While many insist that the best things in life are free, others choose to live with the extravagance captured by the iconic Blair Waldorf maxim: “Whoever said that money doesn’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop.”
However, whether you’re buying or budgeting, there’s no denying the intense feeling of satisfaction that follows after depositing a hard-earned paycheck into your savings account. In honor of the finance impact issue, here are six tracks that might not solve all your financial woes, but will hopefully provide you with the motivation to chase that bag. While many of these artists help us envision lives spent lounging in well-deserved luxury, some also take a cautious step back and remind us to contemplate the costs of consumption.
“Rich Girl” — Gwen Stefani ft. Eve
Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl” is a classic y2k anthem for aspirational designer devotees, or anyone fantasizing about splurging on the more lavish things in life. “Think what that money could bring/ I’d buy everything/ Clean out Vivienne Westwood/ In my Galliano gown,” Stefani muses, extending the materialistic reverie by acquiring multiple mansions from Hollywood to London. Her eager inflection and vivid visualization swiftly beckon listeners into an indulgent daydream. Shimmering with a slinky melody and mesmerizing, tambourine-like beat, “Rich Girl” is the perfect track for those wishing to get lost in opulence or the early aughts.
“Feeling Myself” — Nicki Minaj ft. Beyoncé
The highly-anticipated second collaboration between Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé, “Feeling Myself” is an unapologetic celebration of the duo’s achievements. Between verses filled with Minaj’s boastful, brazen lyricism, Beyoncé keeps it sultry with hypnotic hooks that further enwrap listeners in a cocoon of confidence. If their combined swagger doesn’t provide you with enough confidence and motivation to start investing in yourself and make some money, then nothing will.
“Money, Money, Money” — ABBA
Financial struggles are often simultaneously interlinked with frustration and determination, sentiments evoked in ABBA’s “Money, Money, Money.” The track weaves the tale of an individual who can’t make ends meet despite endless diligence, so they devise a plan to find their own wealthy man. “Money, money, money,” lead vocalist Anni-Frid Lyngstad sings in a bewitching chant, her sinuous vocals gliding over an electrifying bass guitar and expressive, staccato piano notes. Equal parts rhythmic and resolute, this is the perfect track for hitting the dancefloor or hatching your own get-rich-quick scheme.
“Sweet Life” — Frank Ocean
Like multiple tracks off of Frank Ocean’s debut studio album, channel ORANGE, “Sweet Life” shatters the glamorous facade of the one-percent lifestyle. The track opens with a jazzy verse sung over a breezy bass line, yet culminates in a luxuriant chorus where Ocean reflects on the myopic side effects of material wealth. “You’ve had a landscaper and a housekeeper since you were born,” he remarks, adding the caustic challenge, “Why see the world, when you got the beach?” Layered over lush horns, Ocean’s lyricism flows like poetry. Listening to “Sweet Life” feels like wallowing in a shaded paradise before being blinded by the scintillating sunrays of reality.
“XS” — Rina Sawayama
Initially, Rina Sawayama’s “XS” lures listeners into a glittering, Hollywood-esque fantasy adorned with “Cartiers and Tesla Xs.” Yet, the y2k-inspired track rapidly derails into an anti-capitalist anthem complete with gritty guitar riffs, drawing attention to the enduring ecological expenses associated with hyperconsumerism. Sawayama sings, “Flex, when all that’s left is immaterial/ And the price we paid is unbelievable,” her tone dripping with urgency and derision. Sonically, “XS” is reminiscent of R&B and pop hits from the past, but Sawayama’s scathing, satirical lyricism is an environmental wake-up call for both the present and future.
“Money” — Pink Floyd
Extending over six minutes, Pink Floyd’s “Money” is a sensorial, auditory feast from beginning to end. The track opens in an uncommon 7/4 time signature with a sequence of money-related sound effects — the gentle jangle of coins, the ka-ching of a cash register, the rhythmic rustle of a counting machine. “Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash/ New car, caviar, four-star daydream/ Think I’ll buy me a football team,” vocalist David Gilmour enumerates over a jaunty bassline that anchors the track in a blues-type soundscape. In between vigorous tenor saxophone and guitar solos, Gilmour continues to meander down the path of consumerism that eventually leads to greed and addiction.