Because it wasn't just the ladies spending freely during the past decade.
There's a reason why people who will never drink a drop of Cristal know what it is and what its gold cellophane wrapper looks like. There's a reason commuters who'll never drive a car more luxurious than a
Avalon know about the
marque. There's a reason even your grandmother has used the term "bling bling" within the past decade, and that reason is boom-era hip-hop.
Since about 2008 or so, however, B.G. and the Cash Money Millionaires' declarations about
Lorenzos on Yokohama tires
and Sean "Multiple Pseudonyms" Combs' long-fossilized assertion that it's all
about the Benjamins
seem dated at best and detached and irrelevant at worst. The post-recession era has seen former Cash Money Millionaires mainstay Lil' Wayne focus more on multimillion-selling rhymes than multimillion-dollar homes, former discretionary cheese spender Jay-Z
and seek investment counsel from Warren Buffett and made now-Diddy Combs create the Europop outfit Dirty Money that eschews "drug money, illegal money or anything negative."
It's not that there isn't still a lot of money floating around the hip-hop world.
list still has Jay-Z at No. 1 after earning $37 million last year, Diddy at No. 2 with $35 million and Wayne and Cash Money's Birdman tied at No. 4 with $15 million apiece. Much like
Diddy's shiny suits
Paul Wall's gleaming grills
, it's all just hidden away now.