The 10 Crack Commandments (of Finance)

Yo yo yo! Ready to rap about that money today?

Our friend Giovina reminded me of this song when we accidentally left it out of a post on Rockstar Finance – The 12 Hidden Money Lessons in Hip Hop – and I immediately new I had to publish it here.

‘Cuz you know – rappers know what they’re talking about with money ;)

It’s pretty non-PG so avert your eyes now if that’s not your thing, but if you don’t mind it – or you just enjoy some good ol’ fashion hip-hop – feast your eyes on all these glorious fiscal reminders!

It comes from the one and only, Biggie Smalls, with his epic hit, “Ten Crack Commandments,” and if you prefer the audio version you can load it up here (again, very NSFW):

[Fun Fact: I never used to listen to the lyrics of songs back in the day – I just jammed to the ones that made me feel good – but WOW what a difference the experience is when you do! Makes most songs 10x better! (And some 10x worse! Haha…)]

Okay, here we go… the “Ten Crack Commandments” and their accompanying lessons:

Rule Nombre Uno: never let no one know
How much dough you hold cause you know
The cheddar breed jealousy ‘specially
If that man f*cked up, get yo’ a$$ stuck up

Stacking cash on the side? Great! Keep it to yourself and don’t go around flashing it around. We call this “stealth wealth” up in the PF world. The only exception with this is if you’re around a group of like-minded and open people all trying to help each other out. Not unlike this blog and our new forums ;)

Number 2: never let ’em know your next move
Don’t you know Bad Boys move in silence and violence?

You know that saying, “if you’re just hearing about a deal, the deal’s already over?” This is because the deals are all being made underground. Whether it’s with a hot stock, business idea, new trend, whatever. Once it hits mainstream, the bulk of the money has already been made! Important to keep in mind any time someone offers you a “secret tip.” If it was such a great tip, why are they sharing it with you and not acting on it themselves??

Number 3: never trust nobody
Your moms’ll set that a$$ up, properly gassed up

Okay, this is kinda stretching it here, but let’s apply this to trusting financial “experts” blindly – even if they hold fancy titles like CFP, CPA, etc. They may all say they have your best interest at heart, and some genuinely do, but the only one who TRULY cares about your money and future is YOU. Ask for advice, research around, digest it all, and then make the call with what you feel is best in the end. Regardless of what everyone is saying!

Number four: know you heard this before
Never get high, on your own supply

The best drug dealers never get hooked on their own products! And the best wealth growers never do the same with their $$$ :) You can’t bank savings when you’re out there spending it. Earn it, invest it, then go out there and earn some more! And while you’re at it, make sure not to become too obsessed with money. Dealers just like anyone else (who’s smart), knows it’s all just a means to an end.  You’re not earning money just to see how much you can collect before you die – you’re earning it so you can quit doing all the stuff you hate and go after your dreams! It’s all temporary!

Number five: never sell no crack where you rest at
I don’t care if they want a ounce, tell ’em bounce

Technically the lesson here is “don’t mix business with pleasure,” but since we’re all about having the ideal lifestyle on this blog, let’s go with “don’t mix business (accounts) with personal (accounts)” instead :) Make sure to keep all your business banking separated for an (IRS) hassle-free life! Why leave yourself open for red flags?

Number six: that g*d damn credit, dead it
You think a crackhead payin’ you back, $hit forget it

Never take out any credit when you can’t pay it back! We don’t like to admit it, but sometimes those “crackheads” are us ;) Stay as far away as you can unless you really trust yourself to manage it well.

Seven: this rule is so underrated
Keep your family and business completely separated

Never loan out money to those you love unless you really (REALLY) know it’ll be okay! Too many relationships have been ruined when money gets involved, and there are plenty of other ways to help out your friends/family, even if it’s just a matter of donating some vs loaning some. If there’s anything worse than losing your hard-earned money, it’s losing your loved ones along with it :(

Number eight: never keep no weight on you
Them cats that squeeze your guns can hold jobs too

Don’t walk around with tons of cash on you! Keep some for an emergency or a little spending money, but don’t put yourself in a situation where someone targets you knowing how you roll around.

Number nine shoulda been number one to me
If you ain’t gettin bags stay the f*ck from police

Okay, well I got nothing for this one, haha… how about, “stay away from shopping malls so your mother f’in wallet doesn’t get into trouble?” ;)

Number ten: a strong word called consignment
Strictly for live men, not for freshmen
If you ain’t got the clientele say hell no
‘Cause they gon want they money rain sleet hail snow

The best one!! Don’t get into debt if you don’t have the cash to back it up! Too many people get caught spending way more than they have, and if you think creditors can’t be as nasty as dealers, think again. Use credit whenever needed, but stay away from betting future income on it that may or may not come.

