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A Rapper and a Businessperson Walk Into a Bar: How Warren Buffett and Drake are on the Same Wavelength5 min read

Rappers catch a lot of flack. They’re misogynistic, violent, and [insert demeaning adjective masked in racial overtones here] … yeah, I said it!  But what we don’t hear often is how wise some rappers can be. If you take a moment to assess their lyrics, you’ll start to notice the commonalities between the second verse and second chapter of that business “how to” book you’ve been pretending to thoughtfully read on the subway.

Don’t believe me and need a rich white guy to validate my thoughts? It’s cool, so do rappers. That’s my point.

If you’re still reading this, during finals no less, I’ve taken it upon myself to offer you something far greater than the elusive Stern A –– perspective (just breathe and take the guaranteed B). After years of listening to a friend of mine fawn over both Buffett and Drake, I started to notice a pattern. They are saying the same thing. You just might not realize it at first because, why would you? You’re studying to get an A.

When you read a Buffett book, you expect folksy rhetoric riddled with not only investing but also life lessons. On the other hand, while listening to a Drake album, you expect to hear lyrics about being sad, polite and, apparently, constantly backstabbed. However, you may be surprised that both often touch on the same subjects and with similar points of view, each in their own authentic way.

And so I present to you my first case study: Drake and Warren Buffett

“It’s only when the tide goes out that you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett

“Where do these [expletive] be at when they say they doing all this and all that?” – Drake

Buffet famously said this in response to 2008. You must have liquidity and a margin of safety as a business. It’s easy to say you’re good when times are good and the tide is high. But when the tide goes out, and it always will, smooth-talkers will be exposed. Which left us asking Bear Stearns where their swimming trunks were. Gross.

More recently, Drake dropped “Laugh Now Cry Later” which is basically three solid minutes of him orally and visually flexing on anyone and everyone who ever laughed at Wheelchair Jimmy. Like Buffett, Drake is singling out those who only talk the talk. But when it’s time to walk the walk, suddenly it’s like they’re the ones in the wheelchair.

Shared wisdom: The truth will always come to light.

“Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.” – Warren Buffett

“How you plan to make it to the top by just fitting in?” – Drake

Buffett is referring to his investing style at Berkshire Hathaway, the best in the biz. They continuously ignore market noise and do their own thing. For the most part, when you zig, they zag. I’m looking directly at you, CNBC. I think it’s safe to say Drake is among those at the top of the rap game, even if he is a singer (don’t @ me). So in “When To Say When”, a song full of advice, this line really hits differently. It’s easy to give in to the noise and follow what everyone else is doing. And it’s easier said than done not to. But you’ll never rise above the rest if you do. I’m just saying, both Buffett and Drake say not to, so why are we still discussing this?

Shared wisdom: Beware of the herd of sheep.

“We [Berkshire] will always arrange our affairs so that any requirements for cash we may conceivably have will be dwarfed by our own liquidity.”– Warren Buffett

“Phone get broke and whip get scratched; I’ma just take my knots in cash; They can never tie me down, that’s facts.” – Drake

If there is one thing you should know about Buffett, it’s that his cash reserve takes no prisoners. He does not take the importance of having a cash reserve lightly, and his gravitas in the matter is simply unmatched. Times like 2008 and, well, now are precisely the reason why! But if you didn’t know that, then good thing you’re in business school. You know who didn’t need to go to business school to know that? Drake.

Shared wisdom: If you don’t have a cash reserve what are you doing?

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

“As luck would have it I’ve settled into my role as the good guy, I guess luck is on your side.” – Drake

Drake apparently tells his business to a lot of people and is consistently backstabbed (just be quiet, bro). Because of this, he feels the need to let us all know that he could be super petty and ruin lives at almost every chance he gets, especially in “8 Out Of 10”. But his reputation as ‘the nice guy’ ultimately prohibits him from doing this. But according to Buffett, he’s onto something. Is it really worth it when reputation is everything? If Drake were to give his backstabbers a taste of their own medicine, how would that affect his image? What would then differentiate him from those he has groomed us to shake our heads at? Plus, he loses all leverage.

Shared wisdom: Reputation, reputation, reputation

If you made it this far, thank you and I hope I’ve convinced you. Moral of the story? Respect all platforms. Wisdom can be found anywhere and from anyone.

Who should my next case study be? Let me know if you’ve ever thought the same, or if you just want to trash me. Email me!

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