Home Featured Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Lolo Jones: An Analysis Of The Thirst To Know What Celebrities Do With Their Own Money

Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Lolo Jones: An Analysis Of The Thirst To Know What Celebrities Do With Their Own Money

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Jay Z and P Diddy Make it RainI always thought it was crazy that celebrities annual income are made public. Actually, all of that stuff is public record, however no one will care about Ricky from Compton and his 2 years of back taxes. We do seem to care about how much dough the stars hold. Do we care because we are using these athletes, politicians, and movie stars as a barometer for where we are in life, and aspire to make money like them? Do we secretly thrive on disdain and hatred towards those with the means that we lack, and we want to find a “valid” reason to lash back? The same way some have a thirst for gossip and reality tv, we crave knowledge about individuals in the spotlight, even if it’s really not any of our business.

We are quick to point out the Kim Kardashians, and Lolo Jones’s of the world who “don’t deserve the money they make” and “have no talent”. We hate that they are getting millions of dollars, endorsements, and notoriety, when we can’t point out their talent. I’m here to tell you that their talent is to be interesting and marketable. Yes Kim got famous off of a sex tape (that wasn’t made for distribution btw), and flipped that into a multi million dollar empire. She didn’t toil through years of school, student loans, and working her way through life in order to reap the benefit she has today. Yeah, Lolo Jones hasn’t really won anything, but companies like her look and appeal and want to hire her to make them more money. You know what Kim and Lolo have in common? They found a lane, stayed in it, and won multiple races.You can say they don’t deserve it or don’t have talent, but the talent they do have is the talent of monetary significance. They self-branded, and made who they are as people, lucrative. In other words, interest in them = $$ for them and those who they endorse. Everyone in this world isn’t blessed with Monetary Significance, and if you find it, you will be set. The more you try to discredit, the more they will make.

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Then we have people who will check others because of the donations made. What is our affinity with remaining in the pockets of strangers? I saw chatter all over the Internet about this Jay-Z charitable contributions “scandal”. So he and Beyonce (who gets lumped into this by marriage…Bey Stans stay OUT of my mentions please!) didn’t contribute much to Jay-Z’s foundation, yet they held concerts throughout the world cutting million dollar checks for other causes. My question to you the reader is simple: If he didn’t give a single red cent of his earnings to charity, why should we care?

This is America right? You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Giving back to charity is not a must. The same people who criticize Mr. Carter for not donating or “giving back” are the same people who dig through their wallets & purses to find singles to give during tithe in church, instead of cutting 10%. How charitable are you? Why does it matter? I’ve personally seen Jay and others give back to their communities. You don’t always need the shine of media to promote what you do. You just do it! Looking for recognition cheapens the act.

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Personally, I’ve hated on those who I felt had no talent, yet succeeded. At first I hated because I’m human and it’s natural. After the hate quickly subsided, I looked at it from a different perspective. How many times have I achieved a goal and had people doubt me? How many people say “he doesn’t write that good (irony)” or “he only got that job because he knows people” or the ever popular “affirmative action helped get him where he is today.” It doesn’t feel good to have your merit questioned, and I can only imagine how others feel. I’m not perfect with my finances, but I do ok. I’m learning different aspects of fiscal responsibility daily and getting better. I would cringe if my finances were made public and people knew where my money went. Knowledge breeds hate at times, and that’s no evil I need on my soul Ricky Bobby!

We shouldn’t be bitter because we didn’t catch a break that “talentless celebrities” receive. Everyone has their path in life. Bitterness and contempt will only keep you at a sub-par level. Make your mark and do well for yourself. Stand and cheer when the next man or woman succeeds or better yet, just don’t hate on their accomplishments.

Why do we care about the finances of others? What obligation (or lack thereof) do those with money have to give back to the less fortunate? Is it any of our business?


Editors Note: I see that some of you want to try to ‘discredit” what I wrote concerning Lolo Jones. I re-read my article here to see if I needed further clarification. Let me be clear

1) The “Hasn’t Won Anything” should be in quotes, as to say “this is what OTHERS say about her” If that’s your disconnet, that’s on me.

2) I’m well aware of her accomplishments.

3) This doesn’t take away from the point that she is hated on and doesn’t deserve it, and gthat people should mind their own pockets. This is actually the main idea of the ENTIRE article.

