Contributed by Jonny Collins
Last month’s playlist was entitled “Never Trust a Tory” and was created in part due to the baffling and terrible continuation of Boris Johnson’s leadership, and just after I wrote it Boris resigned (or at least committed to resign eventually).
This month’s playlist theme is entitled “Eat the Rich” mostly at frustration of Elon Musk’s continued bullshit and fan praise like he’s some kind of tech wizard despite having less than a hobbyist’s knowledge of coding – a business genius despite the fact that he runs everything he owns as a Ponzi scheme, and a free speech god despite the fact that he fires anyone who disagrees with him.
If anything’s going to bring him down, hopefully this will be it.
It’s a well-documented fact of science that rich people take more from society than they add. Trickle down economics is bullshit. The rich don’t create jobs or income, certainly not in proportion to the amount they hoard, and during one of the steepest levels of inflation in my entire life, even including the 2008 crash, they are still making record profits off of their assets, and either freezing employee pay, or increasing in a lower increment than inflation, translating to a real term pay cut.
So, for this month, I thought it’d be fun to have a playlist all about the rich, how they oppress the working classes, or indeed, anyone not a multi-millionaire, and what we should do to them. The richest people are so rich that even millionaires are barely a part of the 1% anymore. Capitalism needs to slow the fuck down.
#1: Rich, White, Straight Men – Kesha
“What if rich, white, straight men
Didn’t rule the world anymore?”
Kesha is an absolute fucking icon, and I won’t hear a word against her. Not the only or even first person to make the observation that Rich, White, Straight Men have all the power and use it to self-serve their own interests. But I don’t think anyone has ever done it quite so eloquently as this – with a fucking circus beat, infectious hook, and no fucks given. One of the best songs of all time frankly, and I’ll include it literally anywhere I can
#2: Eat Rich – Busdriver
“I’m so hungry, man, I could eat the rich”
Busdriver is one in a long line of weird as fuck rappers that really go to show how fucking sonically diverse the genre can be. Compared to some of his other works this track is actually pretty bog-standard in terms of production – but his unique voice and lyrical style still shines through, and that choral hook is so fucking satisfying, it’ll live in your head rent free, as once all the landlords have been eaten there will be no need to pay rent.
#3: A Clean Sweep – The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing
“The sweep said “Oh not again
I must be overfeeding them
We’ll just light a fire to drive him up higher
He’ll soon wriggle free when he’s hot””
Obligatory TMTWNBBFN inclusion this month – A Clean Sweep is a little tale about a Chimney Sweep’s harrowing job, death, and class disparity. The titular Sweep is just doing is job wondering about the lives of the people who’s chimney’s he’s sweeping, before he gets stuck, and the owners burn him alive by trying to smoke him about, before getting another sweep to drag the dead body out.
A harrowing juxtaposition between classes is presented, the cherry on the top being the very end in a short skit where one of the rich girls’ mother is furious at the mishap, as it will cause them to be late to the opera. Big Oof. Incredibly visceral depiction of how the upper classes continue to view the working classes to this day, albeit more subtly.
#4: Kill The Rich – Vindicator
“The meek will bear the riches
While they feed the gallows pole
The wrongs made right by penalty
We march them to their death
No more will they control the world
Pay with their final breath”
I’ll be honest, some of these songs speak for themselves and my commentary will add very little. Kill The Rich by Vindicator…I mean, I feel like you’ve got it just from the title.
#5: Eat The Rich – Cocaine Piss
“Tu sens le fric
Et j’ai la dalle
Tu sens le riche
Et j’ai faim”
Once again, fairly obvious what this song is about, even though none of it is in English.
(Editor’s note: Seeing, and subsequently hugging the leader singer of, Cocaine Piss was very much a highlight of Manchester Punk Festival 2022.)
#6: Without Prejudice – Protest The Hero
“Wealth is a sick man’s game.
Those who have it and those who hunger for it.”
Protest the Hero on point as usual – coupling lyrics with punk sensibilities with musicianship that puts many a virtuoso to shame. Absolute banger as per.
#7: eat the rich – DCCM
“So, you’re burning mother earth for the wealth?
Eat the rich, eat the rich, eat the rich, ey”
I don’t know much about DCCM – but they come up in my Spotify recommended a lot, and every track I’ve heard is good. If I recall correctly, they largely do metal covers of pop songs, but this track with KING KVNG is as far as I can tell an original work. It is a kind of Indie/Trap track with Industrial elements that is categorized using tropes from all alternative genres of music.
It’s a bit difficult to put your finger on exactly what this band does, but what I can tell you is that I like it a lot. Add a simple yet progressive message, a rising choral beat that hypes you up for revolution, and you have a great track to eat the rich to.
