20 Songs About Materialism

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

Looking for songs about materialism? We’ve got you covered.

Below, we’ve listed our 20 favorite songs about materialism, being rich, and consumerism. Enjoy!

1. “Material Girl” by Madonna

Madonna’s 1984 hit song “Material Girl” is perhaps the best song about materialism ever made! In this classic pop song, Madonna sings about her romances with men. She denies everyone, as she doesn’t play around with people who will waste her time.

However, she makes exceptions for men who have money. She sings the iconic lyrics, “’Cause we are living in a material world / And I am a material girl”.

2. “7 Rings” by Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s 2019 song “7 Rings” also discusses materialism. Throughout this song, Grande sings about being rich and all the money and luxuries she has. She doesn’t just want it all — she has it all.

Grande says that if she wants anything, she has the money to immediately get it. She loves the things she buys, even if it does make her materialistic. She sings repeatedly throughout the song the lyrics, “I want it, I got it”.

3. “Can U Help Me” by Usher

Usher released his song “Can U Help Me” on his 2001 album 8701. In this song, Usher sings to his romantic partner about their issues. It appears that his partner wants to leave him — or has already left him.

Usher can’t understand this, as he still loves her. He still wants her back. He did everything he could for her, but it seems that she wants something else.

Through his confusion and pleading with her, he sings about materialism and how he bought her things. He sings, “I work hard to provide all the material things / That I thought would make you happy”.

4. “Game Over” by Destiny’s Child

Destiny’s Child also sings about materialism in their 2004 song “Game Over”. In this song, the girls sing about how much they love their men. Their man is perfect for them, and they belong together.

As a result, nothing could tear them from their men, as they love them so much. They sing, “No price, no ring, no house / No material thing could ever take him from me”.

Therefore, they’re saying that materialism cannot harm their relationship. When they’re with their men, they don’t worry about material objects, as they don’t find happiness with these things any longer.

5. “Muny” by Nicki Minaj

In Nicki Minaj’s song “Muny”, she discusses how much she loves being rich, money, and materialism. She says throughout the song, “All I know is the material girls”.

She also mentions materialism in different ways. Elsewhere, the lyrics say, “Materialistic, I’m narcissistic / My shoe game is mean, it’s so sadistic”.

So, in this song, she’s singing about how she’s materialistic in a positive way. She knows who she is — and she’s going to continue to make money.

6. “Living In the Material World” by George Harrison

George Harrison released his song “Living In the Material World” on his 1973 album of the same name. In this song, Harrison discusses how he’s living in a material world, even though he’d much rather be in a spiritual world.

He sings, “I got born into the material world / Getting worn out in the material world / Use my body like a car / Taking me both near and far”.

Here, he compares himself to a car — a material object many people put a lot of attention and value in. Throughout the song, he talks about what it’s like to live in this type of material world, even though he doesn’t quite know what to do!

So, here in this song, we get a view of materialism versus spiritualism!

7. “Spirits in the Material World” by The Police

The Police also talk about the material world, and materialism as a result, in their 1981 song “Spirits in the Material World”. In this song, the band says that there is no political way to help people out. It’s a spiritual issue.

They sing the lyrics, “Where does the answer lie? / Living from day to day / If it’s something we can’t buy / There must be another way”.

8. “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith

Aerosmith released their song “Eat the Rich” on their popular 1993 album Get a Grip. In this song, the band sings about disagreeing with a rich person they know. This person looks down on people who have less money than them and always complains about their own bills, money, and possessions.

The band doesn’t agree that life is about these materialistic things. Throughout the song, they rail against rich people who act and think like this.

9. “Rich Kids” by Bea Miller

Bea Miller’s 2014 song “Rich Kids” talks about how kids who grow up with money don’t know what they have — and they take advantage of this lifestyle. They don’t realize how others live. Miller talks about their actions and materialism, as she never grew up with money.

She sings, “Rich kids got a lot to say / Rich kids never have to pay / Everything’s funny when you’re young with money / And mommy and daddy will pay the way”.