Hope this helps. Can’t be any clearer.

– Streetz

Comment(36)

  1. Great post and pretty spot on. What someone else does with their money doesn't concern me unless it can have actual detrimental effects to my personal well being or those whom I care about. If anything you should look at someone else's wealth (especially someone who you perceive is wealthy due to looks aka Kim K) as motivation. If they can amass that wealth without the knowledge that you claim to possess, then imagine what YOU can do!

    Remember "thou shall not covet."

    1. People are mind-fugged into believing working hard is the key to riches. It's not. Ownership, working smart, luck, having a strategy, and nepotism are what gets people rich. But working hard keeps people busy and striving for something they probably won't ever have.

      1. Okay I agree with you that hard work alone will not work. Some people will inevitably be born into better situations than others and there’s nothing we can control about that. I’m a firm believer that people should only be worried about things they can control.

  2. Your an idiot. Lolo Jones has world championships in Indoor Track. She qualified for the Olympics. Do your research before you say a person hasn't won anything in their choosen field.

    1. 1) #your

      2) actually there were quotation marks that were supposed to go around “hasn’t won anything” as to say this is what people argue. I am well aware of the points you made in your vitriol laced response. The statement was to further bolster the point that her endorsement money is warranted because sponsors want her, and we shouldn’t hate.

      Thanks for visiting our site John.

    2. You're*

      I believe he was referencing Outdoor track which is the relevant story at this current day and time. However, she has had a pretty prolific indoor track career.

  3. I don’t hate on Kim cause at the end of the day we made her famous by continuing to pay attention to her after the sex tape, so her family capitalized off of it . Sometimes things just don’t work out in your favor shrugs. celebrities have a tendency to show off their money as well. Multiple cars , homes etc and it’s out in magazines and on the Internet , I mean rappers rap about their new car every song, so peoples interest in the fabulous life is understandable.

    I know there was a small controversy about how Jay and Bey and Oprah donate back. Of course we all have our own personal theories on where and who they should donate to. While black entertainers and socialites from back in the day made it a point to donate back to their own communities, ultimately where and how these celebrities give back is their business. If you don’t like the charities or causes your favorite artist donates to , stop supporting that artist.

  4. i work in the inner city Philly. i see Jill Scott & Shane Victorino giving back. Its great when the people see you in the community, not saying a check isnt as good but how do we know if it really gets to the people and not some CEO making 5x more than the community.

    many times celebrities presence can inspire a generation of children and give hope to the communities they left behind.I wonder if you ask the people who have received a personal letter or a hand shake from Michele Obama how their outlook on life change.

    Im not impress with the celebrities of today. my impression of them are over indulgent, spoiled rotten, big headed toddlers. i say "Off with their heads"!

  5. Its ironic because i was just debating with someone over Romney, I found it tacky that the Obama campaign were attacking his tax returns and finances (especially when there is sooo much other material). i feel the same with celebrities, i dont care how much dough u hold, you entertain i consume that is the extent of our relationship. What Jay does or doesnt do for the lss fortunate will not affect me as a consumer, hell what i do or dont do for the less fortunate shouldnt have an effect on others. However if Jay gets nominated for a humanitarian of th year or something then sure, show me the carfax. But otherwise what he eats dont make me ish.

    1. "I found it tacky that the Obama campaign were attacking his tax returns and finances (especially when there is sooo much other material)."

      I, pesonally, don't think it's tacky at all mainly because it's relevant to the narrative/message Romney is attempting to convey. We have a huge deficit? You want to shrink it? Two ways, spending cuts and tax revenue. It's a fair question to ask how he is contributing (if at all). The fact he is reluctant makes it appear he has something to hide which is just political ammo for a campaign.

      To be clear, it's not mainly the Obama campaign…it's Super PACs, Harry Reid, liberal media outlets ,etc…The Obama campaign, from what I've seen at least, has hit on the other material quite a bit (job record as Governor, lack of specifics on policy plan/strategy, etc..etc..).

    2. "…you entertain i consume that is the extent of our relationship. What Jay does or doesnt do for the lss fortunate will not affect me as a consumer…"

      "However if Jay gets nominated for a humanitarian of th year or something then sure, show me the carfax."

      Spot on.

