Money makes the world go round. You probably heard that sentence quite a number of times by now. Well, we’re not here to dispute that. We are, after all, all about music. So, what’s the connection between music and money? For starters, a lot of artists ever since the dawn of time have written songs about money.
That’s how impactful these green pieces of paper have been on the industry. Now, whether money has been good to them or not, we don’t know, but we can find out! Maybe their songs will give us a hint. Having said that, here are some of the best songs about money that you should listen to right now.
Songs About Money
1. “Money” by Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd doesn’t regularly write songs about money, but when they do, it’s immediately a hit. “Money” is about the negative effects that money can bring to a good number of people. Funnily enough, this song actually made them a lot of money, going on to sell more than 34 million copies worldwide.
A lot of people assume that this song is actually motivational because of the line, “Money, it’s a gas.” However, we should already know from the first two lines that it depicts a picture of money as the root of all evil; “Money, get away.”
2. “For the Love of Money” by The O’Jays
The sentence we started this entire article with is actually from the bible, specifically 1 Timothy 6:10. The whole sentence is, “for the love money is the root of all evil.” The entire song is basically rooted in this aphorism.
Throughout the song, The O’Jays sings how countless people would do bad things just for the love of money. It talks about how some people don’t even care if they lie, hurt other people, hurt themselves, cheat, and deceive just to get the green bills they think they deserve.
3. “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy
Travie McCoy was from a band called Gym Class Heroes. However, his song “Billionaire” is from his solo music and it features Bruno Mars. The premise of the song is rather simple; What would Travie do if he becomes a billionaire?
Well, the entire song answers the question, and to McCoy’s credit, all of the things he wanted were for the betterment of his life and everyone around him. McCoy also jokingly said that he’s far from being a billionaire, and maybe he’s just in the thousandaire category.
The song also challenges the listeners with the same question. What would you do if you had an awful lot of money?
4. “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G.
Rappers regularly write songs about money and this song from Notorious B.I.G. is an example of that. “Mo Money Mo Problems” talks about how people who have more money will often experience more problems because other people would usually try to bring them down for personal gain.
We may not know if it’s true, nor if it’s about money, but the record label Bad Boy from which this song came from faced a lot of problems before and during this song’s release. One tragedy that happened was Notorious B.I.G.’s death before this song even came out to the public.
5. “7 Rings” by Ariana Grande
Some people become so successful in the music industry that they earn more than enough money to buy the things they want. This is the origin story of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.” It was after she and Pete Davidson had split up.
She, along with six of her friends, went on a shopping spree to make her feel better. She then bought seven matching rings from Tiffany’s for each of them to wear as a sign of solidarity. She probably immediately earned the money she spent that night almost immediately, as “7 Rings” garnered almost 15 million plays on Spotify within 24 hours of its release.
6. “Got Your Money” by Ol’ Dirty Bastard
The rap group Wu-Tang Clan wrote a few songs about money, but its most unpredictable member Ol’ Dirty Bastard took a shot at it too with his song “Got Your Money.” In this song, he talks about his fame, sexual prowess, and disapproval of certain types of women.
The hook is sung by Kelis, talking about how she got Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s money. There’s no indication whatsoever of how this occurred, but perhaps ODB just included the lines there to fit the whole theme of the song. Unfortunately, perhaps ODB is one of the many examples of artists who succumbed to the negativities of fame and money.
He died in 2004 because of a drug overdose.
7. “Money” by Lisa
K-pop, or Korean-pop music, is often characterized by its rather fun and conservative lyrics. However, being the monumental girl group that they are, Blackpink’s Lisa found herself singing songs about money with a more western touch, as evidenced by “Money.”
The lyrics revolve around spending money on things she likes and loving the feeling it gives her. It was written and produced by the same people who produce and write for Blackpink. As soon as Lisa heard the demo, she knew she wanted it to be her first single, alongside her other song “Lalisa.”
8. “Moneytalks” by AC/DC
This song is often misconstrued as a salute to money or people with a lot of wealth because of the chorus. However, if you really listen to the lyrics, you’d find that it’s actually the contrary. Rock bands often have certain angst against people who flaunt the money their earn, and AC/DC is no different.
You might think that AC/DC got so rich that they shouldn’t be singing against this type of people. However, AC/DC remained grounded and humble through the years. They didn’t hold back on the lyrics and how people brag so much about their luxurious lifestyles. Well, AC/DC said it best, money talks, bullsh*t walks.
9. “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles
This song was widely viewed as a song about a prostitute. However, it’s actually deeper than that. Paul McCartney wrote “Can’t Buy Me Love” which is about how money is useless and powerless when it comes to giving and receiving love.