And there you have it! Ten great lessons from the Notorious B.I.G., who probably would have never guessed his songs would be shared on some nerdy $$$ website ;) But hey, a lesson is a lesson!

Be back on Wednesday for another dope post…

PS: If you liked this, check out our article on other fiscally positive songs: 12 Hidden Money Lessons in Hip Hop

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  1. The Green Swan January 30, 2017 at 5:19 AM

    Ha thanks for the laughs! I think my favorite was number ten. Never get in over your head!

    1. J. Money January 30, 2017 at 6:09 AM

      Glad you enjoyed :)

  2. Mrs. Mad Money Monster | @madmoneymonster January 30, 2017 at 6:15 AM

    YES! I love it.

    #4 = Heisenberging it up! He never touched the blue.

    #7 I did once with $200. Never saw it come back to me even though that person made six figs for years adter that. Lesson Leaned.

    Mad Money Monster

    1. J. Money January 30, 2017 at 7:17 AM

      okay, now it’s time for you to decipher what this means for me because I want to start saying it!! “Heisenberging it up!” :)

  3. Band of Savers January 30, 2017 at 7:09 AM

    Thank you for interpreting J. I could barely understand what they were trying to say much less the lesson they were trying to convey.

    1. J. Money January 30, 2017 at 7:15 AM

      These are the things I do for you all!

  4. Go Finance Yourself! January 30, 2017 at 7:25 AM

    I love it! I had this CD back in the day. I too am not very good with lyrics and usually just like the sound and beat of a song. Maybe after I hear it about a hundred times I’ll finally catch on :)

    Who knew Biggie Smalls was such a personal finance expert?!

    1. J. Money January 30, 2017 at 9:43 AM

      I never used to either, but having kids forces you to because WOW are there a lot of bad words in some of my favorite songs – had no idea! And now my 2 year old LOVES rap music but i have to turn it down and then back up about 30x a song haha…

  5. Full Time Finance January 30, 2017 at 8:17 AM

    Well I guess selling crack is a type of a business albeit an illegal one with the risk of getting shot. So it makes sense on some levels. A bit of a stretch maybe but entertaining nonetheless.

  6. Smart Provisions January 30, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    Haha, great stuff! Loved it and is a great read to start my day off!

  7. Paul January 30, 2017 at 8:55 AM

    All this from a guy that used to rock the all black Movado The all black Eldorado. I’m getting conflicting messages.

  8. Josh @MoneyBuffalo January 30, 2017 at 8:58 AM

    I’m not much of a rap fan, but, this post was very educating. #6 & #7 are probably the most relatable to me. As another person commented, never lend money that you can never live without.

    If we lend money, we might want it back but are prepared if we never receive it again.

    1. J. Money January 30, 2017 at 9:41 AM

      No doubt.

  9. Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto January 30, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    #5 – No Crack??!! Glad you clarified, thought you were telling us that we couldn’t spend time in the Crack House that is The Rockstar Finance Forum.

    Had me scared there for a minute….

  10. Linda@Frugal Turtle January 30, 2017 at 9:49 AM

    My favorites are #1 and #4!

    I love the idea of stealth wealth and practice it in my everyday life.

    #4 is great, because it’s how I’m growing my ‘stash. Investing every penny I can. “You’re earning it so you can quit doing all the stuff you hate.” Exactly!

    1. J. Money January 31, 2017 at 6:49 AM

      It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? :)

  11. cca January 30, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Another testament to why Biggie was one of the greatest rap storytellers! This was hilarious but good advice

  12. Mrs. Picky Pincher January 30, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Hey, you can find money lessons in almost anything. :)

  13. Ms. Montana January 30, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    Oh my goodness….I’m glad you interpreted. I might not have ever made those valuable money connections. My Montana upbringing didn’t give me rap interpretation skills. But I rock at farming analogies. =)

    1. J. Money January 31, 2017 at 6:50 AM

      I think you need to put out a farming rap now, please :)

      1. Ms. Montana January 31, 2017 at 1:41 PM

        I’ll add that to my list of future projects. =)

  14. The Financial Tech January 30, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Haha I never thaught I will find 10 commandments funny. Thanks for that great read on a monday.