10. “Gone Going” by Black Eyed Peas

Throughout the entire Black Eyed Peas song “Gone Going”, the group rails against materialism. They tell a story of a young man who becomes materialistic. However, they don’t condone this materialism and constantly say that this isn’t a way to live.

The lyrics say, “’Cause you content with just being the name brand man / And you fail to see that it’s trivial / Insignificant, you addicted to material / I seen your kind before / You the type that think souls is sold in the store”.

11. “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga released her song “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” on her 2008 album The Fame. Gaga herself has said this song was inspired by rich kids she knew who acted as if they were poor artists while living wild lifestyles.

Therefore, in the song, it makes sense why Gaga says that they have no money, yet that they are also rich! The song is all about being beautiful and rich in life.

12. “Material World” by Tracy Chapman

In Tracy Chapman’s song “Material World”, the dark side of materialism in this world is discussed. Chapman sings, “You in your fancy / Material world / Create in your own image / A supreme god”.

Chapman sings about how many ignore the bad parts of their material world, such as slavery. They are so connected to their material world, however, and don’t see what she sees.

13. “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” by The Beatles

The Beatles’ song “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” appears on their 1967 album Magical Mystery Tour. Here, The Beatles sing about a lot of the success, fame, and experiences they were having during this time in their career. As a result, they also sing about wealth and materialism.

14. “Money, Money, Money” by ABBA

ABBA’s 1976 song “Money, Money, Money” is also one of the most popular songs about wealth and materialism. In this song, ABBA sings about a woman who works all day, yet she can’t seem to ever have enough money for herself once she’s done paying her bills.

Therefore, she ends up dreaming about finding a rich man that she can be with. Then, she could have money and live in a rich man’s world. She wouldn’t have anything to worry about!

However, she does have some realism in her thoughts, as she admits that even if there was a guy like this around, he likely wouldn’t be interested in her!

15. “The Fear” by Lily Allen

Lily Allen’s 2008 song “The Fear” also discusses materialism, as well as greed for power and fame! In this song, Allen sings about women who will do anything to have money and fame. Even if they don’t have talent, they’ll find a way to get famous.

She sings, “I wanna be rich and I want lots of money / I don’t care about clever, I don’t care about funny”.

However, later in the song, Allen also discusses how she has “The Fear”. She can’t tell what’s real or what’s fake, which is a criticism of modern-day pop culture!

16. “Money” by Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson released his song “Money” on his 1995 album HIStory: Past, Present And Future – Book I. In this song, Jackson sings about how he doesn’t trust his friends and the people around them. He feels they are just greedy for his money.

The lyrics say, “They don’t care, they’d do me for the money / They don’t care, they use me for the money”.

17. “I Want It All” by Queen

Queen’s 1989 song “I Want It All” is, you guessed it, all about wanting it all! Now, there are many ways that this song can be interpreted. However, many do use the song when discussing their materialistic pursuits and all the things that they want to buy!

18. “Around Town” by The Kooks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9ovQ7N_VqU

The Kooks’ 2014 song “Around Town” discusses materialism in the material world when talking about a relationship. In this song, the band sings about how they just want their partner to be by their side, even if the world is crashing down.

Regardless of what or who their partner wants to be, they’ll accept them. The singer says the lyrics, “You can try and be someone you’re not / If that’s the river that you want to cross / You can choose the life of a bohemian / Or you can choose the material world”.

Therefore, even if they’re materialistic in the material world, they’ll still love them.

19. “The Fame” by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s 2008 song “The Fame” opens with the line, “I can’t help myself, I’m addicted to a life of material”. From this point on, the song is about how Gaga does like the life of the rich and materialistic, especially if fame is involved.

However, Gaga does know that this isn’t great. Later in the song, she says, “Isn’t it a shame?”.

20. “Golden Boy” by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé

Finally, we have Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé’s 1988 song “Golden Boy”. In this song, the duo sings about a relationship between a boy and a girl who meet. However, everything isn’t perfect.

They sing, “The girl had an iron soul no-one could recognize / Material ambition that her gentleness disguised / She gave herself to him certain of his fame / Wanted him for luxury, for limelight and his name”.