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Best money songs
Image: Time Out/Robert Hoetink/Shutterstock

The 21 all-time best songs about money

These money songs are all about the Benjamins

Written by
Andy Kryza
Contributors
Nick Levine
&
Grace Goslin
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Money may be the root of all evil, but it’s a hell of a muse – as this list of the best songs about money proves. Like the power of love and the pain of a broken heart, wealth – or the lack thereof – has inspired some of the best pop songs of all time, from classic-rock standards to 99% of ’90s hip-hop. With dollar signs in our eyes, we’ve rounded up 21 of the best songs about money. Time to make it rain.

Listen to these songs on Amazon Music

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Best songs about money, ranked

‘C.R.E.A.M.’ by Wu-Tang Clan
Image: Loud Records

1. ‘C.R.E.A.M.’ by Wu-Tang Clan

Cash. Rules. Everything. Around. Me. Five words that anchor this highlight from the Clan's 1993 album 'Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)'. It's not just an all-time rap classic, but – thanks to this track, 'cream' has become an enduring slang term for money. Just try to overlook the fact it was later sampled by Iggy Azalea. 

‘Money’ by Pink Floyd
Image: Harvest Records

2. ‘Money’ by Pink Floyd

Roger Waters’ million-dollar baseline on this Dark Side megahit might do the driving, but it’s the rhythmic ka-chinging of cash registers that really sells Floyd’s rollicking takedown of capitalistic urges. Floyd would spend a lot of its career side-eyeing wealth (while getting very, very rich), but never this iconically.

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‘For the Love of Money’ by The O’Jays
Image: Philadelphia International Records

3. ‘For the Love of Money’ by The O’Jays

‘Money money money money... money!’ This funk classic co-written by legendary Philly sound songwriters Gamble and Huff has an iconic intro. But the song that unfolds over the next seven minutes is often surprisingly dark. ‘For the love of money, people will rob their own brother,’ the O’Jays warn us mournfully. And they’d probably do much worse to get their hands on this track’s frankly incredible bassline. 

‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ by the Notorious B.I.G.
Image: Bad Boy

4. ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ by the Notorious B.I.G.

Biggie Smalls spent his career marveling at the wealth wrought by his hustle – the man had a Super Nintendo and a Sega Genesis – but in this mega-hit from his last album, the rapper was a bit more reflective about the spoils of his success. Not that you’d know it: With a driving Diana Ross sample courtesy of Puffy, the song is the perfect rain-making anthem, and if you can hear Biggie’s final verse without shouting ‘B-I-G-P-O-P-P-A’ along with the late legend, you might want to get your ears checked.

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‘Got Your Money’ by Ol’ Dirty Bastard featuring Kelis
Image: Elektra

5. ‘Got Your Money’ by Ol’ Dirty Bastard featuring Kelis

This ’90s hip hop classic is about, well, being a pimp. ODB’s matter-of-fact lyrics get grittier the closer you listen to them, but Kelis’s playful vocal hook adds a hint of levity. It’s an absolute classic banger that reminds us money can be pretty damn corrupting.

‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by The Beatles
Image: Grand Royal

6. ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by The Beatles

The Beatles’ songs about money output mostly focused on the negative side of money (see also, ‘Taxman’) but it was during the Fab Four’s boy-band heyday that they penned the ultimate anti-wealth song, lamenting the one thing that a wad of cash and sudden success couldn’t purchase: affection. The song still rips, even if there’s a note of melancholy lingering in the backbeat. 

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 ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’ by Bing Crosby
Image: Brunswick Record Corporation

7.  ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’ by Bing Crosby

Written for the 1932 musical ‘Americana’, this supremely poignant song became a soundtrack to the Great Depression. The socially conscious lyrics are sung from the viewpoint of a beggar who’s effectively been spat out by the system. ‘Once I built a railroad, now it’s done,’ he sighs. ‘Brother, can you spare a dime?’ Bing Crosby’s version is the classic, but George Michael's 1999 cover version is pretty damn fine, too. 

‘Bills Bills Bills’ by Destiny’s Child
Image: Columbia Records

8. ‘Bills Bills Bills’ by Destiny’s Child

Destiny’s Child’s first US chart-topper is an unapologetic ‘screw you’ to shady males who don’t pay their way. A more cash-centric cousin to TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’, which was co-written by the same R&B hitmaking team, it’s a deathless banger that makes you want to flick your hair as you take your paycheck with you. 

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‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ by The Flying Lizards
Image: Virgin Records

9. ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ by The Flying Lizards

This avaricious Motown classic has been tackled by everyone from The Beatles to Jerry Lee Lewis, but 1979’s weird and wonderful cover by the British new wave band The Flying Lizards has proved surprisingly enduring. Something about the way the rat-a-tat-tat percussion dovetails with Deborah Evans-Stickland’s upper-crust vocals is just oddly hypnotic. 

‘A Milli’ by Lil’ Wayne
Image: Cash Money

10. ‘A Milli’ by Lil’ Wayne

It’s not clear if the opening line of this 2008 rap milestone was meant as a shoutout to a quote, often wrongly attributed to former Republican senator Everett Dirksen: ‘A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money!’. Regardless of its origin, it’s a line that sets off a cascade of lyrical sorcery from an on-fire Wayne. Also, it FINALLY gave posh rap fans called Milly an anthem all of their own. Gawd bless you, Wayne!