  6. I think ppl who are mad at Kim and Lolo need to be mad at themselves for focusing on the wrong things. Instead of resenting those women and labeling them talentless, they should be trying to figure out how those women did it. What is so interesting about them? They are pretty? They got some breaks? Well the 'haters' need to figure out how they can get breaks too.

    Kim (and Kris Jenner) managed to turn what could have been a huge ugly mess into a launching point for a great career. So the time you break the copy machine but manage to fix it before the repair man gets there might be the 'Aha!' moment where you realize you're better with your hands than doing weekly TPS reports. (I watched Office Space recently.) Ride with it! Talk to the copy guy and see if he knows of any openings!

    Lolo got endorsements before she even got to the Olympics and didn't even get medals? The lesson there is that you can't trick yourself into blocking your blessings just because you haven't technically done what others needed to do to get similar blessings. You think I give two fugs that other ppl had to take the GRE to get into grad school and I didn't? Fug em. And if they were mad, they could stay mad cus I still showed up to class and showed out through good grades.

    With regard to tax returns and community giving, save for people running for office, I could care less. I am worried more about the time and money I have. I have a recurring conversation with a woman about Jay and Bey. She pointed out that he doesn't go to things in his old hood. I was raised in Detroit. I don't go back cus the shyt is not safe for me. If I was Jay, I would stay my kidnappable hindparts in the safest places I could find. With regard to his giving back, or at least ppl seeing him give back, he doesn't owe them anything. If he gave college scholarships, does he need to show up to sign a check? No. The check goes to the school to pay the tuition.

    1. Good points Ms. Smart. I concur. Another thing folks forget, many times celebrities do charity work and donate hella money to charities, but they may choose to be anonymous, or because it's not "gossip" that feeds the media fodder, nobody ever really knows about it.
      I don't think charity should be done just for publicity anyway. Just give cause u want to, not necessarily to get press. Getting press won't get u a reservation in heaven, giving from the heart will.

  7. I pretty much agreed with what Ms Smart has said here today. I also have a general theory for my own money that apply to everyone as a whole: “If you didn’t help me make it, don’t tell me how to spend it.”

    I have my own thoughts on the Jay-Zs and rappers in general of the world but it has little if anything to do with their money. As far as money goes, it is theirs to spend as they see fit.

  8. I think if I have the funds to donate to my very own self-made, non-profit charitable organization (me and my kids) then nothing else matters. I think I'm good on my end.

    I don't think it matters how anyone whether famous or not, spends their money. From what I have heard (because I don't care too much about their personal lives or their public life), they usually give back to where THEY came from. Understandable. If it were me, I think I would rather my money go to MY community. And not trying to sound like an ass, but I just don't feel that no one else's community matters much to MY situation. I believe that's probably how they feel about it too. No one else is going to look out for you or your surroundings better than the people who have experienced "the situation" (if there was a situation to experience) first hand. I guess that is IF they are REALLY giving back like they say.

  9. I disagree with lumping Lolo Jones into the category of Kim Kardashian. Lolo Jones is a two-time world champion, 11-time All-American, and the American record holder in the 60m hurdles. She has talent and success. Can't fault her because she's pretty too and smart enough to leverage her on-field success into off-field prosperity.

    1. I agree. That wasn't a good comparison. I'm not understanding all the shade thrown at Lolo. She has talent. She was expected to win this year because she was on her way to the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics until she tripped over the last hurdle. The odds were in her favor based on statistics.

  10. Lolo Jones Stats from Wikipedia

    Medal record[hide]Women's athletics
    Competitor for the United States
    World Indoor Championships
    Gold 2008 Valencia 60 m hurdles
    Gold 2010 Doha 60 m hurdles
    Continental Cup
    Silver 2010 Split 100 m hurdles
    On June 23, 2012, Lolo Jones placed third in the 100m hurdles at the U.S. Olympics trials, qualifying her for a spot on the 2012 Summer Olympics team.[20]
    At the London Olympics, on August 6, 2012, Jones won her heat in the 100 meter hurdles in a time of 12.68 s. On August 7, 2012 she placed third in the semifinals of the 100 meter hurdles, gaining progression to the finals. In the finals later that day Jones ended fourth with a time of 12.58 s.[21]

