Hip-hop began in small circles of immigrants from Africa and Latin America who sought self-expression and social equality. But eventually, the subculture reached a global level. It still influences politics, culture, fashion, education, technology, and much more. It even influences gambling, although you don’t think much about it. Therefore, let’s look at how hip-hop stars mention betting and whether it is dangerous or good.
The Influence of Hip-Hop Culture
It all started in the working-class neighborhoods of New York City, where people mixed different sounds for their small parties. The best performers were called MCs and even recorded cassettes. But the real genre’s growth started in 1970. Then, successful singer Sylvia Robinson opened her recording studio, Sugar Hill Records, and released two hip-hop singles that topped the US charts.
Hip-hop is mostly reflected in music, choreography and visual art. You will recognise it by its loose clothing, dreadlocks, bright colors and massive jewelry. But it’s not just about the look, it’s also about sense. Performers raise social issues and draw attention to them by evoking emotions. Most often, they talk about racism, misogyny and social inequality issues.
The portrayal of gambling in the world of entertainment is relatively less common but undeniably significant. Artists often use their platform to sing about gambling as a means to enjoy their wealth and bask in their success, creating an air of celebration and even romanticization around it. However, there are instances where these same artists take a different stance, using their art to caution against the perils of excessive gambling and advocate for responsible gaming.
In this context, tools like GamStop come into play as valuable resources for individuals looking to exercise control over their gambling habits. GamStop is a self-exclusion program that allows users to voluntarily exclude themselves from UK-based gambling platforms, but there are NonGamStopBets sites for GamStop players in the United Kingdom which are often chosen as an alternative by those who have self-excluded. Let’s delve deeper into these contrasting portrayals of gambling in the world of entertainment and the role of responsible gaming tools like GamStop.
Gambling References in Hip-Hop
Let’s start with GOATs. The song “I’m So Paid” by Akon Feat. Lil Wayne & Young Jeezy talks about the rappers’ success and has an interesting line ‘Against all odds and I will not stop’. This is an allegory about the odds in gambling. In short, no matter how much money you bet on the singer’s defeat, he will go on to achieve his goal.
Kendrick Lamar compares betting to love in his Vegas, which is evident in the lyrics:
- ‘You’re the one I’d risk my life
And waste it on a bet’
- ‘If gambling’s a sin
Then I’m rollin’ dice with Lucifer
To make sure I ain’t losin’ you’
- ‘I’m a cash in on this last poker chip
You can bet’
- ‘You’re the one who keeps the
Slot machines spinnin’ around’
All to intensify the emotions, and Lamar succeeds.
Big K.R.I.T. went the other way and compared gambling to life. They have the same risks and dangers, so sometimes you have to be careful. This is how the singers highlight the negative aspects of gambling, which is quite rare. We see it in the lyrics ‘They say life is a gamble, So be careful when you shake ’em up’ and ‘Russian roulette table, I gotta bet safer, You gotta know when to fold your cards’.
Hip-Hop Stars Experience
Another famous hip-hop artist Jay Z also has a soft spot for cards and roulettes, which he often mentions in his songs. From time to time, the news feed is filled with his bet numbers, and the most scandalous one is the loss of $500 thousand for a hand in Vegas. He didn’t comment on this case, but it’s safe to say that money is not a problem for him.
Rapper Drake had a similar situation related to his mad betting habits with an even higher amount. He lost $10 million in a casino while broadcasting live on Instagram. Then the public began to worry whether he had a gambling problem, as the amount was 5% of his net worth. Besides them, 50 Cent, Young Thug, Youthful Criminal, Nelly, and others were seen at the tables and slots. That is the idols of millions.
Lessons We Can Learn
No matter how much you enjoy a song or video with dollars, reels and alcohol everywhere, the reality is harsher. Gambling is not only about entertainment but also about risks. No one guarantees you a win, no matter how much you bet, and these hip-hoppers are a perfect example. They can afford these bets, but for other people, it can be unattainable amounts and a road to debt. Keep this in mind, along with the Big K.R.I.T. guidelines, to still enjoy your betting. Here are some tips to do so:
- Set limits. Before the round, set a specific loss amount or time and stop when you reach it. This way you won’t spend too much.
- Watch indicators. Choose games with a high RTP, i.e. a player’s advantage. Most often, this applies to slots. As for card games, don’t play high limits until you’ve improved your skills. Consider your capabilities.
- Choose safe platforms. Good casinos are licensed, have a lot of real reviews, and follow responsible gambling rules. You don’t want to invest in a fraudulent website. Finally, you can read some of the top books about responsible gambling.
Hip-hop culture teaches us a lot, but sometimes it glorifies taboo topics. We can still benefit from it and not repeat the mistakes of others. Sing along with your favorite rappers and place bets, but don’t chase that Jay-Z loss. Play it safe!