12 Times Forbes Was Name-Dropped in Lyrics

 JAY-Z, 2017
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Jay-Z performs onstage during the Meadows Music And Arts Festival - Day 1 at Citi Field on Sept. 15, 2017 in New York City. 

As Forbes turns 100 this year, the iconic business magazine looks back on its cultural impact this week. The magazine is often name-dropped as a marker of success, and the Forbes list functions as one of the most visible status symbols.

In a music industry where performative wealth has long been a major theme in hip hop, it’s no surprise that 10 out of these 12 mentions come from some of the biggest rappers. The list is also a vehicle of aspiration, as Bruno Mars sings that he wants to be on the cover of the magazine in “Billionaire.”

In their feature, Forbes dutifully edited Mars onto a cover, with the text: “Hey Bruno! You made the cover!” The magazine has managed to remain relevant over the decades, as the namedrops included in their list run from 1991 to 2016. Here’s to another 100 years, Forbes!

1. “Still gather papes like my man Malcolm Forbes/ Pondering my life as I look into my orbs.” — Del the Funky Homosapien, “Ahone Two Ahone Two” (1991)

2. “Get my back rubbed, Chardonnay, rollin’ up green/ Statues, marble floors, rare paintings on my wall/ My lifestyle’s like the Forbes magazine.” — Nas, “Life We Chose” (1999)

3. “Just call me In case y’all forgot, New York is still mine.” — Jay Z, “I Get Money (Forbes 1, 2, 3 Remix)” (2007)

4. “Tell ’em that I’m gunnin’ for the top: Forbes/ Headed to the top, dot org.” — Nicki Minaj, “Last Chance” (2010)

5. “I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine/ Smilin’ next to Oprah and the Queen.” — Bruno Mars, “Billionaire” (2010)

6. “Motherf--k an award/ Check Forbes, I’m there.” — 50 Cent, “United Nations” (2012)

7. “I’m on that Forbes list, making rich rappers look broke/ While they blowing that smoke.” — Ludacris, “Tell Me What They Mad For” (2012)

8. “This year I made the Forbes list/ ... everything’s lookin’ gorgeous.” — Drake, “5AM in Toronto” (2013)

9. “... know me/ The only one topping the Forbes list, I’m getting lonely.” — Diddy, “Big Homie” (2014)

10. “ I’m the Teflon Don.” — Rick Ross, “BLK & WHT” (2014)

11. “The sum of my performances just put me on the Forbes list.” — A$AP Rocky, “Canal St.” (2015)

12. “Too many people think they made me/ If they really made me, then replace me/ Homeless to Forbes list.” — The Weeknd, “Sidewalks” (2016)


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