Turn-of-the-century hip-hop
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 Toyota Avalon know about the Bentley 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 repent for making Big Pimpin' 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. Forbes' hip-hop Cash Kings 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 and Paul Wall's gleaming grills, it's all just hidden away now.

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