Photo: Pexels / Nizam Abdul Latheef
By Dwight E. Jones
Let it rush through your veins, cause I’ma be the one to step up and put a hundred thousand dollars on the game. Got a pocket full of change and they see-note stacks, busting dominoes, spades, Cee-lo, craps
Those lyrics come from Ludacris’ track Put Your Money back in 2004, but across the hip hop genre, there are examples of artists referencing casino games and a visit to the tables. Whether it is around winning big, taking risks, or more literal references to films such as Casino, the imagery conjured up by a night at the tables fits perfectly with some of hip hop’s messages.
Taking your chances when they come along is one common theme, or risking everything you have on that one big chance, the life-changing win at a table that acts as a metaphorical simile for a big hit and worldwide fame. It is inevitable that, with so much crossover in lyrics, some hip hop stars would end up not only sitting around a casino table but even winning big and walking away with a headline or two as well. So, we have selected a handful of hip hop stars who famously won big in casinos and saw some of their peers’ lyrics mimicked in real life.
Meek Mill is a familiar face around casino tables, often taking heavy losses as well as big wins. He has been known to walk away up to $70k down in some instances, but at the beginning of 2020 he scored a big win. According to Hot New Hip Hop, he won so much that the establishment couldn’t afford to pay him in full. The 33-year-old, who released the album Wins and Losses in 2017, has guested on tracks with Mary J Blige, B.O.B, and Justin Timberlake and seemingly finally beat the banker with his recent win. It isn’t unusual for a casino to not be able to pay out a win in full. Gala Spins reveals that a single $10 spin won a huge $21m jackpot in 1999 at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, a prize which was paid in over 25 installments. Indeed, the other two big wins at the same establishment also resulted in staggered payments to the winner, although it is unlikely that Meek Mill took away quite that much.
28-year-old rapper Offset is well known as the husband of Cardi B, with whom he released the track Clout. He also featured on Metro Boomin’s single No Complaints alongside Drake and no complaints are exactly what he had after a night at the casino following Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s rematch. It is widely reported that the Lawrenceville-born star took home $100k, an impressive sum of money by any standards. Offset may use some of those funds towards his other passion, eSports, after he invested in FazeClan back in August 2019.
50 Cent is one of the giants of hip hop, emerging from Queens at the turn of the century. Eminem, another hip hop legend, facilitated his arrival on the scene, introducing him to Dr. Dre after hearing his tape prior to the release of 8-Mile. 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, then released Get Rich or Die Tryin, one of the most hyped debut albums in living memory, and with good reason. Luckily for hip hop fans, he got rich and kept making music, as well as making money.
Jackson loves a sports wager and has won big placing them at casinos in the past. He placed a $500k wager on the New York Giants at Super Bowl XLVI, seeing them run out 21-17 winners against the Patriots. He has also discussed placing wagers on soccer games over in the UK, correctly taking Newcastle United to beat AFC Bournemouth during his tour there.
Whilst you are here, why not check out Vitu’s hot new single For Fame and Money, which deals with the Johannesburg rapper’s quest to make a comfortable living from the hip hop industry.