The other day, I had the privilege of interviewing Bryan “Birdman” Williams for this website. One of my questions was how he spent the $1 million he won betting on the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl. Without any hesitation Weezy’s father said he bought a Maybach (click here to read the whole story).
Admittedly, when I posed the question about what he did with his money to Baby, I gently asked if one of the things he did was give it to charity. That’s when he gave me the Maybach answer. But no judgment here. Far as I’m concerned the man is free to do with his money what he wants and, in his defense, who knows what other ways he spends the money we don’t hear about it? But as was expected, ridicule towards Baby’s purchase started pouring in via Twitter and other social outlets.
A similar thing happened a couple of weeks ago when a news clip of Rick Ross, Diddy, and Pharrell spread on the Internet. In the clip, the reporter says the three artists threw out nearly $1 million in cash at the King of Diamonds strip club. Not a day had gone by before posts were being written and random folks on my own Twitter timeline accosted the men for their actions, citing all the different good causes the money could have gone towards.
Now paint me some sort of superficial jerk who cares nothing about the world’s problems, but honestly, if I had $1 million in disposable income, I’m pretty sure getting a Maybach or a night at one of the world’s best strip clubs would be at the top of my list of things to do. Would I give any of it to a good cause? Sure. Whatever I had left could go to a good cause, but the first good cause I’m going to support is myself. Why? It’s my money, and I earned it.
But the reality is, this is probably why a higher power has never and might not ever bestow upon me a cool mil. The higher power knows what I would do with that money, and more importantly they know what I wouldn’t do with that money, but at least I’m honest with myself. A whole lot of people from what I’m seeing on the other hand, are not.
It’s easy for us people who don’t have the seven or eight-figure income to talk trash about the people who do and the ways they choose to spend it. We used to watch Cribs in awe, but after a while, as the recession deepened and worsened and started affecting us in real ways, we began to despise those who had more than us. That attitude made us naive enough to believe if we were given money we would know not only how to spend it wisely, but how to spend it nicely and politely and respectfully towards others who were less fortunate than us.
But honestly, I don’t believe for one second anyone who says if they were Ross or Birdman they would have used the money to feed some starving children; at least not before they would spend most of it on themselves making sure they got everything they wanted out of being that rich. I also don’t believe the only causes rappers put their money towards is a stripper’s college tuition fund or the well being of car factory workers. The media likes to glorify rappers acting like rappers, not philanthropists. Believe me when I say, rappers giving money to charity is not something people think rappers do. Charity? That’s not hip-hop.
What I do believe is people have a right to spend the money the way they want to and the more broke we are the more likely we are to complain about the way some people spend that money. But just think about it folks, put yourself in their Gucci slippers if you can and be honest with yourself. If you had $1 million to spend, what would you do with all of it? Like I said, I’m pretty sure some of it would go towards those less fortunate but not without making me more fortunate first. So let me know how you all would split up the pie. I’m interested in the answers.
— Jozen Cummings, Digital Content Director
Follow me if you want @jozenc