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Eating Money is a photo fad that involves taking a photograph of oneself with bills or coins in the mouth or on a plate. Although the idea became widespread through the single topic blog “Black People Eating Money” in 2011, it has drawn participation from people of various ethnic backgrounds.
The surrealist act of literally eating money was first demonstrated in a YouTube video uploaded by American hiphop artist Tyga sometime in September 2008. The original video, which has been since removed from the site, shows the rapper eating two $100 dollar bills.
Tyga’s video was mostly met by incredulous reactions from the hiphop blogosphere, with some critics dismissing the video as one of his publicity stunts. Meanwhile, Tyga’s fans responded to his money-chewing stunt with parody videos and photographs of themselves posing with money in their mouths. On YouTube, there are many response videos referencing or imitating Tyga’s stunt and similar photographs can be found on a number of photo-sharing sites like Tumblr.
In 2010, the photo fad picked up significant momentum with participation from notable hip hop celebrities like 50 Cent. That same year, compilations of photos of people eating money began to appear on hip hop news sites and personal blogs, such as BrentRoad, Buggin’ Out and HipHop Music Dotcom among others. The breakout of the photo fad finally came with the launch of the single topic blog Black People Eating Money in 2011. The site is no longer available online.
While many shared photos of themselves eating money to make fun of the trend, it is apparent that some people used the photo fad as an excuse to boast their cash flows.
Yeah I Was in the Shit – Black People Eating Money: A Presentation by backtosquare1