Welcome back to The Verge’s weekly musical roundup. I’m Jamieson, I’m still your host, and this week’s column is going to focus on a specific theme: this year’s best songs about money.
Depending on where you’re reading this, you might be taking a break from the yearly commercial bacchanal known as Black Friday. Maybe you’ve picked up a new phone, a new TV, or that gaming console you’ve been watching for a while; maybe you’ve settled in for a TV series binge; maybe you’re getting ready to head to the movies with your family after spending an hour trying to find a film everyone could agree on. Why not spend the year’s most profligate day listening to a bunch of music that celebrates the accumulation and spending of wealth?
I’m not going to hop on Periscope this week because it’s a holiday, but I’ll be back broadcasting next Friday. (I’m also adding 10 new songs to our running playlist — new jams don’t slow down for holidays.) Enjoy these special selections:
OK, so this one isn’t really about money — but how was I supposed to leave it out when 3 million albums flew off American shelves this week? Something tells me Adele isn’t sniffing out Black Friday deals and clipping coupons right now. All hail the queen of the charts.
Drake, "10 Bands":
There were a few candidates for this playlist on Drake’s February tape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late — "Star67" is a close runner-up — but "10 Bands" is the only song rich enough to push Drake into speechlessness. "Let’s just not even discuss it, man."
Fifth Harmony, "BO$$":
This highlight from Fifth Harmony’s Reflection features one of the year’s best opening lines: "Every day is payday / Swipe my card, then I do the nae nae." I hope a few of you are doing some kind of dance every time you make a purchase — and that includes you, online shoppers. There’s nothing wrong with dabbing in your living room when you pick up a giant TV for half its usual price, right?
Future, "Fuck Up Some Commas":
One of the best songs from Future’s annus mirabilis gave the world one of its best recent turns of phrase. If you manage to spend at least $1,000 today, you’re legally obligated to acknowledge that you’ve just fucked up some commas.
This slippery piece of neo-soul is more interested in intangible, romantic wealth than cold, hard cash, but it makes for a nice change of pace after a few songs that are totally dollar-crazed.
Rae Sremmurd ft. Nicki Minaj & Young Thug, "Throw Sum Mo":
Rae Sremmurd’s hypnotic strip club anthem features two of hip-hop’s most compelling contemporary voices. Nicki’s hook is calm, measured, and matter-of-fact; Thugger’s closing verse is impressionistic and strangely affecting, melodies billowing from it like steam.
Rihanna, "Bitch Better Have My Money":
Did you seriously think BBHMM wasn’t going to be included? Anti may be sitting in Samsung / Tidal limbo somewhere, but we can thank Rihanna for making a bold, lurid anthem for freelance employees everywhere. Look on my invoices, ye Mighty, and despair!
Sleater-Kinney, "Price Tag":
If you find yourself exhausted by this playlist’s rampant greed, Sleater-Kinney’s here to provide a little balance. "We love our bargains! We love the prices so low! / With the good jobs gone, it’s gonna be rough." There’s a dark side to all of those deals, one that creeps into frame when you’re lining up for hours to save a few hundred bucks.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, "Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty":
This song’s more of an odd relationship drama than a meditation on inequality, but it’s hard to pass up that title. It could be your Black Friday slogan if you’re feeling particularly cynical this year.
Young Thug, "Check":
I’m glad the playlist’s closing with "Check" because it might be the most inviting celebration of wealth included here. You don’t need to be drowning in bands, selling millions of albums, or making it rain to relate to Thugger — you just need a paycheck. Who cares about the amount? Go cash that thing and treat yourself.
If you’d like to hear all of these songs collected in a single Spotify playlist, you can subscribe to the one embedded below. Have an awesome weekend fiddling with all of your new purchases!