May 20, 2024

4 Iconic Hip-Hop Songs About Gambling

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Hip-hop music, as a genre, has always been fascinated with gambling and it is one of the commonly used themes especially when rappers are talking about money. Most references to gambling have strictly been limited to brick-and-mortar casinos. However, that has changed recently.

Drake made waves in the online gambling community when he became the face of an online cryptocurrency casino. He also wagered huge amounts of money in the online casino which got everyone talking.

There was also a video going around online, where Drake was teaching Lil Yachty how to play Roulette. The new age of hip-hop has embraced the convenience of online gambling which old songs never had the chance to talk about. Here in this article, we will look at those infamous rap songs about gambling.

1.   Vegas by Kendrick Lamar

The title of this song says it all. Casinos of Las Vegas, the atmosphere of the Sin City has inspired not only songs but also an array of movies. Here in this song, Kendrick Lamar talks about blackjack, craps, and poker and how playing these games provide him with an unmatched thrill.

Vegas was one of the original songs recorded for “To Pimp A Butterfly,” Kendrick’s third studio album. However, it didn’t make it into the final album. In these songs, the term “Vegas” is also used figuratively by Kendrick Lamar to describe a person he thinks is worth taking chances on.

The lyrics “Doin’ blackjack, twenty-one, twenty thousand in it. Probably twenty more before I’m done” talk about how Kendrick wants to spend over forty thousand playing the popular card game blackjack, also known as twenty-one.

2. It Was a Good Day by Ice Cube

Ice Cube made his name as a part of Compton Hip-Hop group N.W.A which is regarded as one of the most influential groups in the history of hip hop. After parting ways with the iconic group, Ice Cube went on to pursue a career as a solo artist. This is when he dropped “It Was a Good Day.”

Produced by DJ Pooh, It Was a Good Day is the seventh track on The Predator, Ice Cube’s third studio album. In the song, the rapper talks about his idea day, where everything goes smoothly: pork-free breakfast, gambling at craps with insane luck, and no murders in his neighborhood.

The lyrics “What’s the haps on the craps? Shake ’em up, shake ’em up, shake ’em up, shake ’em…..” Ice Cube raps about rolling sevens or elevens back-to-back in a miraculous turn of events. For those who don’t know Craps is a dice game where rolling sevens or elevens will get you a win.

3. Pokerface by Ghostface Killah

Ghostface Killah is well known for his work as a member of Wu-Tang Clan, an east-coast hip-hop group. The rapper found success as a solo artist as well, releasing critically acclaimed albums such as Supreme Clientele” and “Fishscale.” Pokerface came out in 2006 in the rapper’s follow-up album to Fishscale.

Featuring Shawn Wigs and produced by K. Slack, Pokerface is a ninth track appearing on the rapper’s 2006 album, More Fish. The song talks about the coveted World Series of Poker tournaments and contains a lot of references to the poker film. Rounders.

The lyrics ”Can’t lose what you don’t push into the pot” are speaking about real life in comparison to the game of Poker, where you can’t lose if you are not willing to take risks. The entire rap song is filled with Poker terminology, so if you are a fan of the classic card game, you’ll find the song more than amusing.

What’s even more interesting is that this song came out during the poker boom which shouldn’t be surprising given the lyrics revolving around no-limit Texas hold ’em. The introduction of the song says it all. Ghost talks about how the hold’em variant is the only pure poker game out there.

Texas Hold’em remains the King of Poker, one of the most popular games even today – both offline and online – on gambling platforms like Ignition Casino, where poker comes in many different variants, such as Fast-Fold, Omaha, and others. When immersed in the game, poker fans will relate deeply to the lyrics speaking to the very soul of no-limit hold ’em. With its elimination bracket style and escalating pot size, the game rewards those willing to push more chips into the pot when the stakes are highest.

The lyrics remind us that you must be bold and take risks to maximize your winnings, just as in life. Hence, for devotees of Texas hold ’em poker, this rap song deftly captures the competitive spirit and thrill of its high-stakes gameplay – with expressive language and an exhilarating beat.

With the times changing we may see more and more rappers referencing online gambling. Drake and other rappers getting involved in online gambling is just the start of what’s more to come.

4. Who Gon Stop Me by Jay-Z and Kanye West

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s rocky friendship is well documented in pop culture, the two started off as close friends and have together contributed a lot to the rap scene post-2000. The two rappers released a collaborative album Watch the Throne in 2011 which became an instant classic. This is where we see them rap about their love for gambling.

“Who Gon Stop Me” is the ninth track on “Watch the Throne”, where the rappers talk about their luxurious lives and express their love for gambling non-stop. The song is produced by Kanye West and SAK PASE.

In the lines “I’m at the table, I’m gamblin’ Lucky lefty, I expect a seven” Jay Z talks about Craps game and how he expects to win by rolling seven. For those who don’t know, Lucky Lefty is Jay’s long-forgotten moniker.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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