C.R.E.A.M. (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me”) is a song from the New York City hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan. The music video, released in 1993, features classic icons of early 1990s New York urban fashion, such as puffer jackets and Timberland boots, as well as imagery of Wu-Tang Clan members moving out of the projects and surrounding themselves with symbols of wealth, such as champagne, bags of bills, and luxury cars. The famous hook, “Cash Rules Everything Around Me/C.R.E.A.M./Get the money/Dolla’ dolla’ bill, y’all” has since been sampled by many artists.
Describe the role of money in the lives of the members of the Wu Tang clan at the beginning of the video and how it appears to change over the course of the video. What do you think the Wu Tang Clan is trying to say about the pursuit of wealth? How does the Wu Tang Clan employ common elements from hip hop videos to further this particular message, and why might these ideas be salient to youth in urban settings?