“I drop a song and I might not promote it/I’m in the trap, music isn’t the focus,” Money Man raps at the outset of “Healthy.” Since buying himself out of a Cash Money record deal in 2018, the Atlanta MC has been determined to do things his way. His reputation as a cryptocurrency enthusiast and marijuana entrepreneur notwithstanding, Money Man differentiates himself from the pack both in the volume of music he drops and in the content of his catalog. Paranoia, his first release of 2019, is a hefty 25 songs deep, possibly to make up for the brief, albeit uncharacteristically quiet, period that followed 2018’s Winter EP.
Over the course of Paranoia, he is every bit the free thinker and self-made boss fans have come to expect from the man who once rapped, “I brought my Asian hacker to the trenches.” The references to his life outside of rap are plentiful: “If I had no THC, where would I be?/If I had no indica, where would I be?” he asks on “Honesty.” On “Hurt Too Much,” he claims to have “made 100K from a CPU.” But Money Man’s real charm lies in his ability to string together the lot of his brain’s priorities in a single verse, as he does in this passage from “My Rib”: “Every day I serve a n*gga/Gotta keep a handgun/And I got the weed cellar in my mansion/Everything plant-based, I done went vegan/I done been down bad, know he freezing/My lil girl sick as hell, cold, she was sneezing/Talk to the Lord and told him I need him.” Going from gun talk to healthy eating to a relationship with God in just six bars would be ill-advised for most MCs, but for the Money Man it’s how he gets to yes. And at this point, who knows better than him?