New America Media, Published December 1, 2008
There’s really no way to prepare you for this song. Just sit back and let your brain explode. Yes, that is Busta Rhymes rapping over a hook in Arabic. And, yes, “Arab Money” is pronounced “Ay-Rab Money”.
The concept seems to be that he admires the amount of money that some visible Arabs flaunt: the house of Saud, big ballers in Dubai, etc. His admiration of the opulence of some Arab wealth leads him to want to emulate their style, too. He says, “I dont need to get fresh, I’m bout to grow a beard dude”.
In all honestly, the beat knocks and the dance will probably catch on. The verses are strong, too, but if you think about it for a moment, some things don’t quite fit.
For one, the catchy Arabic chorus, indecipherable to most rap fans reads “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim, Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen,” and actually means “Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, The beneficial, the merciful.”
That’s fine until you consider Busta is saying things like, “sick big dick, knockin cameltoe bitches.”
Laugh or cry, it’s culturally notable.
At a live performance, Busta taught the dance to the crowd and prefaced it by saying “this the dance we gonna do on November 4”, alluding to election day.
Is he implying we’re all gonna have Arab money with Obama in the White House?
Who knows. Like I said, just let your brain explode.
Shortly after 9/11, when most Americans were first learning about Islamic fundamentalism, Time magazine ran a cover story that read “why they hate us”. It took a while, but seven years later, Busta came up with an answer.