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"Arab Money"
Single by Busta Rhymes featuring Ron Browz
from the album Back on My B.S.
Released November 11, 2008 (iTunes release)
Format Digital Download
Recorded 2008
Genre Hip hop music
Length 2:47
Label Flipmode/Universal Motown
Writer(s) Trevor Smith, Jr., Rondell Turner
Producer Busta Rhymes, Ron Browz
Busta Rhymes singles chronology
"We Made It"
(2008)
"Arab Money"
(2008)
"Rotate"
(2009)
Ron Browz singles chronology
"Pop Champagne"
(2008)
"Arab Money"
(2008)
"Jumping (Out the Window)"
(2008)

"Arab Money" is the first official single from Busta Rhymes' eighth studio album Back on My B.S. The song features and is produced by Ron Browz. It discusses the influx of wealth in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai. It also particularly pays homage to Yasser Arafat and Prince Alwaleed.

The song is heavily featured in the 2009 video game Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony.

Contents

Controversy

Arab Money came under a lot of strong controversy from Islamic communities.[1] The released remix came with even stronger negative reaction, as it quotes lines from the holy Quran, which is deemed forbidden in most Arab countries.[2] DJ Steve Sutherland of Galaxy FM [3] was suspended temporarily when he played the song and listeners complained. In response, Busta said:

Sometimes, people like to twist things. We ain't mockin' the culture. We ain't tryin' to be disrespectful. Ain't no racism going on right here. If you listen to the song, you see that we are actually acknowledging the fact that the Arabian culture, a middle East culture is one of the few cultures, that value passing down hard work riches that's been built amongst the family. It would be nice if a lot of other cultures did the same thing. Feel me? So, I would like for it to be like that in my culture where we could build things to the point where we got so much that we don't need to rely on other cultures to contribute majorly in a financial way, or in whatever other way, to societies, communities or whatever governments we might live in. So, we are actually biggin' up the culture. At the end of the day, I want to be like that. I think a lot of us want to be like that.[4]

Remix

The official remix has 3 versions.

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Part 1

The first part of the remix features Ron Browz, Diddy, Swizz Beatz, T-Pain, Akon and Lil Wayne. The song was released on Thanksgiving Day (November 27). Ron Browz, T-Pain, Akon and Lil Wayne all use the Autotune effect in it.

Also, in this part, Busta Rhymes does the main part of the hook differently and Ron Browz pronounced Arab money differently with an accent on the "A"s. Therefore, /ˈeɪ.ræb/ AY-rab would be pronounced /ˈɑː.rɑːb/ AH-rahb. Unlike the original, actual Arabic is used in the chorus and by the artists in their verses:

  • Chorus: "Bismillāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm. Al ḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-'ālamīn"
    • Translation: "In the name of Allah (The God), most Gracious most Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
    • The chorus used in video is the same chorus as the original.
  • Busta Rhymes: "As-Salamu Alaykum Warahmatullah Wa Barakatu"
    • Translation: "May Peace and blessings of Allah(The God)be upon you" (A Greeting)
    • What they rhymed the phrase with: "While I stack another billion and give it to the block fool"
  • Diddy: "Al hamdu lillah"
    • Translation: "All Praises to Allah"
    • What they rhymed the phrase with: "With my billions pilin'"
  • Swizz Beatz: "Habibi"
    • Translation: "My Love (Masculine Form)"
    • What they rhymed the phrase with: "While she feedin' me linguine"
  • Akon: "Bismillāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm"
    • Translation: "In the name of Allah (God), most gracious most merciful."
    • What they rhymed the phrase with: "Straight cash when I come in, let me exchange the currency cause it's all foreign"

The music video was released on February 25. Just like the original it was directed by Rik Cordero in front of a green screen. T-Pain is not featured in the video and the chorus is changed back to the original. Any Arabic words were not used. T.I., Birdman, & Cedric The Entertainer make cameo appearances in the video.[5] This version is planned for inclusion on Ron Browz's as-yet-unreleased debut album, EtherBoy.

Part 2

The second part features Ron Browz, Reek Da Villian, Rick Ross, Spliff Star, N.O.R.E., & Red Cafe.

Part 3

The third part of the remix features Ron Browz, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, & Jadakiss. This remix is the only one to not feature a music video.

There is now an unofficial remix/mash-up featuring Pharrell Williams.

Track listings

Digital download

Explicit

  1. "Arab Money" – 2:47

Clean

  1. "Arab Money" – 2:47
U.S. Promo CDS
  1. "Arab Money" (Radio) – 2:47
  2. "Arab Money" (Dirty) – 2:47
  3. "Arab Money" (Instrumental) – 2:47
  4. "Arab Money" (Acapella Clean) – 2:37
  5. "Arab Money" (Acapella Dirty) – 2:37

Charts

Chart (2008) Peak
Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 86
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 31
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Tracks 9
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 79

References


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