#8: Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous – Good Charlotte
“If money is such a problem
Well, they got mansions
Think we should rob them”
I never thought I’d like a Good Charlotte song enough to include them on one of my playlists. They’re fine, don’t get me wrong – but I can’t listen to them without getting “GIRLS DON’T LIKE BOYS GIRLS LIKE CARS AND MONEEYYYYYYYYYYY BOYS WON’T LAUGH AT GIRLS WHEN THEY’RE NOT FUNNYYYYYY…OR WHEN THEY ARE BECAUSE THEIR INSECURE MASCULINITY WON’T LET THEM EVEN BEGIN TO PROCESS THAT A WOMAN IS ABLE TO BE FUNNY BECAUSE IN THEIR MIND THEIR SENSE OF HUMOUR IS ALL HE HAS GOING FOR HIM AND IF WOMEN ARE FUNNIER THAN HIM (WHICH MOST ARE) HE HAS LITERALLY NOTHING TO OFFER” or something, idk, it’s been a while since I’ve heard the song.
This track kind of slaps though. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous is more about vain celebrity culture than it is the multi-billionaire oppressors and class traitors who stan them. But the general vibe fits either way, particularly when they talk about the wealthy doing nothing but moaning about their wealth and money, in a way that, while not necessarily invalid, is incredibly tone deaf, and has only gotten more so as the wealth gap ever widens form the poorest workers to the wealthiest conmen. If it’s such a problem, we’ll have it, don’t be weird.
#9: Maggie Thatcher’s Dream – Grace Petrie
“But when I looked at the big picture
Saw the rich getting richer
When I tried to play the long game
I was on the losing team
Can I be so middle class
When I can’t afford the gas?
Is this my economic nightmare or just
Maggie Thatcher’s Dream?”
Grace Petrie hitting the nail on the head as per usual. What an icon.
#10: Common People – Pulp
“You will never understand
How it feels to live your life
With no meaning or control
And with nowhere left to go”
You all knew this would be on here – and what is there left to say about this song yet? One of the greatest Britpop anthems of all time. Incredible narrative work lyrically that so perfectly captures the dichotomy between rich people treating the working classes as a cute novelty. While not quite as aggressive as some of the other songs on this list, like the two tracks entitled “Kill The Rich”, still one of the best “rich people bad” songs out there.
#11: Million Dollar Loan – Death Cab for Cutie
“A million-dollar loan
Nobody makes it on their own
Without a million-dollar loan
To cast the first stone
You’ll need a million-dollar loan
Every ascension to a throne
Starts with a million-dollar loan”
This track from the 30 days 30 songs project in 2016 is a direct criticism of Donald Trump, namely the contradiction between his “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” attitude, and the fact that his success is due to inherited wealth, luck, and the rule of averages.
The more money you have to fail with, the more likely you are to succeed. More money buys more attempts, and there comes a point where you have too much money to fail, which is where Trump is. If he had to make his life off his own back as a businessman, he’d’ve had no chance. He barely would’ve managed to run a non-profit comedy club without somehow getting billions in debt. I’m literally a better businessman than Donald Trump, and I don’t know the first thing about running a business or being a man.
Even Elon Musk, fraud as he is, at least is a good conman. Trump can’t even do that without help. Absolute waste of capitalism.
#12: Kill The Rich – Anti Flag
“They’re gonna give you nothing
they want to take away the little they call something
you know you’re being used but still you play along
if you’re not complacent,
you’re doing something wrong.”
Half of these songs have exactly the same name, it was a pretty easy playlist to compline ngl. If you like Anti Flag, you’ll probably already know, and this is typical great Anti-Flag.
#13: 99% – Nayn-Un-Nayntsik – Daniel Kahn
“You wanna join the one percent?
Just gather ninety-nine good friends:
Take from them the best they have to offer
Let them eat the leavings of your meal”
Now this is why I love doing these playlists – getting to discover artists I probably never would’ve heard of in any other context purely by the theming of their songs.
Daniel Kahn is a Jewish-American musician based in Berlin and singing a mixture of traditional Klezmer, folk, punk and cabaret – all genres which lend themselves to political theming incredibly well. From my brief research into his back-catalogue, he’s definitely good at implementing and executing these themes as well.
This song and “Freedom is a Verb” in particular gripped me instantly. Will definitely be checking out more of his stuff, as it is both full of timeless classic elements and incredibly fresh and unlike everything I’ve ever heard before.
#14: Rich Girl – Hall & Oates
“You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far
‘cause you know it don’t matter anyway
You can rely on the old man’s money”
Never expected to include Hall and Oates on here of all people – but this track was too good a fit. Like Common People, this track is more about a spoiled rich person with inherited wealth, how that privilege affects their life, and how it makes them kind of insufferable and naïve to the genuine human condition.
