"Money Trees" is a song by American hip hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar, taken from his major label debut studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012). The song, which appears as the fifth track on the album, features a guest appearance from his Black Hippy cohort, fellow American rapper Jay Rock. The song, produced by DJ Dahi, entered the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart at number 19 due to high downloads, following the album's release. The song, mixed by Top Dawg engineer Derek "MixedByAli" Ali, features background vocals from American singer Anna Wise of Sonnymoon, as well as a sample from the Beach House song "Silver Soul," from their 2010 album Teen Dream.
|Song by Kendrick Lamar featuring Jay Rock|
|from the album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City|
|Released||October 22, 2012|
TDE Red Room
|Good Kid, M.A.A.D City track listing|
"Money Trees" follows the storyline of Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, as Kendrick Lamar reassesses what happened so far in the story. He talks about having sex with his love interest Sherane and going to tell his friends about it. He also assesses his current situation in his hometown Compton, California and reflecting on the immortalization of his uncle after he was shot. At the end of the track Lamar's mom calls him again and asks him to bring her car back, a recurring theme of the story. His dad has forgotten about the dominos he wanted by now, suggesting that Lamar "has been out of the house for a while, driving around and trying to figure his life out, having just been attacked outside Sherane’s house."
On August 28, 2013, Taj Stansberry revealed that he had begun to shoot a music video with Lamar and Jay Rock for "Money Trees". Stansberry, who called the song his favorite song on the album, said upon getting the job to come up with a treatment for the video that was due in a day, he dropped everything right then, and created a website for the idea to present to Lamar. He added: "I started literally at 9 in the morning and finished at 9 at night." As of December 2013, no further information has been announced regarding the video.
Lamar performed "Money Trees", alongside Jay Rock at the BET Experience concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The duo also frequently performed the track on Lamar's Good Kid, m.A.A.d city world tour and at the 2013 South by Southwest music festival. On October 15, 2013, Lamar and Jay Rock performed "Money Trees" at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. On July 4, 2016, Lamar performed "Money Trees" at President Obama’s Fourth of July BBQ.
The song was met with critical acclaim from music critics. XXL in their perfect "XXL" review, deemed the song a "tale of hustler's ambitions.". The track especially received heavy acclaim for the guest verse from Jay Rock.
Complex praised Jay Rock's verse, calling it the tenth best guest appearance of 2012. They described his verse as "stellar", adding in the verse Rock "contemplates a life of crime versus one stricken in dire poverty."
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||19|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||35|
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- "Director Taj Stansberry Talks Concept Behind Kendrick Lamar's 'Money Trees' Video". Vibe. 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- "Kendrick Lamar Performs "m.A.A.d city" & "Money Trees" At BET Experience Concert - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- "Video: Kendrick Lamar ft. Jay Rock – Money Trees (Live @ VICELAND)". Nah Right. 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- Young, Alex (2016-07-04). "Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monáe make President Obama's Fourth of July BBQ the highlight of his presidencyws •". consequenceofsound.net. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
- "Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- "10. Jay Rock on Kendrick Lamar's "Money Trees" — The 25 Best Guest Verses of 2012". Complex. 2012-12-29. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- "Kendrick Lamar - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- "Kendrick Lamar – Chart history" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Kendrick Lamar. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- "Kendrick Lamar – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Kendrick Lamar. Retrieved December 17, 2016.