Four years ago, the Boston Globe ran a story that exposed the darker side of hitting the lottery jackpot. As expected, most achieved instant popularity as they spent winnings on expensive cars and lavish vacations. But many also shared an overwhelming sense of isolation as distant relatives came out of the woodwork seeking financial gain.
Psychologists call it sudden-wealth syndrome. Hip-hop refers to it as the Biggie Smalls theory: Mo' money, mo' problems.
"When I come home," Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy states via phone, "I have to deal with my family and friends. These are people I've been knowing that are going through real hard times. You can't save everybody; It's just real, especially when you come from [equally hard times]."
And you thought he was all about clubbin' with Usher.
It's not your fault, though. Cats like Jeezy have built careers spitting hot 16s about cool cars and buying out bars. No other genre of music has created a wider gap between the fantasy it depicts and the reality lived by its fan base. Mainstream rappers have painted such lavish images of themselves that it's hard to distinguish the truth.
Read the rest of this article here.
(Photo courtesy Def Jam)
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