Ballin’ til you fall may not be such a good idea nowadays. Budgets are being cut, albums are collecting dust on the shelves and concertgoers are becoming scarcer. With the music industry being one of the recession’s hardest hit victims, even typically flamboyant rappers have been forced to re-assess their spending habits. Some confessed to cutting back while others say they’ve yet to feel the crunch. XXLMag.com caught up with the likes of E-40, Akon, Pusha T and Mr. Recession himself, Young Jeezy, to discuss the effects of the recession.
Young Jeezy: I mean, I probably cut back on some of my spending habits, you know what I’m sayin’? Not really habits, but it’s probably some things that I always want that I don’t need, so I’m cutting back on the extra stuff…Wants and needs are two different things, nah mean? So I’m focusing more on what I need.
Akon: I’ve been very blessed to be in a situation where music and fashion is always recession proof in a lot of different ways, because it’s really what we turn to when we’re going through hard times. If I got to the point where the recession actually affected me I would cut back on all them cars I got. I would start selling them if I can. That’s the only thing I spend more than I have to on. Only cause it’s my fetish and I just love cars, but I already know it in my mind that I won’t buy it if I ain’t ready to let it go tomorrow. I know at the end of the day, my hustler mentality if I have to survive, that car is out of here, straight up.
E-40: It’s the ripple effect. If there ain’t no money out there in the streets, any money out there for our audience to go buy our music, then our sales go down. That affects our pockets. A dude might be financially comfortable or whatever, but then you have people that’s affiliated with you that might be going through it. Sometimes you gotta sacrifice and come out the pocket. They think it won’t hurt you, but in a way if you do with four, five different people, it do affect. It’s life in general. Everybody getting it right now as far as this recession. Right now, it’s either feast or famine. You’re either eating or you ain’t, so you gotta hold on like a hubcap in a fast lane. The strong gon be able to survive.
Tru Life: Oh nah, that shit [recession] ain’t touched me not a bit. It ain’t a game man. I just bought 4 or 5 brand new black cars and only because I felt like the haters thought I was doing bad or something. Now it looks like a funeral when I pull up. They just saw me being humble, I’m a real humble dude. You know I live by my needs, I don’t really live outside of my needs. I’m not the nigga running around with the fancy car living in the projects. Like, I went and bought my house before I bought anything. I’m doing pretty well. Never had an album out in my life. But I’m doing real good by the graces of Allah. It’s all Allah’s will. I respect that, that’s why I give back all the time. I help out all the time. They talk about me doing all the foul shit but never talk about you might catch me in the Bowery, in the homeless shelter washing dishes or something my nig. That’s the kind of dude Tru life is. I just wanted to show niggas I ain’t starving.
Saigon: Has the recession affected me? Nah I wouldn’t say so. I don’t think the recession affects any poor people – people who grew up poor – cause we’d been in a recession since we was born. When has there not been a recession in the hood.