  15. Jason B January 30, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    This is one of my favorite Biggie songs. Number 2 is one that I live by minus the violence part.

  16. Primal Prosperity January 30, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    #4 & #5 are definitely things I emphasize…

    #5 – As a real estate investor, I always tell people to treat it like a business. We have multiple LLCs and bank accounts. It may seem like a lot to coordinate, but really, after the end of year when I have to gather for taxes, it actually is very easy and organized.

    #4 – Money is to be respected, but not loved. It won’t hug you when you need one, so it is important to keep up relationships and be a good community member while building wealth.

    1. J. Money January 31, 2017 at 6:51 AM

      Oh man – if ONLY dollars hugged you back! I’d cash out my retirement accounts and fill up my house a la Scrooge McDuck style! :)

  17. Drsan1 January 30, 2017 at 6:18 PM

    Love this and the other post on hip hop. Very good advice in an awesome way!

  18. Kraken Fireball January 30, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    Thanks for the translation. It’s always crazy to see these connections between seemingly unrelated things.
    Number eight might also mean keep additional cash invested. Once you have enough money for a healthy emergency fund, invest the rest. Otherwise, it will rot away in a low-interest savings account.

  19. Done by Forty January 30, 2017 at 7:31 PM

    That song is incredible. I laughed out loud like five times.

    Rule six for the win. Love when solid personal finance works its way into songs.

  20. Max Your Freedom January 30, 2017 at 8:20 PM

    Love it! Having grown up on this music, I can relate to the whole listening to the lyrics comment. My wife is a Biggie fan (I’m partial to Tupac), can’t wait to tell her he rapped about personal finance!

    1. J. Money January 31, 2017 at 6:53 AM

      Haha awesome… I’ve been really getting into Wu-Tang Clan lately. The are soooooo intelligent! I had no idea.

        1. J. Money February 1, 2017 at 6:22 AM

          oh nice! never heard of Fugazi but will give it a spin during motivation time today :)

  21. ZJ Thorne January 31, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    Keeping business and family separate is a good lesson. Don’t let the right hand know what the left hand is doing.

  22. Giovina January 31, 2017 at 12:47 PM

    Ayyy thanks for the shoutout, glad you made a whole post about this song. It’s one of my favs!

    1. J. Money February 1, 2017 at 6:21 AM

      Haha… thanks for the reminder :)

  23. Alex C. January 31, 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Yes! Number 4 is very valuable – many people have the wrong idea about wealth and envision pop stars and lives of luxury and indulgence but really it’s about frugality and smart saving & spending. Well done!

  24. Kim January 31, 2017 at 10:42 PM

    Just goes to show, there’s a lesson in everything. :) Loved this!!!

  25. MoneyThumb February 1, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    I just discovered your blog by researching personal finance groups in Facebook and I gotta say, you are the bomb, lol. Just proving that people like what is unique, great job!

    1. J. Money February 1, 2017 at 9:29 AM

      Haha thanks… you came over on a feisty one today ;)

  26. EL February 1, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Hey J. #1 is the primary reason I don’t want to share the net worth. HAHA. IVe done a few of these on my site, about music and money lessons. Its fun plus you can flip any thing and relate it back to money lessons.

    Number 9 means if you haven’t been caught with a crime, stay away from cops aka do not snitch. Financial lesson could be read the fine print, and do research before you go bragging about some finance product that turns out to be a scam.

    1. J. Money February 1, 2017 at 9:30 AM

      Good interpretation of #9! I’ll accept that one too :)

  27. Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries February 1, 2017 at 5:31 PM

    Love Biggie!! Very clever of you. :)

  28. Lee February 6, 2017 at 12:48 PM

    With my mom just passing away last week, I really needed this article to stay focused and always learning when it comes to gaining new finances.

    1. J. Money February 6, 2017 at 4:57 PM

      oh $hit man, i’m so sorry to hear :(

      1. Lee February 8, 2017 at 4:48 PM

        Thanks J, I appreciate it.

  29. Leif Kristjansen (@ FiveYearFIREescape) January 3, 2020 at 3:29 PM

    Number 1 rings true for me so much!
    Man, I’m so undercover, I’m retired at 33 and people still don’t realize I have money. It’s taken some hard work to be that undercover but I would do it 100x over to live this life.

    1. J. Money January 6, 2020 at 8:33 AM


      Amazing dude! Glad you started a blog so you can share all your “secrets” with us :)