Fame Does Not Equate to Money

Fame does not equate to money. I don’t know when exactly this delusional mindset invaded the brains of our people, but if you are one of these men or women who thinks just because you don’t see someone all over the Internet, television, or on MTV Cribs that they’re broke, then I have a stadium in Texas I just bought from Jerry Jones that I want to sell to you for the low…

I was moved to write this when I was reading tweets about my second favorite MC of all time, Mr. Nasir Jones, the other day. You heard the news by now that Nas has to pay Kelis over $290,000 in backdated support payments and legal bills blah, blah, blah. All I kept seeing was people saying Nas is broke. I was like, why?

People said because he don’t have a reality show, or he hasn’t been in a movie since Belly, or he doesn’t own his own alcohol beverage. One person wrote something like, “I know Nas broke because he’s never been on tour with Jay-Z.” I was like, huh? Is this how people’s pockets are measured nowadays?

Has it ever dawned on anybody that Nas has the money? Or y’all just assume he doesn’t have it because he’s not flashy? It’s my understanding that they audit your assets when you’re going through a divorce. So the judge obviously thought Nas was paying within his means so he has money.

I’m not saying Nas is filthy rich but I bet he’s barely broke. I bet if he had an iced out kufi, or his face on a chain, you would think he was caked the fuck up. Can you be mad at Nas for not wanting to kick all that money out to Kelis? Hell no! I’m a stern believer in spousal support because I believe if the mother of your child is happy then your child will be even happier, but let’s be reasonable, Kelis…

But, I’ll digress, that’s another blog for another time so back to the matter at hand.

I want my people to stop equating FAME with MONEY. In life, it’s usually the people you don’t see who are making the real bread. Why do you equate camera time with cash? Why do you think the person with all the jewelry on, the person with the Bentley, or the people you see on TV every week have all the money? Some of you think the cast of the Bad Girls Club is rich. I bet you think Frankie and Neffe paid, too, huh? I bet if some of you Young Money-minded muthafuckas saw Yung Berg standing side by side with Warren Buffett in your hood you would ask Yung Berg to borrow some money.

I want you to go up to the average 21 year old in the hood and ask them whose money they’d rather have, Carlos Slim Helu or Young Jeezy? Now that question is meant to be rhetorical, but I bet if you asked it you’d get a bunch of kids looking at me crazy saying, Are you serious? They should be telling you get the fuck out of here I want Carlos Slim Helu’s bread because he’s the richest man in the world! Guess what, though? You won’t hear that as much as you think because these kids never heard of Carlos Slim Helu, but they have heard of Jeezy. They see Jeezy in the videos on the Internet, with the cars and the jewelry, so in their mind that’s who got the money!

We have psychologically trained people to chase an illusion. The reason there are so many kids who want to be rappers, reality show stars, models and athletes is because these kids think this is were the money is. They see these people as being successful and rich when we all know there is a small percentage of rappers and entertainers who are making money.

Reality show stars? Please, half of them live with their parents. Athletes? When it comes to the NFL only 2.4-percent of college players make it and the NBA, far less than 1-percent. Models? You can’t be serious. If you think you are going to be a millionaire by being on the front of KING I suggest you kill yourself but I understand why you all chase these illusions, because this is what you see.

Imagine if on a daily basis kids saw how Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett or Bill Gates live the same way they see how a Lil Wayne or Lebron James lives. In fact, imagine if kids just knew who these people were? It would open their minds to a whole new world of opportunities. They would say to themselves, who are these people? Then, they would get to Googling and see the things these people have contributed to society. That’s when imagination kicks in and they start coming up with the new computer programs more advanced than Microsoft or alternative forms of energy for homes and cars—things that could make them the future billionaires of America.

How about a reality show for all the non-famous rich people? Show the doctors, lawyers, engineers and people who have invested in the right stock, and entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses. How about we showcase them and show their cars and their houses just to give these kids some other options and let them realize that Fame doesn’t equate to money.

In closing, I would like to say don’t assume the person washing the Bentley is any less well off than the so-called rich and famous rapper driving the Bentley because the person washing the Bentley might own the car wash. Nine times out of 10, the Bentley the rapper is driving is leased or even worse, rented because, for some reason, you negroes swear there is a future in frontin’.

Until next time,

Charlamagne Tha God

  • http://twitter.com/VisualVill VisualVill

    Peace from down here in SC God! Thanks for taking time to teach the kids. I’m a young tech entrepreneur myself on the cusp of making some real bread, believe I’m chasing Steve Jobs, not Jeezy.

