Over the last few years, the hip hop industry has once again found itself at the very forefront of the music industry. Following the emergence of numerous global stars, along with other social changes, the rap scene is once again hitting mainstream stardom. In recent times, one of the biggest contributing factors for this new-found popularity is due to the issues and topics that modern-day rap comments on.

Hip hop has always been a highly competitive sector within the music industry, and while music culture is ever-evolving and often fickle, the original and beloved foundations of rap have largely remained the same. However, also within the genre, greater numbers of artists are becoming 'cash-obsessed' and are looking to lyrically publicize their fame and wealth, as opposed to the original lyrical roots of rap, which focussed on the broken class system and societal injustices.

However, although this is becoming very common in contemporary hip hop, it is not necessarily true of every artist. As a result of that, we’re going to take a look at some of the most cash-obsessed rappers and see how they compare to those who remain down-to-earth.

Gold chains and Cadillacs

In 2017, hip hop dominated the music streaming industry and continued to prove itself as one of the most popular genres in the following year. For many, the competitive nature of the rap scene is what makes it such a worldwide phenomenon. Lyrics that focus on wealth, possessions and status have gradually become song-staples for both male and female artists.

Playboi Carti, the Atlanta-born rapper, is one of many hip hop artists who rap about money, with the topic featuring heavily in many of his releases. For example, the 22-year-old mentions different variations of 'cash terminology' in 78 of his songs. Aside from Playboi Carti, Gucci Mane includes similar shoutout lyrics in a staggering total of 946 songs.

While the subject is popular among male artists, female musicians such as Cardi B also focus their songs around the subject of wealth. The triple-platinum certified rapper leads the way when it comes to using the term 'money', with it being mentioned at an average of 78.89 times in every 10,000 words.

Down to Earth

Aside from being money-driven, there are some hip artists who, despite their global fame, remain down to earth. Hip hop legend Scarface, who featured heavily in the rap scene in the years preceding 1988 following his role in the Geto Boys, has turned his attentions to giving back to the community. The Houston native is now focussed on running to become the next Houston City council member for District D to address the issues affecting his hometown community.

In regards to contemporary hip hop, Chance the Rapper is widely regarded as one of the most humble modern-day artists. The 26-year-old is committed to helping communities throughout Chicago. In 2017, Chance donated over £800,000 to mental health services within the city as he continues to be a role model for those in his hometown.

Differences create greatness

While each artist mentioned above approaches fame and the music industry in their own way, they have all attained worldwide fame from staying true to themselves. Whether that means rapping about the material things they love or their personal motivations. Although fans of the genre seem to enjoy these lyrics, in the same breath, rap culture also continues to idolize those who remain humble. It’s clear that the differences within the industry and between the rappers themselves are what creates intense creative variety and global levels of success.