I worked on Wall Street for 9 years and even I can’t articulate certain financial concepts quite like Drizzy does.
Drake has dropped little lyrical gems over the past decade with the flare and knowledge of a certified Wall Street hardo. He not only understands concepts like earnings and accounting, but also the cultural struggle of what it means to live the Wall Street life.
In 2006, Drake started rapping about liquid assets like every rapper in the history of the genre. But since then, he’s added a depth which shows he really is about the nine-digit life: wire transfers, zero credit limits and missing exes.
With that in mind, I’ve done some intense research (aka listening to Drake nonstop) to highlight five lyrics showing Drizzy knows his stuff. The jury’s still out on whether he knows how to use Excel, but then again, no senior banker really does.
1. “Goldman Sachs, they wanna hold my racks.” – Fire In The Booth (Freestyle, 2018)
Who’s thirstiest for Drizzy? It’s probably not who you think. But if you said asset managers, you’re right. Aubrey name-drops the world’s premier financial institution because they’re sliding in his DMs trying to land him as a client.
Most big banks have an asset management arm that targets high net worth individuals (HNWs) and institutions (like pension funds, college endowments, insurance companies, etc.) to invest their assets.
Goldman looks at Aubrey and sees an XXL bag of Benjamins and wants to manage his assets. Essentially, they’re a parking lot. Goldman wants Drake to “park” his cash so they can take a fee and make sure it doesn’t disappear.
I’m not sure if Drake is a Goldman Sachs client, but I wouldn’t be surprised considering he’s way too rich for Robinhood.
2. “I guess we’ll never know where Harvard gets us, but seeing my family have it all, eliminated that desire for diplomas on the wall.” – Crew Love (Take Care, 2012)
A fancy degree is like a Ferrari. It costs $250,000 and is worthless if the engine carrying it burns out. Like a supercar, an Ivy League degree might turn heads, but it’s not a GPS toward success. And like an engine, you can burn out. Once you get to your desk, you’re in the trenches with everyone else and back to square one.
Drake understood Harvard wasn’t the path for him and spent years in the trenches making mixtapes before blowing up as Lil Wayne’s protege (and he hasn’t stopped working since).
The current CEO of Goldman Sachs went to a small liberal arts college. Now he’s running the Harvard of banks. On Wall Street, your degree can get you in the door but can’t lift you to the top.
3. “I’ve been talking crazy girl, I’m lucky that you picked up. Lucky that you stayed on, I need someone to put this weight on.” – Marvin’s Room (Take Care, 2012)
When I was an investment banking analyst from 2010 to 2012, “Marvin’s Room” was my theme song. As Drizzy knows, working 100 hours a week might ruin a lot more than your weekend plans. The 24/7 stress of being connected to the desk is bound to spillover toward other aspects of your life. Before COVID-19, the stress reliever of choice might’ve been the Meatpacking District in New York or a local dive where you can sit and sulk for hours (while checking emails).
But after eight or nine vodka sodas though, you’ll miss that one special person and realize they’ve moved on.
4. “Back to L.A. Opened up the mail, starin’ at the check. Enough to make you throw up man. It’s gross what I net” – Worst Behavior (Nothing Was The Same, 2013)
A company earns “gross pay” or “revenue” BEFORE expenses. TechCrunch and other news outlets are obsessed with “revs,” but net income is ultimately what matters to owners and shareholders. This is what’s left AFTER expenses, overhead, debt payments and the IRS.
Public companies can dump their “net” back into the business OR give dividends and/or buyback shares to hook up their shareholders (and themselves).
Just because someone’s dripping in diamonds and clad in Off-White doesn’t mean there’s any cash in their accounts. Gross revenues tell us what’s possible, but net income shows us what’s real.
I have a feeling Drake’s net is so large he can’t use Chase Mobile Banking to deposit his checks. So he literally has to go to the bank. A small price to pay.
5. “Spending tomorrow’s money, I call it mañana.” – Made Men (Rick Ross ft. Drake, 2011)
By early 2011, the Federal Reserve stepped up its quantitative easing program by $600 billion and Drake was watching. The Fed has kept the money printer on for the last decade, borrowing from the future to keep the party going today.
Aubrey is music’s Fed Reserve. He has no issue spending tomorrow’s money today because he knows he can print more. Even if all of his income went to zero and creditors came knocking, I’m sure he’s got one or two (hundred) things in his house he can liquidate.
6. “If me and Future hadn’t made it with this rappin’, we’d probably be out in Silicon,’ tryna’ get our billions on.” – 6PM in New York (If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, 2015)
Since 2010, the lowest interest rates ever paired with a bottomless thirst for gains has created a Coachella of disruption. Venture Capital firms have been busy writing checks and giving us companies like Instagram, Snapchat, Airbnb, Uber, Warby Parker, Casper Sleep and more.
People are so sloshed on the “disruption” Kool-Aid that even mindboggingly dumb ideas get stupid funding. For example, the company Quip raised over $40 million to literally sell toothbrushes. But they’re considered a tech company because of their online subscription component. I can hear Steve Jobs crying.
Drake’s eye on Silicon Valley isn’t random; it’s facts. Many bankers have swapped suits, heels and bank employee IDs for t-shirts, Allbirds and Apple Keynote to live the TechCrunch life.
Drake agrees. If he didn’t disrupt rap, he’d be putting together pitch decks and Twitter DMing Sequoia and Andreesen Horowitz partners to show them what he’s “building.”
Glad he stuck with rapping. Must be God’s Plan.
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