We all have those nights when shaving your entire body, gluing on false lashes, and fake smiling at customers seem like the most laborious tasks imaginable. Now, you can either cop out and decide that the club is PROBABLY going to be dead anyway so you MIGHT AS WELL watch Netflix in bed all night, or you can try to change your attitude. When I know that I have no choice but to drag my ass to the club, and I have to get in the mood to deal with a mind-numbing evening of “What’s your REAL name?” and “I just came in for a beer,” I turn to musical inspiration. The right combination of songs can transform me from a motionless sloth in a blanket-burrito to a perfectly coiffed seductress ready to empty all the wallets.
I’ve spent a lot of time considering how music affects my mood for work, and my theory is that rap lyrics about getting money are actually a form of positive affirmation. Yep, that hokey New Age “Law of Attraction” stuff. As I’m getting ready for work, listening to Lil’ Kim say “fuck bitches, get money” truly puts me in the mindset to get ALL the money and disregard ALL the bitches. If you tell yourself something enough times, it becomes your truth. So my pre-work twerking in the mirror can actually be considered a sort of meditation…right?
Here are my Get Money Anthems (playlist here), guaranteed to inspire you to be on your hustle.
Gangsta Boo: “Can I Get Paid (Stripper’s Anthem)”
If you don’t know this song, you’re fucking up. I actually asked to dance to this at my old club while it was really slow, and they said no! WHAT? I can’t even pick out my favorite lines from it because the lyrics are just SO GOOD. The hook just repeats, “Get your broke ass out the club if you ain’t gon’ tip.” Even if you hate this piece and everything about it, I think we can ALL unite on that. I’m not entirely sure, but I feel like Gangsta Boo MUST have been a stripper at some point. (Ed.’s note: She was!) Otherwise, how could she possibly capture the experience so well? “If you wanna stare you need to get a muthafucking Playboy book. I ain’t dancing for free, fuck what you talking bout.” Those are the words of someone who has paid her dues and knows the struggle. Maybe this is a bad choice to get you in a positive mood, but it will definitely make you feel very demanding and in charge.
Travis Porter: “Make It Rain”
I actually feel like I might have shell shock when this song comes on because I’ve listened to it so many times before work. And, you know, I wouldn’t really appreciate being called a bitch in the club, even if you were gonna make it rain. But I’m down with you throwing $20s because you ain’t got no motherfuckin change, bitch, and I like the message that if you wanna see some ass, we gotta see some cash. If you want us to dance, you better keep them dollars coming. It also acknowledges that the men throwing the cash are tricks. Overall, I think it’s sending a pretty pro-stripper message.
Travis Porter (again): “Ayy Ladies”
I am, in fact, a top notch bitch. The thought of “slangin’ out my bankroll and hittin’ a broke hoe” with it, is often more motivational than I want to admit. There’s a lot to dislike about this song but damn if it doesn’t work the way it’s intended to.
Ca$h Out: “Cashin’ Out”
I actually prefer this song when I come home after banking and am rolling around in my piles of money; now I have such positive memories associated with it that it’s made it to my pre-work playlist. “I’m on the money mission, no one can stop me, just grab your camcorder, press record and go and watch me” is a pretty great—except the camcorder part. We can skip that. However, I’m always on a money mission, and when the only thing stopping me is myself, it reminds me to just go the fuck to work.
USDA: “Throw This Money”
This is just a standard song about making it rain on strippers, but the intro is fucking GOLD. “This is a strip club service announcement. All y’all mothafuckas that’s around the stage that ain’t spendin’ no money move the fuck back. All y’all lame mothafuckas that ain’t got no money please leave now and exit the building. KILL YO SELVES.” I want to play this when people aren’t tipping just to shame them into leaving the club. I can’t get away with it at my club, but will someone please try this and tell me if it works?
50 Cent: “Hustler’s Ambition”
I don’t even like 50 Cent, but a fellow stripper I follow on Twitter tweeted about this song inspiring her, so I checked it out and she wasn’t wrong. “I want the finer things in my life so I hustle. You get in my way while I’m tryna get mine, and I’ll buck you.” The rest of the song is pretty specific to selling drugs, but that chorus really reminds me why I do this job.
