5 Hip Hop Songs Inspired By Gambling
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Hip hop music has a long history referencing gambling activities, this is best seen in classic rap songs. The modern releases also have several songs inspired by high-stakes games and casinos, though some references are more subtle. The genre’s love for gambling comes from the rags-to-riches journey experienced by artists which makes casino games even more appealing to them.

Gambling in hip hop is not just limited to songs, many rappers are known to be avid gamblers and some just play the games for the thrill. Drake especially has a well-documented history of betting big amounts on both offline and online casino games and betting events. The Canadian rapper most recently placed a massive bet of $650,000 for the 2024 T20 World Cup clash. Keeping with the same spirit of gambling, here are some of the finest hip-hop songs inspired by gambling.

It Was a Good Day by Ice Cube

It Was a Good Day by Ice Cube is one of the most iconic hip hop songs, it came out in 1992 as a part of The Predator album. The song quickly became a hit after its release peaking at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped several other charts of the time. Ice Cube has many aggressive songs in his discography that talk about a variety of societal issues and the struggle of African Americans, this song however is different in that regard.

In the song, Ice Cube raps about the game of Craps and narrates that he is winning rather easily. He raps about how he rolls consecutive sevens or elevens on that lucky day and wonders what's happening with the game. Craps is a dice game popular on the streets, it is played with a pair of dice, where rolling seven or eleven wins you the bet.

Vegas by Kendrick Lamar

Vegas by Kendrick Lamar was initially recorded for To Pimp A Butterfly but didn’t make it to the final release. The track features Emily Main and is co-written by both artists. This song is part of one of the 40 original songs recorded for TPAB. So, much like the rest of the album, Vegas has the same musical scope.

Here Kendrick raps about gambling in the Sin City, and especially talks about the game of Blackjack also known as 21. Many fans interpreted this to be his favorite gambling game as he also raps about wanting to spend all his money on betting before leaving, aside from that he mentions playing craps and slot machines as well.

Blackjack is probably the most popular gambling game, even in the Internet age. The game is played online just as its brick-and-mortar casino version as online casinos have emerged in the last decades. With internet platforms, you can play blackjack online from your computer or a mobile device from anywhere in the world and win real money. Remarkably, rappers like Drake have a penchant for betting at online casinos, it might not be as well documented for other artists but their love for gambling is no secret.

Pokerface by Ghostface Killah

After his success in the Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah pursued a solo career and released several albums and songs, and Pokerface was one of them. This track is part of his sixth studio album, More Fish, released on December 12, 2006. It is produced by K. Slack and is written by Shawn Wig and Ghostface Killah.

Unlike other songs in the list, Pokerface directly references many aspects of Poker and the World Series of Poker tournaments. The lyrics of the song show the artist's deep understanding of poker terminology and game knowledge. Furthermore, the song also makes several references to the 1998 film Rounders, a movie about Poker.

Who Gon Stop Me by Jay-Z and Kanye West

Who Gon Stop Me is the ninth track of Watch The Throne album, a collaborative effort by Jay-Z and Kanye West. The iconic duo of hip hop have collaborated before but this was the first time they came together for a full-length album. The song was released in 2011 and topped several charts in South Korea, Canada, and the US.

In “Who Gon Stop Me” Jay Z raps about playing the game of craps and says he will be shooting sevens (the winning number in the game) all night. This is just one of the many songs in the artist’s discography that shows his love for gambling at table games

Mo Money Mo Problems by The Notorious B.I.G.

“Mo Money Mo Problems” was released posthumously and topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for weeks. One of the last recordings by The Notorious B.I.G., it features Mase and Diddy, who remains the label boss to this day.

The song’s lyrical content revolves around the problems that arise from having an affluent lifestyle and too much money. Despite that, the performer Mase’s love for betting holds strong as he plays gambling games not just for the thrill but for winning big.