It’s also about how fame and the needless chase for money are not too important, because what matters most in life are those things that money can’t buy, such as love. This became one of the first few songs that play the chorus at the beginning instead of the verse.
10. “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” by Bing Crosby
This may be one of the few songs about money that you wouldn’t even realize the first time you hear it. Despite the word “dime” in the title, the lyrics of “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” are quite deep.
It was written by Jay Gorney, and later became arguably the first protest song in the US. It’s about a worker who worked hard to build the country but later finds that the country would not necessarily return the favor, considering he became broke and out of commission.
The entire premise of the song is somewhat characteristic of the Great Depression. As you would expect, politicians at the time tried to ban the song from receiving airplay, regarding it as nothing but anti-capitalist propaganda.
11. “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child
As the adage goes, the only things constant in this world are taxes and bills. This next song from Destiny’s Child was written by Kandi Burruss, who regularly worked with the group. “Bills, Bills, Bills” was based on a real-life experience Burruss had when she dated a guy who luxuriously used her car and phone without even contributing to the bills and gas.
This song is about a girl questioning the guy she was dating if he could help with the bills, considering how financially dependent he became on her. While the lyrics are pretty straightforward, a deeper take on the song is actually about girls who should know they shouldn’t settle for good for nothing men.
12. “Money, Money, Money” by ABBA
We are all aware of how successful ABBA became. Even by the time they wrote this song, they were already quite a huge name and had earned a lot of money. However, this isn’t one of those songs about money that talk about spending it lavishly.
Instead, “Money, Money, Money” is about working really hard but still being poor because the society we live in is in large part run by rich people. The song went on to reach the number one spot on music charts in different countries around the globe including New Zealand, Australia, France, and Belgium, among others.
13. “Gold Digger” by Kanye West
The song “I Got A Woman” by Ray Charles is about a girl who is very supportive of him and gives him money whenever he needs it. Ironically, “Gold Digger” by Kanye West samples a part of this song, but it’s a different take.
This song is about a woman who dates famous and rich personalities for money. In “I Got A Woman,” Ray Charles sings “She gives me money when I’m in need.” However, in West’s “Gold Digger,” the line becomes “She takes my money when I’m in need,” and is sung by Jamie Foxx, who also played the character Ray Charles in the movie Ray.
14. “Price Tag” by Jessie J
This is a list of songs about money, but even though Jessie J sings “It’s not about the money, money, money,” in her song “Price Tag,” we still wanted to include it here because of the message it delivers.
It was written by Claude Kelly, Dr. Luke, and B.O.B. Cornish, an American rapper who is also featured in the song. They are also the ones who wrote “Party In The USA” by Miley Cyrus. The song is about how everyone seems to be concerned about getting money that they forget what life really is about.
“Price Tag” delivers the message that some artists don’t always care too much about money. What really matters to them is making the world a better and happier place through music.
15. “London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines” by Panic! At The Disco
Panic! At The Disco regularly takes lines from books. One proof of that is the title of this song, which came from a book called Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland. Additionally, there’s also a quote from Diary, a book by Chuck Palahniuk, that talks about being what you really are and not caring about what other people say. It goes,
“Just for the record, the weather today is slightly sarcastic with a good chance of:
A. Indifference or
B. Disinterest in what the critics say”
While the song does not necessarily revolve solely around money, it’s about Panic! At The Disco’s struggle to earn money through success in music. It’s as if saying that if they weren’t good at what they do, they would quickly be forgotten.
16. “Opportunities” by Pet Shop Boys
This song is about Thatcherism, the policies enforced in the UK which involve the privatization of industries previously owned by the country. The message is rather simple and straightforward, which is encompassed in the first three lines of the song; “I’ve got the brains / You’ve got the looks / Let’s make lots of money.”
It was written by the frontman of Pet Shop Boys, Neil Tennant, who used to be a writer in a magazine called Smash Hits. He said that his experiences there allowed him to get an inside look at the inner workings of the system. The song talks about how everyone seemed to suddenly become sensitive about money when back then, the money culture didn’t even exist.
17. “Material Girl” by Madonna
This song initially became a double-edged sword for Madonna. It became a huge hit, but she was also branded or nicknamed “Material Girl” for a couple of years while she was building her career. Thankfully, she was able to discard the moniker as she produced more substantial and meaningful songs.
“Material Girl” is basically about a girl who loves things that money can buy, so she manipulates men to buy them for her. On the other hand, the music video portrays Madonna as a gold digger. However, it was only because she was playing a role in this “film within a film” music video concept.
