Ignore the Tom Waits reference in the open, and Ben Westhoff has written a nice little post about the phenomenon of “making it rain.”
Westhoff was posting at the Wall Street Journal‘s Speakeasy blog on the occasion of the release of his new book, Dirty South: Outkast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers who Reinvented Hip-Hop. He lays out the problems he had with believing in making it rain, the practice of dropping money down in strip clubs and such places:
As a hip hop fan, I’d been hearing about this practice since at least 2006, when Fat Joe and Lil Wayne hit big with their single “Make It Rain.” But I had never actually witnessed it myself in the few times I’d visited strip clubs. Nor could I find YouTube documentation of it actually occurring outside of music video sets. In fact, the more I heard about it, the more dubious I became. Particularly in a recession, it seemed unlikely that run-of-the-mill rappers could afford to be so financially reckless. Hip-hop is obsessed with fantasy, but I refused to believe that so many of my heroes were liars.
Not to ruin the piece too much, since it is worth reading, but he does see it happen in person eventually. That’s an undeniably cool experience and is the only thing that takes place in a strip club that makes it onto my bucket list.
But hasn’t he ever heard of probably the most notorious occasion of making it rain, the case of Adam “Pac-Man” Jones? NFL player Pac-Man famously made it rain in a Las Vegas strip club. He then demanded the cash back, which is really breaking the cardinal rule of making it rain. (Probably doubly so, since reports say he did so by assaulting the dancer.)
Westhoff couldn’t find real videos of this practice taking place? Well, it just so happens that ESPN did post just such a video. If I ever hear about someone talking about this phenomenon, it automatically conjures up Pac-Man thinking he could make it rain and keep his precipitation too.