The Last Tycoon

Damn. Dame Dash seems to have taken something of a fall. I won't revel in another man's misery. But the split between me and hip-hop has its orgins in Big Pimpin amd the Benjamins. Unlike most heads I wasn't bothered by the unvarnished lust for material things and money--I was bothered by the utter lack of respect for money. This is an old story stretching back to Frankie Lymon (Larenz Tate murdered that role, btw) and extending up though gold ropes and "make money, make money money money." But it's almost like when you don't come up around money, but live in a society that worships it, it lessens the chance that you'll understand it. What would I have done at 20 if someone had dropped a half-mil in my lap, and had no one around to really counsel me?

I remember when every rapper in the world was getting cameos from Donald Trump. It rubbed me the wrong way then, but years later, once I read up on Trump, I remember thinking, "This is who these guys idolize? This is their notion of wealth?" Anyway, it ain't a black thing, a hip-hop thing, or even poor people thing. Coming up around money doesn't mean rich kids don't burn their way through it. I think it's just a people thing.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In