For New Years (which is also my birthday), ya boy flew down (on none other than Spirit Airlines of course! How else would a young king fly?) to Atlanta to kick it with one of my old Adrian College buddies and good friend Birane (IG: ChaCha_buckets give him a follow). I arrived Saturday and planned to leave early Tuesday morning. We kicked it on Saturday, went hard on Sunday (New Year’s Eve) and ended the trip with a bang on Monday (New Year’s Day and my birthday) by heading to the legendary gentlemen’s club Follies. Yes, the same follies Drake said he was taking his ghostwriter to (Track: Digital Dash). Yes, the same follies Black Youngsta pulled up to on pill, pill, pills (Track: Hip Hoppa). Yes, the same follies Quavo spent $10k in while n**gas watched and hated (Track: Too Hotty). There are two things about Atlanta to me that make it special when you think of “the culture”, the music and the strip clubs; amongst all the other black excellence that’s down there of course. When we went to the clubs and the DJ played “March Madness”, “Best Friend”, and “I Think I Love Her” ( Future, Young Thug, Gucci Mane); it felt different for me because that’s where these great artist are from. Atlanta is a hip-hop mecca. The same thing goes for the strip clubs! Follies and Onyx are legendary in the black culture due to the significance of Atlanta and the strip club culture. BUT that’s not why I’m here.
I walked into Follies and I instantly felt the magnitude of that moment smack me in the face. “I am now apart of history”, I whispered while walking in. I ran to the ATM to get some money out, and as the $5 ATM charge fee shows up on the screen it triggered Jay-Z’s famous line that made black twitter stand still on that faithful April 4th of 2017:
I paused for a moment, wondering the following, “What am I doing. Why am I here. I have bills to pay, things I want to accomplish, and things I‘m saving for. I got financial goals in 2018! And while my credit is superb, it could get better and throwing this few hundred dollars in the strip club wouldn’t help me pay down my credit card bills, it wouldn’t help me save for that vacation in March, and it sure wouldn’t help with my 20…..” In mid thought, I was interrupted by a beautiful butt naked black goddess by the name of Egypt who asked if I wanted a dance. I looked at the ATM asking me if I was still there. At that moment, with CREDIT running across my mind, I was torn. So……. I grabbed that money and got my dances.
Let me explain though y’all!
I know what you’re thinking, (actually I don’t, but here is what I would think if I were you.) “But Ben, you preach spending wisely, Not doing too much, our problems as young black men with flexing, and you just throw your hard earned money in the strip club, AFTER JAY SAID CREDIT IS MORE IMPORTANT. You are a trash-bag.”
Here’s my response: Listen, Jay Z was right. Spending money on tipping strippers, buying bottles and sections is not more important than saving, spending wisely and investing. BUT what Jay-Z was wrong about is that your personal happiness is more important than “credit”. If you have the means to do it, it’s ok to splurge on things that YOU want to splurge on. In the book “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi, he talks about one of his friends who spends over $21k a year going out with his friends to clubs and bars. Yes, $21,000. Ramit Sethi supports this because his friend made that work with his personal finances. Along with spending $21k on clubs, sections, bars, etc. He also invests quite a lot, his emergency fund is overflowing, all of his bills are paid on time, and he keeps his credit card usage low. It does help that he makes a six-figure salary, but $21k is $21k. That’s a lot of money for any non-entertainer just on going out every weekend!
So what I’m saying here is that you can’t put a price on YOUR happiness. Do what makes you happy, as long as you don’t make yourself sad in the long run. I just so happen could afford to throw that money at the strip club (never again though!) and I didn’t regret it because it was fun and it didn't put any of my financial goals in jeopardy.
My name will forever be in the Follies book of tippers. Also, Egypt was working hard y’all, I had to tip her!