They Should've Never Gave You Niggas Money

A few weeks ago President Obama proclaimed that the recession is over, but by the numbers we have a long way to go; 14.8 million Americans are out of work, 45 million find the poverty line too high to get over and gas is slowly creeping towards $3 a gallon. While millions of Americans are over extending themselves to make ends meet, a few millionaires made news as a result of their fiscal irresponsibility last week and each case made me shake my head and think, they should’ve never gave you niggas money!

For the second time in 12 years, Toni Braxton has filed for bankruptcy, citing that she may have up to $50 million in debt. $50 million? How do you rack up that much debt? This woman has sold over 40 million records, toured the globe, had successful runs on Broadway and in Vegas, but never learned to balance her checkbook. The first time she filed for bankruptcy I could understand, she had been new in the business, her contract probably sucked and her expenses were higher than her income at the time. OK, you do the paperwork, pay what you owe and then vow to never make the same mistake twice.

Not Toni! She sold three million albums, hit the road, sold more records, went to Broadway, got married, had babies, went to Vegas, got sick, got healthy, made music, danced with the stars, made another album and apparently spent money at every stop! But one thing, she doesn’t seem to like paying her bills. I feel you on that Ms. Braxton, but my pot of money is much smaller than yours, I gotta rob Peter to pay Paul some months, not stick Tiffany and her company for some ice I purchased. You can’t blame accountants this time around, because you should’ve learned the first go round, you’re just living a lifestyle that either you can’t afford or just can’t manage. She even owes the DMV in Cali some cash! She estimates her worth at somewhere between $1 million and $10 million, but has upwards of $50 million owed to a litany of creditors and Uncle Sam.

Uncle Sam was pretty busy last week as he made a stop around Philly for rapper Beanie Sigel. The Broad Street Bully was charged with income tax evasion last week for failing to report nearly $1.5 million made between 2003-2005. His lawyer contests the amount reported by prosecutors and is using the argument that his client was incarcerated for chunks of that time, so others were responsible for his money at the time. Beanie’s legal and financial troubles have made more news than his music in recent years, as he’s launched an assault in recent months against former boss, mentor and friend Jay-Z, seemingly fueled by his anger over the direction of his career, but most likely the lack of zeroes (or maybe the presence of too many zeroes) in his accounts have motivated his attacks. Just another case of a rapper living a multi-million dollar lifestyle on a $100,000 budget and not saving for a rainy day. You know niggas think the sun gonna shine forever!

What could you do with $54,896? Buy a house, pay college tuition, pay off your debt, loan it to Toni Braxton or Beanie Sigel? Well, if you’re Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, you paid that amount to feed your teammates. Back in training camp Bryant refused to be hazed when teammate Roy Williams requested that the rookie carry his pads after practice and Williams vowed to teach the youngster a lesson. The incident became national sports news, but the result has become part of the balling out-of-control culture many aspire to live within. Bryant’s contract pays him roughly $2.5 million this season, but that’s a huge chunk for a lesson, especially since we know he’s probably already purchased a few cars, homes for the family, jewelry for the crew and tricked off a few dollars on these sack chasers.

He’s taking it all in the same stride he runs the 40 in, saying it was funny. Wait, funny? There are people starving a few miles from where you make your living and you think it’s funny? Sorry buddy, the extreme your teammates went to and the money wasted on that evening is not funny, quite sad actually. You play a sport that’s medically proven to shorten the lives of its participants and headed towards a work stoppage, but frivolous spending is funny to you, when I’m sure children in the neighborhood you grew up in can use a playground or textbooks. Better yet, when Jerry Jones has used you up and you become part of whatever the unemployment rate is that day, would that $55,000 still be funny? But I can’t tell people with millions of dollars how to spend their money, when I’m still trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents…

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