Also, it’s pretty catchy. I may be an alternative queer comedian, but I am first and foremost, a very white person, let me have this. We’ve had it too hard for too long. (I kid.)
#15: Breadline Britain – The Communards
“Where the sick don’t stand a chance
Where fascism leads a new dance
Where they’d privatise your mother
If given half a chance
This is Breadline Britain
You’ve got to make a stand”
I found this one for the anti Tory playlist, but it works just as well if not better here. A mournful dirge about the reality of living in Tory Britain – where the rich get richer whilst poverty destroys communities and tears apart the country.
“Where they’d privatise your mother if given half a chance” is an incredible line. Given continued efforts to decimate the NHS, this country is very much on the way to becoming America without all the benefits of America. This is the impact of capitalism and acting solely for the interests of the hyper rich. It isn’t sustainable – eventually money will mean nothing as the planet becomes uninhabitable, but they’ll still keep squeezing it out until the bitter end, which might be much sooner than they realize.
#16: You Say Millionaire Like It’s A Good Thing – Guante
“That dollar in your pocket is an insult
Ten dollars in your pocket ain’t enough
The reason that so many of us are have-nots,
is that the haves have way too much
Let’s get ‘em ”
Another new discovery for me – I don’t know anything about the artist, but this gives me very Immortal Technique & Blue Scholars’ vibes. Politically charged hip-hop, so expertly constructed to convey a simple yet effective message about the 1%, the bosses, the politicians, the billionaires, the landlords – they don’t care about you – and they will use you just enough to be legally viable and financially in their favour, and drop you the moment you’re not useful.
I said before that millionaires are barely rich in modern definitions, but that doesn’t stop them from being very much both a part and a symptom of the problem. No one needs that much money – and the fact that such a life changing amount of money for any reasonable person is tuppence to the world’s richest people is indication that everything is fucked. Not that you needed reminding.
#17: I Hate The Rich – The Dils
“I hate the rich, I don’t want their money
I hate the rich, so it ain’t so funny”
Stripping back a bit from the last track, “I hate the rich” by The Dils is more basic punk, which conveys its message through repetition and chanting more than it does introspective lyrical weaving – but is no less relevant to the issue at hand. Rich people are bad, next.
#18: The Poverty of Philosophy – Immortal Technique
“A government run by the rich such as this one
And traditionally oppressive European states
Force the third world into buying overpriced unnecessary goods
While exporting huge portions of their natural resources
I’m quite sure that people will look upon my attitude
And sentiments and look for hypocrisy and hatred in my words
My revolution is born out of love for my people, not hatred for others”
I wish I had the power over words that Immortal Technique do. I’m not even going to try and analyse this hip-hop masterpiece, as I’ll never do it justice. I could write an entire blog on this track alone. Suffice to say this track is a masterclass in intersectionality from a point of class and race, and I urge you all to give it a listen and read the lyrics if you really want to understand where a lot of modern leftist theory is coming from.
I don’t know how Immortal Technique identify politically, but their analysis and breaking down of class warfare and wealth oppression in these few verses is some of the best that’s ever been recorded.
#19: …And Justice For All – Metallica
“Lady justice has been raped, truth assassin
Rolls of red tape seal your lips, now you’re done in
Their money tips her scales again, make your deal
Just what is truth? I cannot tell, cannot feel”
And to close it off – what could possibly follow up that last track? Well only an even longer, progressive, albeit slightly less lyrically proficient track from one of the biggest Metal bands in the world.
I have mixed feelings on Metallica, but the best of their work is certainly nothing to sneer at. While “…And Justice For All”, both the album and song, are as admired as they are criticized, with poor production and often self-indulgent levels of length – I think they both have a lot to offer.
…And Justice For All is a tongue in cheek title, noting in the lyrics that is almost never the case, as it is painfully easy for the rich to buy their way out of any real repercussions. The verses are short, the chorus is basic, but as a whole progressive thrash package this is an absolutely killer way to end the playlist.
And there you are – 19 songs about how all rich people are bad and we’d be better off without them. You can find this playlist on Deezer, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube – although please note not all tracks are available on all platforms.
Join us on Twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy on the 25th of July for our next Broadcast Avalanche Episode with Team Captain’s Katie Mitchell & Thom Bee, and guests Cameron Sinclair-Harris, Kitty Messalina, Ros Ballinger & Tony Wright – and book tickets to our next live show on the 8th of August with headliner Bethany Black, Umby Winters, The Impish Scribe, Eden MW and Amarpal Singh – tickets available here: https://www.outsavvy.com/event/9808/blizzard-comedy-live-featuring-bethany-black