In their new single, ‘Money Talk’, StreetSmartz101 assure us that “Fast money equals short life.” This doesn’t mean they’re moralising, or indeed, not interested in making money themselves; more that they’re just telling it like it is.
The hip-hop crew from Ocala, Florida know what they’re talking about. Having already overcome plenty of challenges, they are certainly under no illusions that they’re through the tough stuff. In their time they’ve seen poverty, crime, desperation, violence, discrimination, and a whole lot of greed among their peers. StreetSmartz101 aren’t just street smart in name alone. They’ve had to conquer a lot to get where they are.
Nonetheless, new single, ‘Money Talk’ sounds as joyous, poised, and confident. The members of StreetSmartz101 are celebrating that they’re survivors of the tough game they’ve been playing. They know the rules, and they know how to play the game. They might be ruthless, but tracks like their 2021 singles ‘Black Tears’, an elegy for Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and others killed by the police, and ‘Queen’s Anthem’ a celebration of African-American womanhood, show they’re far from amoral, and that they know exactly what problems they are facing.
In the opening verse of ‘Money Talk’, frontman G tells us that if we’re not talking about money, that’s not his business. He and his crew aren’t being judgemental or scolding though. They’re just giving their listeners some straightforward rhymes, laid over menacing trap beats. The message of ‘Money Talk’ hasn’t fallen flat either. DJCalvin featured ‘Money Talk’ on his BACK 2 DA BASICS mixtape, hosted by platinum recording artist FUTURE, which is currently ranked 17th on the mixcloud.com global hip-hop charts.
In the clip for ‘Money Talk’, we see that G wears a tracking bracelet around his ankle. It’s a reminder of his run-ins with the law, his time spent in the penal system, and the culture of electronic surveillance that we’re all living in. Directed by Moskino Films, who specialise in blunt-edged, street storytelling, there’s a casual roughneck energy for their video for StreetSmartz101, and it’s a similar vibe to that which they created forCha$in Truth, Coombs, Coop Deville, and other rappers. While the video for ‘Money Talk’ has plenty of digital tricks, such as cut-outs, freeze-frames, quick-moving animation, and sudden bursts of flame, the heart of the video is the footage of Gs performance. He’s frank, direct, even endearing,. He doesn’t pull any punches, and is wholly committed to the truth and its consequences.