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Sticky Fingaz & Raekwon Got Conceptual On “Money Talks”

2000 Universal Records

2000 Universal Records

Revisit a slept-on gem with Sticky Fingaz and Raekwon’s conceptual highlight, the Rockwilder-produced “Money Talks.”

While some hip-hop classics are widely recognized as part of the canon, others tend to spark further debate. For every Illmatic, there’s a Black Trash: The Autobiography Of Kirk Jones. The latter, which marks the official debut studio album of Sticky Fingaz, seldom gets the praise it’s deserved. Despite boasting a stacked cast of supporting lyricists, including EminemRaekwonRedman, and Canibus, Sticky Fingaz’s brilliant album tends to fly under the radar for the most part. A shame, as it’s one of the most compelling and musically diverse concept albums of the early millennium.

With plenty of gems to select (unfortunately, my first choice of “Come On” was not available on YouTube), there’s something to be said of the Raekwon-assisted “Money Talks.” Over an eerie instrumental from Rockwilder, Sticky steps into the role of money itself, proudly owning up to being the root of all evil. “I’ve been through customs, borders, I’ve been handled by authorities,” he raps. “Drove people crazy when they couldn’t see more of me / I’ve been saved, I’ve been buried alive, say my name enough and any n***a testify.”

While the concept is simple on paper, Sticky keeps it engaging with the sheer volume of imagery he lays down, culminating in a fascinating analysis of money’s societal role. Should you be looking for an outside-the-box album that might have flown under the radar, The Autobiography Of Kirk Jones has plenty of merits to discover. And for those familiar with the project, do you feel it deserves to be called a classic?

QUOTABLE LYRICS

I’m the root to evil, I don’t grow on trees
I’m called by different names, chips, scrilla, cream
And I’m always green whether dirty or clean
Gettin’ ya hands on me is the American Dream
I’m more powerful than God, amazingly
Cause when you pray to God, n**ga, you pray for me
I’m an exchange hand to hand, with heavy weaponry
This one couple fucked on me  and slept on me

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