This is not a finance blog, though money is as embedded into the human condition now as a means of survival and comfort.
What’s truly absurd is the amount of marketing and entertainment designed to encourage each of us to spend more.
It’s important to amplify the signal of how some of these artists actually hang on to their money: they spend frugally, generally avoiding designer clothes and luxury watches (e.g., liabilities!).
What you and I see in the media are often gifts—Pharrell would get Louis Vuitton vouchers from Marc Jacobs!—which are given as personal favors, or as marketing expenses. Perhaps an artist may also choose to spend their own business’s marketing budgets on such an expense.
In the entertainment business, and particularly in hip-hop, which most people believe requires money to feed the very high metabolism of keeping up an image (cars, clothes, jewelry, etc.), the savvier artists choose to make wise, careful, investments in stocks, businesses, and real estate:
Wise words to live by: It’s not how you make it, it’s how you spend it.