    • AZ40

      Okay playa get that bill gates money u don’t see him flashin’ shit at all and we know he paid

    • http://none nova-mr-kane

      wassup dude.i like this write up because it says a whole lot with a few words. ni99@s need to wake up and pay attention. sadly they probably never will. the average YB person probably doesnt even know who steve jobs is LOL. sad but true.but they have ipods and iphones. jeezy vs jobs? im sidin with jobs. maybe one day soon our younger peeps will see the brighter side of things and want to get there through education and career instead of listening to someone whos barley making it but get behind the mic everyday. i guess as older people,(the ones who are aware)we have a responsibilty to show these kids that they can have a solid future outside of the lime light

  • Avenger XL

    Haven’t you heard its all style and no substance. The hood mind don’t think long term because by nature this life is so treacherous. They are all about stunting and fronting. That is why no matter how broke a hood dude claims I bet if they get a nickle they buy some J’s or overpriced clown cloths. What I like to call the hood uniform. Rather than stacking to try to at least step up and getting some versatility in their dress. The hood mind is trained to stay stuck by conditioning. It is similar to the mindset of those west virginia coal mine community and redneck appalachin culture but it represents how different cultures deal with poverty and lack of education.

  • http://xxlmag.com billi ron cob

    I see the point of the blog but dont brand all your readers as “YOUNG MONEY MOTHER FUCKERS”

    Im not, i know who Warren Buffet is, Bill gates etc.

    I also love hip hop.

    You sound bitter with this blog

    • Brown Suga

      Maybe you should read the post again because he did not sound bitter at all. He is stating a fact that most people equate fame with money

  • Mr.IAMRICH

    C Tha GOd man you need your own talk show. This is what people really need to be considering when choosing to stay in the studio trying to crank out a hit song instead of studying how to better themselves. But in all honesty people only feed into junk tv (as far as reality shows) the more outrageous the more interesting. People are now enterained by women fighting and bickering (Bad Girls Club and Atlanta House Wives) now i’m not knocking their hustle but instead of dumbing down lets try to smarten up!! Lets build our future through these young kids and not glorify ingorance and arrogance (aka Swag)put the vaule back in education and not cars, clothes, and things that will be out of style in a matter of months. Show our kids the right way.

    -Rich

  • Moving Sideways

    Usually your blogs are trite, but today you knocked this one out of the park. Interesting read.

    • valdez

      ^^ c/s!!

  • geico lizard

    Rappers lie about their money the real rich guys are the athletes. ESPN tells the groupies how much athletes make everyday. Groupies who chase broke rappers instead of athletes are dumb.

    • Justice4All

      Most Athletes are ignorant to their own money though. They spend money like they are going to get checks for the rest of their lives! On average, they play what 8-10 years barring some injury, You got 40 more years to live homie. Buying million dollar mansions and 12 cars is crazy. Ask those NBA/NFL stars that are broke after 3 years in retirement. The list is long.

  • geico lizard

    “Reality show stars? Please, half of them live with their parents. Athletes? When it comes to the NFL only 2.4-percent of college players make it and the NBA, far less than 1-percent. Models? You can’t be serious. If you think you are going to be a millionaire by being on the front of KING I suggest you kill yourself but I understand why you all chase these illusions, because this is what you see.”

    ^^^^^
    Co-sign all of this thats why I play the lottery. As long as I have no real chance I might as well keep hope alive.
    Powerball: 212 million dollars for 4/17/10

    Megamillions:$122 million for 4/16/10
    Cant win it if ya aint in it people

  • Dark Man X

    good article.

  • http://snitchesrus.com SnitchyMcRat

    Charlamagne,

    A lot of us (including me) assumed Nas was broke. Based on how we viewed his music career. We all thought his wack choices in beat selections over the years and not choosing to get on Cuban Linx II or Blue Print 3, Murder Inc pseudo signing. Like he just doesn’t make the right decisions, but never let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

    Snitchy

  • Seneca “The Beast” Doss

    Nice read!

    The Beast

  • Deadly MIME

    Yo I’m really feeling this blog. I’ve been seeing people talk about famous rappers and how they supposedly have money and shit. More than half the time rappers are still broke. If people really dug into the music industry, they would see that its the music labels that gets most of the money and the rappers only get a certain percent. Thats why you have these rappers come out with the bullshit clothing lines, movies and all that bullshit. You can’t live off rap forever.

  • Hussle’s Way

    lets talk about Nas for a minute. seriously…
    I always thought he wasnt broke, but wasnt rich either. Cuz u never see him anyway except when he drops an album, and I always thought he had GOLD albums.

