Rhymefest Says Lyrical Rappers Can Have Money Too

Video Exclusive: El Che defends lyrical-capitalism to DX, says that America is going Communist, and Rap sites are going pay-for-play.

Earlier this month HipHopDX caught up with Rhymefest in Lower Manhattan for a multi-part webisode series leading up to May 18th's independent release of El Che. The Chicago veteran emcee touched on a number of issues, starting right here with a pensive part one.

Asked about the ongoing global economic recession, 'Fest said, "For many people [the recession] is a time of 'Damn, well, what I'm gone' do?', for other people, it's a time of opportunity. This was [an economic climate similar to] when Ford, GM and [Apple were] created. If you're gonna ever start a business, if you're gonna ever be creative, if you're gonna ever have a level playing-field, now's the time. What's stoppin' you? You got the Internet - there are no laws on the Internet, you'd better hit it while it's hot." Although known to be a positive emcee, Rhymefest went as far as comparing the vigilante nature on the 'net to the pre-Rockefeller Drug Laws in the United States. "It used to be...in the '50s, '60s, '70s, the dope game was the game to be in because it was like before they had all these drug laws [where they are] lockin' people up forever. People were drug kingpins. Now, it's different. There's no such thing as Frank Lucas today...so niggas, quit rappin' about it while you're ahead."

Continuing, Rhymefest suggested identify fraud, perhaps in jest, as a lucritive web-hustle. "I'm still talkin' crime. Ain't nothin' wrong with crime - especially a victimless crime."

The political discussion continued, as the "Jesus Walks" co-writer stated that America was moving away from Capitalism, but not to the direction that even many conservatives believe. "All the the talk about Socialism and all that, that's a disguise for Communism.

Bringing the economic discussion to Hip Hop, Rhymefest asserted that not only does BET and radio not accurately depict the artists and songs that are successful in touring, but that the often unseen and unheard artists can be financially viable in today's materialistic Rap culture. "I heard...I think it was Waka Flocka [Flame] say, 'Rappers with lyrics ain't got no money,' but...how do you know? I could swear there's a radio station called Shade 45 invented by [Eminem], a rapper who can rap. I could've sworn Kanye [West] can rap real good. I could've sworn that Jay-Z was the dopest rapper that got everything. I'm pretty sure 50 Cent is where he is 'cause he can rap. People love Jadakiss - he can rap. All these people got money. Immortal Technique got money, Mos Def got money, Talib Kweli got money, I got money. Just 'cause you don't wear your money on your neck [...] don't mean you ain't got it. It just means you might be a lil' smarter than the average bear."

This, as well as Rhymefest's suggestion that some Rap media sites are charging artists to post content is included in Part 1 of HipHopDX's El Che webisode series.

Purchase Music by Rhymefest

Additional Reporting by Jake Paine.


  • Indiemuzik

    I'm not buying music from a rightwing nutjob...unless his mixtapes are any good.

  • xhiphopisalivex

    That's exactly whasss fucked up wit the game right now. "Being lyrical doesn't get you paid" who gives a fuck?! Rap for the love of the art and culture not because you want to make a lot of money. Mannn you see what pop culture does to these clowns

  • Bauce

    Someone needs to cut the politcal correctness BS and just fight these dumb niggaz making such claims.

  • TYBO2020


  • miguel Guttierres

    I also remember hearing KRS One say "It ain't about the money 'cause we all make dollars!"

  • nyblackguys

    Wowwwwwwwwwww!!!Recently, I came across a hot military dating club. ----**black military friends dot come**---- There are many sassy ladies and handsome military guys seeking fun, friendship, love ,marriage and even more!!!!! Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

  • Wakka Flakka

    Man this hip hop game is crazy. Rhymefest hit the nail on the head. Think about it, if you wanna truly matter and make a difference in hip hop you gotta be lyrical. Or else your just the flavor of the month. The list is endless. Jay Z, Nas, BIG, Outkast, Wu tang, etc... Eventually you stop caring about Jibs, or Huey, or St Lunatics, LOL Or pretty much anyone on the XXL freshmen cover.. LOL HA HA HA

  • hiphopscout


  • Panama Pete

    Fest gonna get my money on May 18th.... been waiting for El Che to drop forever. Waka Flocka can eat cock meat sandwiches all day.

  • Dark8Knight

    god i hate wacka flocka he needs to step his fu

  • Drucifer1983

    100% co-sign, I never understood that statement about Lyrical Mc's not gettin bread.............Eminem and Jay-Z got more money than an idiot like Wacka Flacka faggot will ever dream of counting, and there both great Lyricists

  • Detox2011

    Hahaha that sh!ts Nice! rhyme fest good lookin out homie! finally someone who doesnt bitch out like snoop dogg getting punked by the rookies

  • harris89

    "Just 'cause you don't wear your money on your neck [...] don't mean you ain't got it. It just means you might be a lil' smarter than the average bear." Word. Life.

  • A-1 Tone

    Realest statement in a long time headcracc records

    • harris89

      lol, wacka flocka... motherfucker only got on cause he's gucci mane's manager's son. fuck the industry.

    • Leon2010

      I dunno why Fest is even replying to Wocka Flocka Fuck Boi. Flocka's dumbass aint got no money so why the hell is he talking all reckless about lyricism?

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