  11. Lolo Jones Stats from Wikipedia
    Event Time (seconds) Venue Date
    55 meters hurdles 7.57 Gainesville, Florida, United States March 2, 2003
    60 meters hurdles 7.72 Doha, Qatar March 13, 2010
    100 meters hurdles 12.43 Beijing, China August 18, 2008
    60 meters 7.29 Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States March 14, 2003
    100 meters 11.24 Stuttgart, Germany September 10, 2006

    All information from IAAF Profile[34]
    [edit] Competition recordYear Competition Venue Position Event Notes
    2006 World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 5th 100 m dash
    6th 100 m hurdles
    2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 6th 100 m hurdles
    2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 1st 60 m hurdles
    Olympic Games Beijing, China 7th 100 m hurdles
    World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 2nd 100 m hurdles
    2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 1st 60 m hurdles
    2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 4th 100 m hurdles

  12. Streetz I agree with bkdude, no comparison whatsoever between Kim K and Lolo Jones. Lolo Jones came from nothing and had to leave her family and live with other people and depend on mentors who believed in her and her dreams. That girl had to struggle and fight for all she has earned. It didn't come easy for her at all. Not to mention she is still a virgin…..(according to statements she made on HBO Real Sports and a devout christian.

    1. I’m sorry. Did I forget to add something to my article that says I disagree with what you all are saying?

      I think she is qualified to get endorsements because she’s aPpealing to endorsers! It doesn’t matter her many accomPlishments. People are hating on her I agree.

      I don’t see what’s so hard to understand.

  13. Why do we care about the finances of others? Don't know why others do, I don't. My opinion is that folks are nosey as hell and wanna know Every damn thing and they don't have enough of a life to keep themselves occupied so they live vicariously thru others. Nothing better to talk about.
    What obligation (or lack thereof) do those with money have to give back to the less fortunate? I would say it is "morally right" to give back, especially when u have a lot to give and can afford to. My pastor always preached, "God doesn't always bless us just for ourselves, many times he blesses us so that we can be a blessing to other people." He also said, "if you hoard all of your blessings and your hands are full with them, how will u have room enough to receive anymore from God." My grandmom used to tell me, "when u have been blessed, pass it on and bless someone else." So no matter what I have or don't have, I will give what I do have to help others; whether it's my time, money, support, love, whatever. Thats just me.

    1. Besides the moral obligation, none really. As far as I know, no matter how much u have legally u don't have to donate 1 red cent if u don't want to.
      Is it any of our business? No it's not our business how celebs spend their money. Either way we contribute to their success in some way shape or form and keep them relevant. No matter what anyone thinks they will still get paid.
      If folks were less nosey and judgemental of celebs, and instead were more inspired by them to find their own niche and strive to reach their own level of success, the world would be a better place.
      But since we don't live in a perfect world with perfect people, life will go on as such.

  14. At the end of the day every person has different viewpoints and opinions on how one should live their life on the most basic of levels. Some people feel giving back to the community is a basic principle that should be instilled in all no matter how wealthy one is. The whole mantra, "With great power comes great responsiblity" rings loud in many people's ears. However, the idea of giving back and being responsible is vastly subjective and means different things to different people and there in lies the rub.

    I'm sure Jay-Z, Beyonce and the such believe they are doing more than enough. Their "enough" isn't the next persons "enough", which is sort of interesting considering the next person doesn't have nearly as much money.

    "Everyone that tells me how to do it never did"

    Nothing wrong with voicing your displeasure about thinking someone could do more to help society, but at the same time be respectable of their decisions and how they go about doing so.

  15. Cosign Larry……especially in the black community, most folks never think celebs do enough and give enough unless they are giving practically all their earnings back to the "community."

  16. now that I think about it, even if ur not a celeb and just a reg person that has "made it out the hood" folks always expect u to "give back."
    I been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. Learned my lesson the hard way, not to give it all way again. Most times the people u helped won't be able to give it back to help you when you need it.

  17. Just to broaden the perspective a little about folks who give back, it's not just because todays athletes and hip hop artists are people who came from rough circumstances. There's a societal expectation much broader than the hip hop/athletic community that dictates that the well-to-do engage in philanthropic endeavors. The reason why the Shawn Carters and Beyonce Knowles of the world turn heads is because they knowingly violate and disregard that societal expectation.

