Jesse Gissen, Rob Markman and Anthony Roberts

  • amar

    exactly why that idiot akon is the next scott storch. He’s financially comfortable until his accountants tell him he’s millions in debt.

    • http://www.raidarecords.com Khaos

      Saigon got it right! poor people have always been in a recession. its definitely not imagined. real people are losing homes. ask fantasia who just got her house foreclosed on. at least e40 and a select few others are feeling it. maybe not directly but if your family is stressed financially you are to. so those that say they dont feel the recession its obvious where your family values lie b/c the whole family aint got a record deal.’

  • jmes

    that mf true life is a dumbass he says that he has all this shit but does he really??..i would like to see proof that that punk has all these cars and homes. as for the others jeezy sounds like hes a grown man loved his album

  • flist

    And these dudes wonder why people don’t buy their shit. Much luv to Jeezy, Pusha, Kane, & E40 for keeping it real. Buckshot just sounds stupid.

  • The_Truth

    ***Tru Life will never have a music career with quotes like that. . .

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com tony grand$

      Buckshot surprised me. I always thought he was somewhat intelligent, at least enough to not come off sounding like a complete moron.

      He lumped HIMSELF in with Steve Jobs & Bill Gates?! Duck Down ain’t balling like that, never has, never will. Big Dru Ha probably sees all that gwap anyhoo. & BDI, an illusion? So the fact that my wife is forced to take furlough days off work twice a month is just my imagination? Word?! The guy down the street who lost his job, who was telling me just yeaterday that he wished he had went to trade school or something was a mirage?! For real!? Damn, I’m glad you let us know, fam. He we all are trying to rub sticks together, but none of it is real. Not only was that “Negro Please” award worthy, but I might just sell my Black Moon albums to buy my kid’s lunch today. Btw, Timberland doesn’t want us “niggers” buying their kicks anyway. The National Debt didn’t have to tell me that, & neither do you.

      & I don’t have nothing against Tru Life, but man, I’ve known far too many cats who suffer from the same disease as him. No identity syndrome. Why would a grown man purchase 4-5 cars of the same color for the sole purpose of showing “niggas” he ain’t starving? I love when folks doubt/hate me. Please, count me out, I’d rather that, so my victory lap will be that much slower @ the end of the race. Bragging for the sake of bragging is old school & pointless. Better yet high school & comical. XXL must have really hit a nerve when they put him on that milk carton, because he’s been spending up his scratch to prove y’all wrong ever since, even hitting YouTube to show cats what it do. It must be nice to be a millionaire for no reason.

      Sai kept it way real. You have to have something for it to recess.

      The recession is touching all of us in some form or fashion. These dudes can’t fool me, & I know I’m not alone.

      • Dub Sac

        Naw, TG, you’re not alone. It’s a tight pinch these days. Everybody’s holding on to what they got – except Tru Life.

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com tony grand$

          Idk Dub, I think he’s holding on tight to delusions of grandeur, misplaced pride & fantasies of being somebody important.
          He sounds pathetic in a real way, & I’m by no means a hater.

  • mannyd

    “Oh nah, that shit [recession] ain’t touched me not a bit. It ain’t a game man. I just bought 4 or 5 brand new black cars and only because I felt like the haters thought I was doing bad or something. Now it looks like a funeral when I pull up. They just saw me being humble, I’m a real humble dude. You know I live by my needs, I don’t really live outside of my needs. I’m not the nigga running around with the fancy car living in the projects.”

    I dont even know what to say to this. That nigga tru life is a goofball

  • dark vanilla

    I bet anything Tru Life is in debt. He sounds like an ignorant fool talking bout how he aint affected by it. Is surprised me that Jeezy had the realest quote outta all of em.

  • 007

    all the good rich rappers are saying yes and all the shitty not so rich rappers are saying no, i think the poor rappers are just frontin

  • $ykotic

    Buckshot WTF homie?

    You don’t remember all of us broke and thirsty around Bushwick pj’s? With one bank around(Banco Popular) within a 10 mile radius? I kinda see where you’re coming from but your words are misleading….

