‘Been Broke’, from Lil Rod and featuring Squalla, is a mesmerising and gorgeous RnB and hip hop single. But listen closely and you’ll realise that within – around the 3 minute mark – Lil Rod gets deep and personal, and makes an astounding observation. No longer is he worried about getting locked up, he tells us, and additionally he no longer has to worry about the the expense of paying bail. His life has changed, and because of that, many of his worst insecurities have disappeared, and he can plan accordingly.
Lil Rod testifies to his own inspiring life story while reminding us of the extreme vulnerability and hidden costs that those on the bottom of the ladder always have to worry about. Sure it’s a classic hip hop style boast, but it’s also a clear-eyed look at a system where the odds are stacked high against those who need them most.
On the song and video for ‘Been Broke’ Lil Rod is joined by rapper Squalla, whose strong verse adds to the song’s thematic heft and the clip’s cinematic quality. Directed by Lia B and Matt Stanley, the video captures Lil Rod and Squalla in a mansion, counting money, surrounded by beautiful women, and posing, artfully, on a gorgeous staircase: classic hip hop clip stuff. The directors heighten the intensity of the video by amping up the saturation and the colour of the footage. The video is Lil Rod’s way of mocking the cult classic film ‘Trading Places’: don’t worry, it’s easy to miss; you’ll simply feel like you’ve slipped into a dream of comfort, sensuality, and sudden (but never unearned) riches.
Watch ‘Been Broke’ below and check out more about Lil Rod and his music online on his official website.