    BUT…after checkin Wikipedia, it says all his albums went PLAT or 2XPLAT (minus : HHID and UNTITLED)

    can some1 confirm if those info are true? If so, Props to Nas!!!!!!!!!

    • Diz

      Look up Nas and his soundscans in google or wiki, you will be surprised. The brotha is and has been makin cake for a minute, that is to say he was business savy on his cut with the end-us.try…don’t sleep!

  • Jay Nitti

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE! Kudos my brother. Let them know and keep up the good work!

  • raazi36

    very insightful, stimulated my brain waves for sure ! !

  • Will E. WIll

    TPAR?

  • daydeezy

    I agree 1000%

  • Justice4All

    Man, put this post in every urban school you can! Negros really think that because some ignorant rapper has a lucky charm “Plat” chain and a Bentley that he is the richest dude in america when in actuality, he maybe a check away from the poor house. We negro’s tend to sink our money in non-interest items…ie..Cars, dumb chains, watches that glow blue with conflict diamonds, leased houses…when you have to liquidate your assets, they may have a cool $60,000? What? for real? I’m doubling you yearly (not counting 401k). The stuff the rappers and atletes have are useless, the car is crap as soon as it leaves the showroom floor (even less when you put your name on the headrest and on the seat backs) dummies! Then, they don’t buy a house, they lease it. That’s paying rent son! You don’t own it! You can’t even paint with out getting written permission from the owner. It’s actually a trifling and disturbing situation.

  • Jerod

    It’s not about the money. That’s why. It’s about doing what you love to do. If you LOVE making money, then go ahead, be Warren Buffet. If you love rap music though…

    Understandably, kids who live with nothing assume that life is all about money. Who has it, who doesn’t. Money doesn’t buy happiness fellas. Happiness makes money.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    good write. u made usc journalism school proud. i never thought nas was broke becaue nas spends his money wisely. Plus, nas has sold a lot of records despite his poor beat selections and obvious mistakes. Plus residules from Belly. In addition, nas may be doing alot behind the scene.

    the hood is messed up but society is too. people always say instead of being a rapper or baller be a lawyer or doctor. the average lawyer makes 32,000. its not about what u do its how u do what u do. meanwhile i read ups drivers on average make 74,000 a year.

    this is one of many problems with society

  • cmoney91

    the article speaks truth,thanks charlamagne

  • sealsaa

    “I’m a stern believer in spousal support because I believe that if the mother of your child is happy then your child will be even happier”

    That’s some sucka shit. I’m a firm believer in CHILD support. You bring a seed into this world, you need to support it, but i’ll be damned if i’m going to support some grown-ass woman who i’m no longer fucking.

    If you’re capable of walking into a court room to attempt to fuck me out of my hard-earned money, then you’re capable of getting job to support yourself.

  • sealsaa

    P.S.,

    as the late, great Bernie Mac would say, “you a new fool!”

  • Apollo Moses

    Great post bruh! Pee Dee SC

  • Will

    What happened to no pocket watchin?

    He aint breakin off nothin for any of us so why the fuck do you care?

  • donta

    nas broke yeah right. this is the blogger to speak on nas money. it has always amaze me that people think he broke. before his def jam deal he always went platinum or more. he is will smith of hip hop because just like nas nobody knows what will smith is worth. everybody dont want people to know what their worth

  • donta

    good article god man

  • q461

    “I’m a stern believer in spousal support because I believe that if the mother of your child is happy then your child will be even happier”

    That’s some sucka shit. I’m a firm believer in CHILD support. You bring a seed into this world, you need to support it, but i’ll be damned if i’m going to support some grown-ass woman who i’m no longer fucking.

    If you’re capable of walking into a court room to attempt to fuck me out of my hard-earned money, then you’re capable of getting job to support yourself

    CO-SIGN TO THE FULLEST DOG…!

    I’d rather be wealthy than famous any day by the way….

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    C/S this blog, minus the spousal support.

  • DC2FL Connect

    If Nas is so paid why was he behind with his taxes and th IRS?? Nas should have had a pre-nup in his marriage contract. It’s a shame that a man like Nas who’s whole thing in music is kicking knowledge, makes poor decisions in his personal life. Why kick knowledge but act stupid. Nas should smarten up and follow the Blueprint to sucess. Maybe he could get money and set up charities. I heard that him and Damien Marley’s Albumn will send a portion of sales to charity, I hope this is true

  • Pete from Harlem

    @billi ron cob

    I really don’t think Charlamange is bitter…just fed up of the mass perception of wealth and status. I get how he’s trying to open the eyes of people…young people who, like he said,equate monetary gains based on the flashy lifestyle…..lifeSTYLE…that they see on television and online. There is a movie out right now that displays this to the Nth power called,pun intended,’Keeping up with the Joneses’with David Dochovny.