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‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)’ by Pet Shop Boys
Image: Parlophone Records

11. ‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)’ by Pet Shop Boys

This mid-’80s synth-banger satirises Thatcher-era capitalism. ‘I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks, let’s make lots of money,’ Neil Tennant sings on the chorus, adopting the role of a bumbling hustler who thinks he’s found his perfect partner-in-crime. But the joke, the Pets have said, is that neither of these dodgy characters will ever get rich. Ouch. Nick Levine

‘Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On but the Rent’ by Gwen Guthrie
Image: Polydor

12. ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On but the Rent’ by Gwen Guthrie

This awesome floor-filler song about money could only have been written during the credit-obsessed yuppie era. A year after Madonna told us ‘the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mister Right’, soul singer Guthrie lays it down even plainer. ‘A fly girl like me needs security... you got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me.’ It's a massive anthem that remains super-relatable given the state of London’s property market. Nick Levine

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‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ by Rihanna
Image: Roc Nation

13. ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ by Rihanna

You definitely wouldn't want Ri-Ri as your debt collector: this angry trap jam sees the pop icon Rihanna call the ‘shot-shot-shots’ as she reclaims a wad of moolah she’s owed. The video’s every bit as intense – cars getting set on fire is just the start – so basically, don’t try tapping La Fenty for a fiver any time soon. 

‘Money, Cash, Hoes’ by Jay-Z & DMX
Image: Roc-A-Fella

14. ‘Money, Cash, Hoes’ by Jay-Z & DMX

Jay-Z’s catalogue is rife with braggadocio about Hova’s bankroll, but perhaps none are as pure as this Hard Knock Life anthem, which layers Swizz Beatz’ synth-heavy production with ample punctuation by DMX’s signature growls. It might be a bit dated due to its inherent misogyny, but it’s nonetheless one of Jay’s biggest hits, the last of the great hip-hop money anthems of an era all about the Benjamins.   

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‘Super Disco Breakin’ by the Beastie Boys
Image: Grand Royal

15. ‘Super Disco Breakin’ by the Beastie Boys

The song isn’t really about money, per se, but insofar as a Beastie Boys bop is about anything, this Hello Nasty kickoff track joins the storied club of ‘90s hip-hop songs paying tribute to the almighty dollar with the chorus ‘Money makin, money money makin.’ Pair it with the b-side ‘Skillz to Pay the Bills’ and you’ve got a nice little B-Boys Bouillabaisse focused on finances. 

‘Money Changes Everything’ by Cyndi Lauper
Image: Portrait Records

16. ‘Money Changes Everything’ by Cyndi Lauper

Originally recorded by cult new wave band The Brains, ‘Money Changes Everything’ became a hit in 1984 when Cyndi Lauper covered it for her smash debut album ‘She’s So Unusual’. Her version of this song about money may begin with a breezy harmonica riff, but the lyrics still sting as Lauper tells the story of a woman who’s sworn her partner ‘everlasting love’... but decides to ditch him for a richer guy. Nick Levine

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‘Money Money Money’ by Abba
Image: Polydor

17. ‘Money Money Money’ by Abba

Our favourite super-melodic Swedes have sung about everything from a dancing queen to a relationship that recalled the end of the Napoleonic Wars. But this 1976 smash song about money, one of their best-known tunes, is a slice of dollar-signs-in-the-eyes fantasy. ‘All the things I could do if I had a little money,’ they sing longingly on the chorus, ‘It’s a rich man’s world.’ Four decades later, ain't that (still) the truth? 

‘Money Trees’ by Kendrick Lamar
Image: Interscope

18. ‘Money Trees’ by Kendrick Lamar

Just as he disguised the horrors of alcohol as a bottle-popping anthem with ’Swimming Pools,’ Compton phenom Kendrick’s claim that ‘money trees is the perfect place for shade’ packs more meaning than its chorus suggests. This is a song that treats money as a sinister shadow looming over life as the down-and-out dream of living the opulent lives of the same rappers whose braggadocio defined ‘90s bling. As such, it’s weirdly of a piece with other more foreboding cautionary tales like Pink Floyd’s addition to this list – and like that song, ‘Money Trees’ manages to absolutely bang. 

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‘Dirty Sexy Money’ by David Guetta & Afrojack feat Charli XCX and French Montana
Image: What a Music

19. ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ by David Guetta & Afrojack feat Charli XCX and French Montana

Here, the inimitable Miss XCX teams up with two superstar DJs and rapper French Montana to deliver a proper chart-pop earworm. As ever, her lyrics turn repetition into a low-key artform. You won’t be able to resist it when she sings, ‘Come on, spend that dirty sexy money on me, on me, on me!’ And amen to that, tbh. 

‘Money Ain’t a Thang’ by Jermaine Dupri & Jay-Z
Image: Columbia Records

20. ‘Money Ain’t a Thang’ by Jermaine Dupri & Jay-Z

Jiggaman is back to co-sign this bling-bling anthem, an extended, diamond-studded ode to irresponsible spending and hip-hop excess. Superproducer Dupri’s beat makes the whole thing sparkle as the duo brags ad nauseam about their platinum rings, sports cars and gold-plated guns. It’s about as ‘90s as it comes, a sparkling relic of a time when hip-hop seemingly existed solely for its top purveyors to broadcast their wealth. 

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‘If I Had $1,000,000’ by Barenaked Ladies
Image: Reprise

21. ‘If I Had $1,000,000’ by Barenaked Ladies

Perhaps the dwfeebiest hit from the oft-forgotten Canadian goof-rockers, this sing-songy joke track is perhaps the most sweetly earnest song about sudden wealth ever written, as BNL rattles off what they'd buy if they finally hit seven figures. Among the hot-ticket items? A treehouse, the remains of the Elephant Man and a ton of Kraft macaroni and cheese. O Canada indeed.  

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