Aside from being one of the most talented rappers on the planet, it turns out Kendrick Lamar is also quite financially savvy. Though rappers typically aren’t known for being financially astute, after all they mainly rap about expensive homes, clothes, drugs, and women, there are always exceptions to the rule. Kendrick Lamar seems to be one of those exceptions.
Having grown up in Compton, California with both parents working odd jobs just to make ends meet, Kendrick learned the value of a dollar at an early age. As his career progressed and his earnings skyrocketed, Kendrick has kept a relatively even keel in terms of spending habits. In 2014, Kendrick reportedly purchased a California home for $524,000 in the city of Eastvale. A quick Zillow search shows that the median home value in Eastvale, CA is $556,000, or a discounted value amount roughly equal to what Kendrick paid several years ago. To put this into perspective, the average household income in Eastvale is $110,000, while Kendrick earned a reported $9 million in 2014. So, while the general rule of thumb may be to try not to exceed two or three times your annual income, K Dot, AKA Kendrick Lamar, went a different route and only spent 1/17th of his gross annual income. Not a bad start for young Kendrick. You’re probably thinking to yourself that it’s easy to “only” drop half a mill’ on a home if you’re earning $9 million. So aside from purchasing a home well within his budget, what else has Kendrick Lamar done to show he’s financially savvy?
Although none of Kendrick’s songs were worthy enough to crack (possibly) the greatest list of songs promoting financial independence and minimalism, he does have quite a few references providing credible financial advice. For starters, he may be trying to warn his fans that the capital markets are overvalued due to speculation and are in the midst of an inflated bubble. In his recent billboard-topping single, “The Heart Part 4,” Kendrick raps “The whole world gone mad, bodies is addin’ up, market’s ‘bout to crash, people* is fake rich.” Even though Kendrick was only 21-years old when the prior recession started, it would seem as though he’s cognizant of frothy markets. One can only assume this is what he meant, however, as Kendrick did not respond to Financial Fixation’s interview request prior to publication.
In the song “YOLO” (You Only Live Once), where The Lonely Island and Kendrick Lamar question the live-in-the-moment mentality of many millennials, Kendrick speaks of the two main investments that people should make to invest in their future. These two investments are their 401(k), or retirement accounts in general, and real estate. Each of these are primary components to achieving financial independence and both have seen steady gains over the past several years.
Take no chances, stop freelancin'
Invest in your future, don't dilute your finances
401(k), make sure it's low risk
Then get some real estate (how much?)
4.2%, Thirty year mortgage
That's important, that's a great deal
And if you can't afford it, don't forge it on your last bill
Renting is for suckers right now, a dependable savings
And you'll retire with money in your account
On the track “FEAR”, which features a collaboration between Kendrick and Rihanna, Kendrick talks about how he’s scared to lose everything that he’s accumulated up to this point. Many people could take a lesson from Kendrick and realize that no matter how much success one has had up until this point, there’s still no guarantee of future income (unless of course a lifetime annuity is purchased, in which case there’s a guarantee between an insurance company and a customer). The smart move is to be cautious with one’s money and not live lavishly. Kendrick also raps about how bad he would feel if his accountant did to him what Rihanna’s accountant did to her. He’s referring to Rihanna accepting advice from her accountant that she could afford a $7.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills even though her music tour at the time was losing money. She ended up selling the mansion for a $2 million loss and came close to bankruptcy.
At 27, my biggest fear was losin' it all
Scared to spend money, had me sleepin' from hall to hall
Scared to go back to Section 8 with my mama stressin'
30 shows a month and I still won't buy me no Lexus
What is an advisor somebody that's holdin' my checks?
Just to screw* me over and put my finances in debt?
I read a case about Rihanna's accountant and wondered
How did the bad girl feel when she looked at them numbers?
The type of crap’ll* make me flip out
*Kendrick uses a different term. To keep Financial Fixation approved for all ages we’ve decided to edit.
Kendrick raps how he’s doing 30 shows a month and still doesn’t want to buy a Lexus as he’s scared to spend money. He doesn’t just talk the talk, but he also walks the walk. Although not for himself, in 2017 Kendrick purchased a new car for his sister as a graduation gift. A very thoughtful gesture that the public just couldn’t let be for what it was. He got ridiculed for not buying something a little more flashy and expensive. In an era when rookie NBA basketball players are buying their parents $350,000 cars, and a rapper whose career is on the downswing is spending $34,000 on Rolex watches for their 7-year old’s Christmas present, it’s refreshing to see a celebrity stay humble. So even though it’s not a Beemer, Benz, or Bentley, the brand new 2017 silver Toyota Camry is quite practical and a great present for any high school graduate.
Having an estimated net worth that’s north of $30 million, it’s safe to say that Kendrick isn’t struggling to make ends meet any longer. With his financial prowess and sky-high ambition, Kendrick will most definitely continue to increase his net worth. As more and more people are valuing money over time it’s nice that Kendrick still understands the value of time in his Blow My High lyrics.
Look at my life then look at yours
Get some ambition, why you bored?
Time'll never wait on no man
Society will never hold your hand