  • C-Dub-D

    “In life, it’s usually the people you don’t see who are making the real bread”.

    If only more people understood this fact.

  • ShowTimeNY

    You and Ron Mexico are my favorite Bloggers here.. Great Point. Great Read. Carlos is that Mexican Dude who recently became The Richest Man in the World.

    http://www.soundclick.com/showtimeny

  • Face Phoenix

    Thank you, because looks are deceiving. I as a young man didn’t understand that until a older friend of mine who never drove a fancy car [much less a new car] went to the bank and I saw his bank slip and he had enough money to saved to buy two new cars. So many don’t understand the value of a dollar and how it equates to your standard of living. Many of the smarter men and women I know look at their futures and have 5 – 10 – 25 year plans while many young ppl don’t even have a six month plan for themselves or their financial future. Even E-40 said it best “Never buy a 40,000 dollar car before you buy a house.”.

  • Clever

    All I can say is A-men brother, A-men!

  • http://myspace.com/kidpistol Kid Pistol

    Co-sign this whole blog. Spot-on idea.

  • jvthamonsta

    Brilliant, Well put brother.

  • Justin

    I Agree With This Article. As For Nas, If Ya’ll Did Ypur Research More, You Would Know That Nas Has Been Ghostwriting For Will Smith On His Biggest Album To Date: BIG WILLIE STYLE, Check The Credits. Besides, Who Knows What Peoples Side Hustles Be. I Think It’s Great That We Assume That The Celebrities We Don’t See In The Spotlight Stuntin’ Are Broke. That’s The Best Life To Have, Stay Out Of My Business & Continue Thinking I’m Broke.

  • Justin

    I Agree With This Article. As For Nas, If Ya’ll Did Your Research More, You Would Know That Nas Has Been Ghostwriting For Will Smith On His Biggest Album To Date: BIG WILLIE STYLE, Check The Credits. Besides, Who Knows What Peoples Side Hustles Be. I Think It’s Great That We Assume That The Celebrities We Don’t See In The Spotlight Stuntin’ Are Broke. That’s The Best Life To Have, Stay Out Of My Business & Continue Thinking I’m Broke.

  • Michael P

    im feelin this article i rather be paid…and not famous its alot easier…im working ground up and it all start in the classroom i know im finna be startin college this fall

  • http://www.katodaily.com Kato

    None of ya’ll muhfuggas as paid as me.

    …just kidding. Good article.

  • TumTumBellz

    you get a standing ovation from me, Charlamagne…I applaud you for able to speak your mind and truth.. Keep keeping it real..and keep teaching….

  • King LEO

    For everybody who thought NAS is broke check this:

    The Man sold over 15 million records, add that shit playa

  • KING LEO

    Another note I dont give a dam about nobody money but mine.As I got older (25 now) I had to alter my brain from all the hype about rappers, reality shows stars, and models making money. Only a few make money. YES, I know who carlos slim is telecommunications guru from Mexico topped FORBE’s list of what a whopping $50 billion.Super Rich, pay everybody salary if he wanted to. The point is get educated, learn a trade, build your own business, part with another company and contract, build the next intel chip for computers (thats the road I’m on), and stop believing waht u see on TV and entertainers making all this money Not true. PEACE

  • Blackway

    Your general concept aint bad but I have to call ya out on saying shit about Nas’ finances.

    Y’all need to check out what the rapper makes AFTER taxes, after losses, AFTER expenses paid to lawyers, accountants.And lawyers/accountants aint coming cheap when your a musician/movie actor etc etc.

    Rappers aint the only celebrities to lose massive chedda cause of the finance meltdown, Movie stars, other celebrities with more chedda than Nas woulda dreamed of have lost big in ways you aint never dreamt.

    Posters here talking about records sold – forget it. The royalties system lines the pockets of the whites who really own the music.
    People were saying TLC were rich but their publishing was and is owned by whites. If you check you probably find Nas aint owned all his own publishing so the mutherload goes to whites who control the biz.

    Rappers’ expenses are mostly crazy shit for fronting. Nas aint no exception. The Rolls Royce Phantom etc could be leased. How many big names have we found out in the past year that aint own ‘their houses’. You aint own a house til you pay off the mortgage. Does Nas own his own house/s? Damn good chance he aint paid it off yet.

