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Your Favorite Rapper is Poor: The Baby Momma EditionPosted by Nathan S. on 07/08/10 | Filed under Top Stories, Features, Your Favorite Rapper Is Poor
I wrote last week that the only time rappers start fronting about their finances is when the I.R.S. comes calling; despite the (leased) Lambo they drove to the courthouse in, they're suddenly too poor to pay their taxes. Upon further reflection I'm forced to apologize. I was wrong. There are two times a rapper admits how much money he really has; when the I.R.S. audits him, and when he's trying to fight child support payments. In an ultimate irony, rappers who made their money on a hit single about how the buy hos expensive bags and fuck them can find themselves nearly penniless after being legally obligated to pay for said designer bags after said fucking leads to a child.
Rappers haven't been shy about the dangers of crippling child support payments (see "Gold Digger" and almost every track Big Boi's ever done) but they've rarely been as specific as Lyfe Jennings during a recent Vibe interview:
"It seem like females just be wanting the dude to suffer. It’s hard. They want him to pay, what, $50,000 a month? Do you realize that this dude bill is probably at least $30,000 a month so 50 plus 30? And then taxes is 50% so this man has to turn around and make $160,000 a month just to have his bills paid."
Lyfe's dead on. As we've already established, rappers, especially ones who signed a 360 deal, have so may hands in their pockets it's like their accountant is Shiva, and a child support payment's another hand to contend with, another big hand.
To use a more concrete example, we'll examine our go to fake emcee MC Wannabe. Wannabe has a huge hit and made nearly $1 million, but after he paid out iTunes, the label, publishers and guest fee, he found himself $30,000 in debt. Luckily he's getting enough free shit to maintain appearances, but with the label taking percentages of his tour and merchandise money, he's got to tour relentlessly just to barely clear $100,000 a year. Subtract taxes, which thankfully he actually pays, and child support payments he owes after knocking up a groupie who mistakenly believed he was an actual millionaire, and he's taking netting $40,000 a year if he's lucky, or just a little more than your average elementary school teacher. (Ballin!) Of course he can always use that advance to pay his baby momma, but we all know how that goes.
Of course Lyfe is far from alone, and in the internet age where nothing can be kept under wraps, we know just how much a number of major rappers are paying their baby mommas. Nas has been ordered to pay Kelis approximately $600,000 a year (which he's claiming he can't possibly pay), Diddy is shelling out $130,000 a month (that's $1.5 million a year) to two baby mommas with four kids between them, Russell Simmons forks over $40,000 a month and 50 Cent gets off light at $7,000 a month...because he's letting his son and baby momma live in a house he purchased for them.
Chart from Vibe.com
Moguls like Diddy and Russell who have money coming in from far more than music may be able to pull off such large payments, but for even relatively famous rappers child support payments can be the straw that broke their already shaky financial camel's back...so to speak. Suddenly that $10 for a pack of condoms doesn't seem so expensive, huh up-and-coming rapper? It's the best investment you'll ever make.