Atlanta rapper, record producer and music executive Jermaine Dupri claims he invented “making it rain” at a strip club when he showered bills out of a car in his 1998 “Money Ain’t A Thing” music video.
According to The Fader, in a recent interview with Estelle on Apple Music, So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri declares he was the first rapper to ever tip a stripper in the now-iconic fashion. Revolt took notice of Dupri’s assertion, and headlined his suggestion that, in a 1990s visit to the iconic Atlanta club Magic City with fellow musicians Talib Kweli and Janet Jackson, Dupri realized what he had discovered.
“They’re throwing the money in the air,” he recalls, “I actually was the person who created this, because I did this first in the ‘Money Ain’t A Thing’ video. Me and JAY-Z are in the car throwing money throughout the whole video. That became my thing with that song. That became my thing going into these strip clubs.”
Rappers raining stacks of cash on exotic dancers is now emblematic of having “made it,” especially in rap and hip-hop. A recent example of this was when Drake came to Onyx Atlanta recently with $250k in a tupperware to shower dancers in. But is Dupri really the originator of this action?
The influential singer who founded Kriss Kross and wrote their breakout 1992 single “Jump” recalls, “I probably threw $1,000 on the floor. And the girl at the strip club said, ‘You want me to get down on the floor and get my money?’ She didn’t understand what was happening.
“I tried this a couple of places where I was out throwing money,” he continues. “They didn’t understand what was happening. And this is just my confirmation of me saying, ‘I know that I was the first person doing this.’”
Probably there’s no record of who did it first, but if it was Dupri, it’s hilarious to imagine that his first attempts in making it rain were met with confusion and annoyance.
“Money Ain’t A Thang” was the hit single from Dupri’s debut studio LP, Life In 1472, which features star appearances from Nas, DMX, Slick Rick, Mariah Carey, Da Brat, Ma$e, Lil Kim, Snoop Dogg and more.
Y’all wanna floss with us (Yeah)
‘Cause all across the board, we burn it up (Ha)
Drop a little paper, baby, toss it up
Slacking on your pimpin’, turn it up (Yeah)
See, the money ain’t a thang
According to Revolt, “the album both peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and earned the hip hop veteran a platinum certification.” Watch the 1998 “Money Ain’t A Thing” video below.