    Tru Life:

    Ron Mexx we need your assessment on this!!!!!

  • Jones

    i liked saigons response lol

  • Shawty J

    Dug, Saigon’s response and Big Daddy Kane’s response.

    Tru Life’s response was just ignorant. “I’m humble, but if niggas start shitin on my I’ll by a few whips to shut them up.” Come on!

  • Sway-z

    Saigon was straight up with that one. When everybody was talking about the economy is doing great, niggas still wasn’t getting no jobs like that lol, thats why niggas don’t be caring like that. The only time you feel shit is when it’s bad, when the gas go up, EVERYBODY feels that overnight!!

  • Yrain1

    Naw I think all of em had a point to an extent even buckshot. He mightve said some fucked up shit after his main point but he kinda had a point too. Muthafuckas do need to stop spending/charging money that they dont fuckin have that goes from the bottom to the top. From the bitch or nigga wit fucked up credit to the CEO’s of major companies. And FYI u think these companies thats firing niggas still aint got money??? GTFOH they just trying to keep the same profit they used to have or shit might even see it as time to increase they profit like fuck it less lower saleries and fire these muthaafuckas we dont need. Money makes the world go round my nigga. And I believe all of em when they say they aint affected by the shit I got a 6 figure job myself and shit, this shits been fuckin beatiful 4 me everythings cheaper houses are cheaper, cars are cheaper, and everybody’s havin sales so I been good. As long as ur moneys straight or in a good financial situation ur not affected by it really. The only way its affecting me is by the people I hang around wit and family so like E40 said its the ripple affect more or less, (if u a good person.)

  • Nehemiah

    If more rappers made quality albums than they wouldn’t be affected by the recession. I mean, u can call me a hater, but the recession has made me really think about spending money on an album.

  • http://www.hip-hopkings.com Stu

    haha @ Saigon. That fool has plenty of paper..if not the dude aint exactly broke…fuck outta here.

  • CLJ

    Tru Life know good and well that he ain’t doing what he just said…. Even the top money makers like Jay, 50, and Diddy cut back on the way they spin their money.

  • steve

    e 40 old azz got a gang of leaches in his stable

  • TEZZY

    You affected by this shit if you lazy real talk all these niggas getting laid off from factories and shit but they get 500 dollar unemployment checks so they aint taking no job that aint paying them less then that so why get a job alot of niggas that i know talk that recission shit but they never had a job in the first fucking place like the man buckshot said shit is a scare tatic why are jobs shutting down cause muthafuckas aint buying shit why they aint buying shit? shit ask yourself its only a recession if people aint buying shit so why you aint buying shit. oh cause its a recession oh well its because you aint buying shit and sai made the best statement

    • nellz

      u can’t possibly be that ignorant.

  • therealwayno

    Tru Life needs media training. Badly.

  • dave

    “A dude might be financially comfortable or whatever, but then you have people that’s affiliated with you that might be going through it. Sometimes you gotta sacrifice and come out the pocket. They think it won’t hurt you, but in a way if you do with four, five different people, it do affect”. e 40 would say that shit he talkin about his family in sic wid it ..fuckn leaches!

  • datruth

    A dude might be financially comfortable or whatever, but then you have people that’s affiliated with you that might be going through it. Sometimes you gotta sacrifice and come out the pocket. They think it won’t hurt you, but in a way if you do with four, five different people, it do affect. It’s life in general. Everybody getting it right now as far as this recession.e 40 whole camp are leaches!

  • http://mindinversion.wordpress.com Alteez

    EV is the shit. No one is working harder than that cat right now.

  • foo

    fuck them. fuck these fucking criminals who make money off basterdizing poetry and idolizing crime. i hope they bleed cash that stupid bitch fun-to-fuck-tasia

  • djjhgd

    Tezzy your a fucking idiot

  • djbvax

    Yea Tru…I’ll be downloading your music since you dont need the money. Thanks dude!!!