Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gold Digger by Kayne West

Marriage is a financial institution. Now I'm not trying to "bah humbug" the importance of love within marriage but the reality is that throughout human history most societies viewed marriage as an economic agreement. Think about it: dowrys, arranged marriages and even now fathers of brides still often pay for weddings.  And we can't forget the widespread use of pre-nuptial contracts.

Entire the idea of a girl as a "gold digger." A girl who is only going out with a guy because he has money.  While woman are often criticized for this and we forget the guy has a role in all of this enabling this behavior.

Kayne West with his 2005 smash hit "Gold Digger" explored the idea of a gold digger idea from different angles. Featuring a sample from the Ray Charles hit, "I've Got Woman," "Gold Digger" is fun, infectious and surprisingly insightful.

In the first verse Kayne describes how he met a girl who has high class tastes ("with a baby Louis Vuitton under her underarm"). He goes on to describe that she has four kids and he has to pay for all of their dinner. Towards the end of the verse he describes how she used to be with Buster Douglas and Usher but Kayne stands by his woman, " I don't care what none of y'all say I still love her."

The second verse is a hilarious cautionary tale of what could happen with a gold digger. Kayne tells the story of a football player who has a baby with a gold digging woman. Showing off his prowess as a rapper (which is impressive) Kayne tells about how she misuses the child support money.

She was supposed to buy ya shorty Tyco with ya money
She went to the doctor got lipo with ya money.
She walkin' around lookin' like Michael [Jackson] with ya money.
Shoulda' got that insured, GEICO for ya money.

What immediately follows is one of the funniest shout-out audience responses. Have you ever been at a dance party when Kayne says "holla' we want pre-nup" and a rooms full of guys response with "WE WANT PRE-NUP!!"? It's absolutely hysterical. Then the verse ends with a kicker: "And on her 18th birthday, he found out it wasn't his?"

The song ends with a message to the ladies. Kayne understanding that woman has needs but warns them that the guy has ambition and can "make it to a Benz out of that Datsun." He warns her that if she doesn't do right by her he'll leave her and she'll regret it.

All three verses are calls to look beyond money. The first verse is about a man's belief in his woman, the second verse is more about a man simply not being smart and letting a woman take advantage of him and the last verse is about looking beyond the material.

Money isn't just about money. The way people value money and the role money plays in their lives is a reflection of who they are. In this way, having a talk in a relationships about money and making an "economic agreement" in a marriage is more than just about money, it's about trust, values, communication and love.

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