    Think bout cashflow – most rappers have borrowed/gone into debt. They aint have their cash flowing at their fingertips. Odds are Nas aint paid his back taxes yet cause he can’t – no cashflow.

    Even Jay Z aint own all the property said to be his. Y’all can look up property records easy and there’s a lien on one of Jay Z’s properties. UNTIL it’s done paid off, it aint theirs.

    Dame Dash is the example of how rappers and their biz associates live beyond their damn means. Others are the same but for now you aint hearing about it. You will.

  • Mutada Mullah Atari

    Nice post but do you KNOW the XXL Blog audience yet? A good chunk of us are college educated, mid 20′s early 30′s professionals that grew up with and still love hip hop, but were smart enough to: A) Realize that “being in the lab all day” was not going to put food on the table and pay the mortgage B) That having 800 FICO scores is not only for white folks. C)That skipping out on all night smoke sessions to study for Mid Terms and Finals would help (not guarantee)us to get that $2700.00 every two weeks take home that enables you to live comfortably. and D)Most of us realized long ago that 96% of Hip Hop lyrics and image are fabricated. And honestly while we all know Warren, Bill and the rest of the Billionaires used by self help guru’s to sell books to gullible people. How many of them are in the world? Could it be said that your chances of becoming a billionaire are FAR LESS than pulling a Soldier Boy and selling 5 million ring tones? This is for the WorldStar crowd, come on man your preaching to the choir.

  • ok really

    I like this article but according to Nas’ lawyers statement made to MTV he settled all fees owed to Kelis and her attorney in full! Nas owes Kelis NOTHING from here on but child supprt which was only 10k per month!

  • greg

    HEY OLD HEADS INSTEAD OF POINTING FINGERS AT THE YOUNG SIT DOWN AND TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CREDIT AND MONEY MGMT AND FUTURE PLANNING… I SELL NEW AND USED CARS AND SOME POOR GUY WILL DRAG GRANDMA IN TO CO SIGN FOR A USED S550 AT 1500 PER MONTH , WHILE A MILLIONAIRE BANKER WILL BUY A 2005 USED CHEVY TRAILBAZER FOR 12995.00 CASH . WE CAN DO BETTER WE MUST DO BETTER .. PEACE

  • Super Villain

    Nas is famous like crazy. You mean: ‘noise.’ “Noise Does Not Equate to Money.”

  • RealTalk

    DIZ ARTICLE TWISTIN SHIT..ONLY “A FEW ATHLETES MAKE IT”. TRUE. BUT DERES ONLY A FEW, RARE, FUKIN AMOUNT OF BILLIONAIRES…NO MATTER WAT U DO. IF DERES ALOT OF MONEY INVOLVED. U HAVE A SMALL CHANCE OF MAKIN IT. IM PRETTY SURE MANY OF US, INCLUDIN ME, WOULDN’T MIND HAVIN JEEZY’S MONEY. HOW DA FUCK U COMPARE JEEZY 2 A BILLIONAIRE? BE FA REAL. DONT DOWN TALK JEEZY LIKE HE AINT RICH. JEEZY HAS MONEY! PLENTY. EVERYBODY KANT BE BILLIONAIRES OR EVEN MILLIONAIRES

  • jae

    Some of you guys really need to do more reading. Nas is Co-owner of Gorilla Union.

    The paperwork alleges Nas signed an $11 million recording contract with Def Jam and is co-owner of touring company, Gorilla Union. The documents state Nas also pays for five homes, three for the couple in Los Angeles, New York and Georgia, and one for his family in New York and her family in the Dominican Republic. In addition to business ventures and property, the filings suggest Nas owns a number of luxury items, including a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Maybach, a Ferrari and a full-time driver in New York.

  • ATLs.Marc.of.Excellence

    To quote Chris Rock:

    “If Bill Gates woke up with Oprah’s money, he’d kill himself.”

  • John Banzadio

    From About.com

    I just read an article that was referencing an original Sports Illustrated piece that detailed a shocking statistic: Within two years, 78% of NFL players are either bankrupt or facing severe financial hardship. The article points out that the starting salary of even the lowest NFL player is $310,000 and then jumps to $460,000 in year two. The latter figure puts these players in the top 1% of income in the United States according to the Federal Reserve data. How on earth could they be going broke? That’s obscene.

  • chas

    Great post. Most people I know do think this way. I did for a while too. However, there is real money everywhere. It takes hard work in order to dominate whatever you want to do. Be the best educate yourself. Success will follow education and creativity.