When the persona was done shooting the role, she leaves the scene in a regular car with a regular guy. However, journalists tend to focus more on the “gold digger” side of the MV as it would be a more controversial topic, therefore more discussed and tossed around.
18. “B*tch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna
Notorious B.I.G. said it earlier, when you have more money, you tend to have more problems. Sometimes, that includes demanding to be paid what you’re owed. This is what Rihanna’s cash-obsessed track called “B*tch Better Have My Money” is talking about, sometimes referred to as “BBHMM.”
The music video of the song revolves around vengeance, as the title would suggest. It’s rather violent, evidenced by Rihanna torturing a socialite who owes her money. Rihanna said that the music video is simply about being in charge and letting people know that business is business. So, if the other person doesn’t want to face the consequences, then BBHMM.
19. “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga wrote this song back when she was still indulged in the “pedal-to-the-metal” lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, and party. She said that it’s about the lifestyle in New York, especially in the Lower East Side, where rich kids would ask their parents for money so they could “party” but along with that comes the purchase of drugs.
Lady Gaga said that it could also be about self-proclaiming that you’re famous by manifesting it in your lifestyle. She says that wherever you are in the world, and no matter who you really are, it only takes the right mindset to feel “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich.”
Next: 27 Songs About New York
20. “Money Changes Everything” by Cyndi Lauper
Earlier, we had Paul McCartney tell us that money just can’t buy love. However, Cyndi Lauper sings otherwise. “Money Changes Everything” is about a girl who breaks up with the man she’s currently with so that she can be with a guy who has more money.
The song was first recorded by a band called The Brains. Tom Gray, the original writer of the song, said that he was talking with his landlady when he got the idea for the song. They were talking about a couple that both of them knew when she suddenly said, “The girl will leave that man if and when she finds someone with money.”
Well, we don’t know if money did change everything for the couple, but the song changed a lot of things for Lauper and Gray as both of them earned a fortune after Lauper released her version of the song.
21. “Money Trees” by Kendrick Lamar
We find Kendrick Lamar being brutally honest in his song “Money Trees.” He said that the song was written in the same state of mind as when he did his other song called “The Art of Peer Pressure.” It was simply about him thinking that everything is about money. He didn’t care about the truth, morality, or anything else, as long as he earns a dollar.
Jay Rock who was also featured in the song took a more lighthearted route by saying that his verse on the track is about striving for success and how he would hustle day and night because he’s motivated to reach the top. This song received a follow-up track from Lamar called “Money Trees Deuce.”
22. “If I Had $1,000,000” by Barenaked Ladies
Success is best enjoyed when you share it with the people you love. That’s what Barenaked Ladies was talking about in their song “If I Had $1,000,000.” It was written by Ed Robertson and Steven Page, both of whom were members of the group.
The song mixes love and money in a more endearing way. They’re saying that it’s okay to be lavish and spend your money luxuriously, but make sure that you still know what really matters. Barenaked Ladies sang that if they had a million dollars, they’d buy their loved ones a house, furniture, car, and lots of other things.
We’re not sure if Barenaked Ladies did have a million dollars after they released this song. What they did have are fans throwing macaroni and cheese at them whenever they perform the song, sort of in a playful way because of the song’s line that goes “I wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinner.”
The band then asked the fans to instead gather the boxes of mac & cheese at the door so they could donate them to the food bank of the city they were performing at.
23. “$ave Dat Money” by Lil Dicky
We all probably know how Lil Dicky gives us a different take on things. In his song “$ave Dat Money,” he did it again. Rappers often write songs about money, but Lil Dicky sings a song about not having money despite him being a rapper. He wasn’t entirely broke or poor, but the song kind of shows us that you need to be a wise spender.
Consequently, he wanted to create an epic music video with a luxurious car, a mansion, and even a yacht. He did so without even spending his hard-earned cash. He borrowed from multiple people, some being rappers, to create the video which took them six days, each having 12-hour shoots.
T-Pain was also in the music video. He asked Lil Dicky to make a cameo on his own MV, and funnily enough, Lil Dicky asked if he could use T-Pain’s set for a clip in “$ave Dat Money” too. This further showcases Lil Dicky’s message with the song, along with lyrics that say he uses his cousin’s Netflix account, books his flight in December even though he won’t leave until May, uses the same pair of jeans instead of buying new ones, only gets haircuts after a few months to save money and a lot of other things.
Money influences us all. We all need it to live comfortable lives. Sometimes, it becomes so pivotal that it drives artists to write songs about it. The list above is but a few of those songs. We’re certain there are still countless songs about money that we weren’t able to include on this list.
Nonetheless, if you want to listen to these types of songs, be sure to consider the tracks on this list!