    If we look at other people who are worth comparable amounts or even more, those people regularly give tens and sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars to worthy causes – and still take home a pretty penny for themselves. And with the few notable exceptions of Oprah, Cosby, etc., from yesteryear, most modern day black superstars just don't give much of anything to anyone. Whether we agree or disagree with their actions is one thing, but I don't think it's fair to say people are just jealous. I think it's more that these newly superrich are violating the social norms that accompany their new socioeconomic status.

    1. But I have often wondered if people are doing all this charity for benefits beyond just being 'helpful'. What tax breaks do they get? And of those who are pictured doing good works, are they just giving their time to be a spokesperson for the organization. What's real? What's Memorex? (That Memorex statement probably shows my age. LOL)

      1. I think to the kid who gets to go to college who couldn't without that donation, the reason behind the donation is less relevant when compared to not giving the money at all. I try not to get into the gray area of judging a person's rationale/motivation. That's virtually impossible to discern objectively as I can't get inside their head.

        What I care about is the impact, or directly observable outcomes. Whether a person donates for a tax break or not is almost besides the point. When you're that rich, you can do just about anything with your money if your goal is to avoid taxes. Ask the hip hop stars that don't donate juch. They're not all paying the max rates in taxes. They're just doing something different with their money.

        1. I missed the opportunity to edit my comment and add the piece that I was addressing and agreeing with, "There's a societal expectation much broader than the hip hop/athletic community that dictates that the well-to-do engage in philanthropic endeavors."

          People are giving to meet societal expectations. By meeting those expectations, they get other benefits like tax breaks and good PR.

        2. Absolutely. And the cynic in me would add that they also get to placate the masses (at least in a democracy) that allow them to keep that money through relative social calm and by not forcing politicians to increase taxes or "spread the wealth around" too much.

  18. *cuddles up to you* I wish a guy would say stuff like this to people on my behalf. I really do. He'd be such a chivalrous hero in my eyes. and woah @ the in-depth analysis of a woman. AND it's accurate?! What I'll say to all this is that it's not their income of women like Oprah, Michelle Obama, Beyonce and KimK (just to use cliche examples of ppl everyone knows) I'm interested in. I find solace and comfort in knowing one day I'll join their ranks. I identify with them.

    "You don't always need the shine of media…You just do it! Looking for recognition cheapens the act." That's always been my belief and course of action but I'm struggling with that decision now. My life's work is now someone else's legacy and the person I gave it to doesn't even know my name. Now I'm starting to wonder had I been more open and public, especially now, would I have people to selflessly be there for ME? but at least I can rest easy knowing for myself my acts were of pure love and kindness.

    1. "Affirmative action helped get him where he is today." What I hate about comments like that and other dismissive statements is that it takes away from the genuine good of a person. I am who I am and got where I am because I worked my a*s off. I suffered, I struggled, I toiled. I kicked, clawed and fought through this journey. I'm here because I decided to be. and you'll never get an honest response to this even though it's happening in real time. "Do we secretely thrive on disdain and hatred towards those with the means that we lack, and we want to find a "valid" reason to lash back?" The truth of the answer doesn't even matter because you adapt to the blatant cruelty and maliciousness by becoming completely apathetic. It's the only lesson to be learned from the general population but: "bitterness and contempt will only keep you at a sub par level."

      Really, this whole post is everything I feel. I WISH people embodied this perspective. Good job.

  19. "Bitterness and contempt will only keep you at a sub-par level."

    Exactly! I think the reason people hate on others is that its a lot easier to do that than get your own ish together. Seriously. Why take the time and the dreaded E word………..EFFORT to figure out what my lane is when I can just trash someone who successfully found theirs?!!! I have enough of my own financial and other issues to worry about that I can't even fathom worrying about anyone else's. But living in the DC area, I am sadly in the minority. Women (and men) are quick to ask not only what you do, but in some cases, how much you make and how much you pay for rent. With a straight face.

    As for merit? Pshaw!!!! I don't even worry about what my 'other cousins' think about me. We'll never be good enough in some of their eyes and that's fine by me because I know who I am and whose I am. Everybody gets somewhere or something at some point because of a "connection," whether its explicit or implied. I don't care how I get in the door, as long as I got what it takes to stay in the building:)

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