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Kanye West and others sing the blues about credit cards

Tyler Metzger

Music is fun; credit card debt isn’t. So I’ve dug up some musical gems and some musical misfires from YouTube to show you how musicians perceive these crazy plastic things we worry about so much.

Title: The Never Never
Artist: Old Man Pie
Genre: Alternative country-rock
Notes: Twangy, straightforward and catchy as hell, these Brits saw the trouble with putting it all on your credit card when they released this song in 2007 on the album of the same name. The song’s three verses tell three different stories of people, including the singer, charging what they can’t afford and paying the bill “on the never, never, never, never, never.” Old Man Pie is offering the song and both of its albums in full for free on its Web site in effort to “laugh in the face of global recession.”
Verdict: Favorite it.


Title: The Credit Card Song
Artist: Dick Feller
Genre: Country-folk
Notes: Picker Dick Feller narrates his experience of buying some clothes with his first credit card, only to get an erroneous bill thrown in his face. His lyrics are plopped in between bright country chords, thick upright bass notes and almost comical strums of a washboard. They remind of a time when credit cards were unheard of, and when stories like his were more of a backyard tall tale than an everyday experience.
Verdict: Watch it; forget it.


Title: Shopping Bags (She Got from You)
Artist: De La Soul
Genre: Hip-hop
Notes: Hip-hop gods De La Soul released this track about sugar daddies and their habit of credit card brutality on their seventh album “The Grind Date.” Soaking with sharp contrasts between contemporary rap’s message of consumerism and the group’s message of, well, not buying hot females clothes, any baller in the red should take heed to the knowledge these guys are dropping.
Verdict: Bang it in your ride.

Title: The Credit Card Song
Artist: Speedro
Genre: Ah … Folk? Thrash?
Notes: Weird. Very weird. I think this song about “wearing out the plastic” is supposed to be a joke by the look on this guy’s face, but I’m not sure; I get lost somewhere between his hypnotic shuffling of credit cards, his used golf shirt and the cheap, prerecorded Casio track. Moreover, the lyrics straight up confuse me. I mean, he’s singing this song like spending money on junk is a good thing. If I was him, I’d put that plastic to good use and go to a bar and forget I ever recorded that.
Verdict: Forward it, and act like you love it to look indie.

Title: Credit Card Song
Artist: Madtv
Genre: Comedy
Notes: Poking fun at the Free Credit Report guy and the targeting of young people for credit cards, Madtv made this spoof in which 1) a guy gets a credit card, 2) goes to jail, joins a gang and gets raped, and 3) tries smuggling cocaine by swallowing it and almost dies. Yes, it’s mega-hyperbole time, but hey, debt can do some crazy things to people. I mean, you want to tell me you’ve never thought about being a drug mule for a Mexican drug czar in order to get out of debt? Of course you have.
Verdict: Drink to it; cry to it; live your life to it.


Title: Tyrannosaurus Debt
Artist: School House Rocks
Genre: Awesomeness
Notes: Here’s a throwback from the ’70s to remind us we’re still screwed. I would try to explain further, but one commenter summarized my feelings so succinctly, I will leave it up to him or her. “WHO NEVER THOUGH ART IMATATE LIFE.” Right on, brother. Keep on truckin’.
Verdict: $10,946,142,882,955.45 /5


Title: Credit Card
Artist: Kanye West
Genre: Fake Hip-hop
Notes: (nsfw) In this short snippet, Mr. West explains that we shouldn’t make him swipe his card, and that we should quit playing before he swipes his card. He doesn’t explain what would happen if he, in fact, did swipe his card, but he does explain quite clearly that we should not tempt with such an activity. So everyone, please, make him swipe his card. If it happens, perhaps his “singing” will improve?
Verdict: Make him swipe his card by never listening to this, ever.


Note: This post is included in the 196th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Green Panda Treehouse.This week’s theme features a bunch of musicians, which works perfectly for this post. So mosey on over, put your headphones on and get ready for some financial reading.

See related: 13 greatest credit card songs, Buying pirated music with credit cards a potential risk

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