If you follow any rappers of note on social media, chances are you’ve seen them squeezing stacks of cash to their ears for what has become known as the international symbol for when the money’s calling. But now a few lines from JAY-Z’s 4:44that address this “money phone” phenomenon have caused mild upheaval in the community, and rappers everywhere have weighed in on it.
On “The Story Of O.J.” — the new album’s first single, which talks about race and financial responsibility — Hov shows that he’s not impressed by the braggadocious gestures, rapping, “Y’all on the ‘Gram holding money to your ears/ There’s a disconnect, we don’t call that money over here.”
Reactions from rappers have varied from being offended to embracing it. Boosie Badazz was one of the first to respond with a lengthy rant where he said that JAY’s lyrics won’t change his ways. “If JAY-Z tell you jump off the Eiffel Tower, you going to jump? JAY-Z don’t run the South! I’m still holding money to my ear,” he said.
Future took a different approach entirely. Last weekend, he posted a picture on his Snapchat account holding a large wad of cash to his ear with a caption reading: “U ain’t got the juice like dat. MOOD.”
The picture and caption were seen by many fans as a possible response to lines about him on 4:44‘s opener, “Kill Jay Z.”
Takeoff of Migos used jokes to respond to the lyrics. In a video posted online, he holds a couple of boxes of Backwoods to his ears. “Backwoods — what you call that, Jay? You don’t know nothing about that one,” he says before the focus switches to Quavo flexing his new car and diamond grill.
Blac Youngsta, a regular money phone answerer, couldn’t pass up the chance to reference it. In a video posted online to promote an upcoming concert, the rapper upgraded the money phone by holding a money bag to his ears, saying “Hello?” before continuing to talk about the concert.
Blac Youngsta upgrades the money phone pic.twitter.com/EMijr0yE6Y
— Rap Spotlights (@rapspotlights) July 4, 2017
Big Bank Black, CEO of Duct Tape Entertainment, doesn’t care what Hov thinks about using the money phone. He posted a video to Instagram a couple of days ago where he gave his response to Hov’s lyrics. “Fuck that shit JAY-Z talkin’ ’bout. Where I’m from we show that shit.”
50 Cent took to Instagram with his response, claiming to be the originator of the pose. He posted a picture featuring himself and Floyd Mayweather holding stacks of money to their ears with the caption reading, “Just so you know where the Money to the ear thing came from. The Original TMT.”
50 may not have said how he felt about the lyrics, but he did let the world know that he wasn’t very impressed with Hov’s album, referring to it as “ Ivy League shit” in a video posted to Instagram.
Though it doesn’t look like money phone is going anywhere anytime soon, better hit the ATM for some photos just in case.