2 Chainz: “Spend It”
The first time I managed to save a bunch of money from dancing, I was riding the train to go shopping, and all I could think of the whole train ride was: “IT’S MINE. I SPEND IT. IT’S MINE. I SPEND IT,” on a forever loop in my head. I’m not really sure why his girl is only asking him for a hundred after sex—I think she should really raise her prices. 2 Chainz can afford a lot more than $100 for sex. Maybe she’s really asking for $100k; I hope so. The line, “I’d rather spend money, baby. I don’t spend time,” encapsulates both the way I want my customers to feel, and the way I feel about outsourcing menial tasks that normal adults are able to achieve in their free time.
Lil’ Kim: “Suck My Dick”
Not only do I base my entire life philosophy on these lyrics, but my best friend got this song banned from our old club. It’s such a great female empowerment song in general that flips the script on male/female relations. It starts out with a dedication “to all my motherfuckin’ gettin’ money hoes,” and it only gets better from there. All Lil’ Kim wants to do is get her pussy sucked while she counts a million bucks in the back of an armored truck. ME TOO. And my goal at work is to be bold enough to “peel the Benjis off and throw the singles back in his face.” Plus, she got paid ten grand just to belly dance (Kim, I feel like you might be exaggerating just a bit here), and when the trick tried to bring an extra guy, she just pulled out her gun and made them pay up. Beautiful.
Juelz Santana: “Make It Work For You”
Okay, so this is pretty blatantly about pimping girls out, but I just interpret it the way I want to. I always think of the lyric “Go ‘head, do what you do, make it work for you,” as Juelz’s tacit approval of whatever hustle you happen to be on. And “I don’t play when it comes to money. Guess that’s why I’m okay when it comes to money,” is a line that pops in my head often while at work. Additionally, I’ve included this because I really like individually popping my ass cheeks to this song, and I couldn’t make a list about rap music without including a member of Dipset.
Young Jeezy: “Hustlaz Ambition”
“I won’t deny it, I’m a straight hustla,” is such an effective money mantra for me and this song says it LOTS of times for me to lip synch along to in the mirror. “Give a fuck what you think of me, unless you feedin’ my family,” is pretty damn true, too. Plus, it’s about coming up and improving your game and knowing that someday, you’ll be the best.
Lady J: “Rain Money”
I have actually no idea how I came across this song, because it came out back when I was a baby stripper. Lady J is from my home turf of Detroit, so of course I love her despite the fact that no one else has heard of her. It’s so obscure that I had to rip the .mp3 from the Youtube video. The song itself is great, but you really have to watch the video. She’s looking fly as hell, doing pole tricks, and addressing the social stigma of sex work at the same time! “I don’t give a damn what you haters say about me, you don’t pay my bills and you don’t be around me. So step out of the way and let me make my money. Laughin’ at you haters, cause you just so funny.” RIGHT? Lady J is the baddest bitch in the club and she’ll make you feel like the baddest bitch too. And she’s wearing a Detroit chain! I’d love to visit Lady J at work next time I’m visiting home, but I have a feeling she may have moved on from Erotic City in the past four years. She was truly an inspiration to me from the beginning of my stripping career.
Ace Hood: “Hustle Hard”
Before I ever started stripping, back at the tender age of 19, I used to lurk in an online stripper forum. This was someone’s signature: “Mama needs a house, baby needs some shoes, times are gettin’ hard, guess what imma do?” Now, I’m not buying my mom a house or having any shoe-less babies, but damn if that isn’t inspiring. “Hustle Hard” is now my number one motivational song. A boyfriend used to gauge how I was feeling about work by asking, “How many times will you have to listen to ‘Hustle Hard’ tonight?” A normal night is about once or twice, but if I’m REALLY not feeling it that night, I might have to play it on repeat to pump myself up. Someone once asked me what I did for a living. My response: “Same old shit, just a different day. Out here tryna get it, each and every way.” I feel like that sums it up. “Closed mouths don’t get fed on this boulevard.” Y’all KNOW that’s the truth.