Planning a wedding? Chances are, you’re also mulling over whether or not you should get a prenup and what you would include in one if so. Once the exclusive domain of the wealthy, prenups are rapidly becoming much more mainstream. The millennial generation in particular is embracing prenups for a variety of reasons. They’re waiting longer to get married, which means they have more assets they’re bringing into marriages. They also often enter marriages with large amounts of business debt and student loan debt (Weaver, 2022). Most people would like to protect their partners from being held responsible for their debt incurred prior to marriage, just as they’d like not to be held responsible for their partner’s debt.
Art imitates life. As such, the surge in popularity of prenups is driving an uptick in references to prenups in pop culture, especially in music. We’re going to take a look at some song lyrics containing the word ‘prenup’ in order to explore what today’s musicians have to say about the trend.
Kanye West Ft. Jamie Foxx – Gold Digger
Perhaps one of the most famous songs referencing prenups, Kanye and Jamie had their heads in the right place with this one:
Holla, “We want prenup! We want prenup!” (Yeah!)
It’s somethin’ that you need to have
‘Cause when she leave yo’ ass, she gon’ leave with half (Musixmatch, 2022).
Although we certainly hope that your partner won’t ‘leave yo’ ass’ or ‘leave with half’, we would be remiss not to admit that it’s always a possibility that a couple will decide to end a relationship after a number of years. Whether you’re male or female, if you get married without a prenup, you’re making yourself very vulnerable in terms of how much of your hard-earned wealth and assets you stand to lose in the event of a divorce. Parting with a person is already hard enough, but life can become even more difficult if you’re also forced to part with a lot more than just a relationship. Getting a prenup allows you to make a contingency plan for how both of your financial needs will be taken care of in case things go south. Since you’re happy and in love when you write a prenup, you’ll likely both be coming at it with more fairness than you would if you had to have those discussions after a relationship breakdown.
Cupcakke – Prenup
Prenups are stereotyped as being contracts drawn up by greedy rich men in order to prevent gold-digging wives from stealing their money and running away with it–as evidenced by the use of the words ‘when she leave yo’ ass, she gon’ leave with half’
in Kanye’s song (above). Luckily, this sexist stereotype is slowly fading into the distance. What some people don’t know is that prenups can protect women as well, and that women need prenups as much or sometimes more than men. American rapper Cupcakke is an excellent example of an empowered female who sees the value of prenups in protecting women, expressed through her words:
Prenup, prenup, prenup, prenup
[Men] ain’t gettin’ no money
Prenup, prenup, prenup, prenup
[Men] can’t get shit from me
Prenup, prenup, prenup, prenup (Musixmatch, 2022)
Although Cupcakke may not have a very diplomatic way of saying so, the truth is that women today need prenups even more than women in the past. Having made great strides towards equality in previous decades, today’s women are actually more likely than men to receive a bachelor’s degree. In fact, they’re even outpacing men at attaining post-graduate degrees. These educational attainments often translate to progress in the workforce, as well (Weaver, 2022). Therefore, women nowadays often bring significant assets into marriage and are poised to be equal contributors to the household on the financial playing field, rather than housewives. They have a lot more to lose, and are therefore requesting prenups at higher rates than in the past–and rightly so. (Weaver, 2022).
Xevent – Prenup!
“I got so much money needa prenup
I got so much money count my green up
I got so much money needa prenup” (Lyrics.com, 2022)
Ready for a deep dive into obscurity? Our search for lyrics containing ‘prenup’ also led us to Xevent, a musician about whom little information is available online. He may not be famous and his words certainly lack tact, but Xevent’s lyrics about prenups struck a chord with us for a couple of reasons.
First, despite his flagrant egotism, Xevent does make a good point: it is absolutely imperative that anyone with significant assets going into a marriage get a prenup. With divorce rates hovering at around 50%, everyone hopes they’ll be able to continually nurture their relationship enough to not be a part of this statistic…but just in case, there’s too much at stake to potentially be gambling away hard-earned wealth. After working tirelessly to attain a certain level of success, why shouldn’t you protect the fruits of your labor?
Second, Xevent’s words also reflect a common misconception about prenups on which we’d like to shed some light. Xevent, buddy, you are totally right that anyone with a lot of wealth should get a prenup. However, you along with many others have largely missed the point. Allow us to offer some more prenup wisdom that we hope will inspire future songs: having wealth to protect is far from the only reason to get a prenup.
Even couples and individuals without a lot of assets have a lot to lose from not getting a prenup. As you continue to develop your skills and your career, it’s likely that you’ll accumulate more assets. Additionally, if you’re set to receive any inheritance at any point, a prenup can also protect this future inheritance. Plus, a prenup doesn’t only serve as an asset protection document. It can (and should) also outline what the financial roles, expectations, and arrangements will be during your marriage.
For example, how much or what percentage of your incomes do you both agree to contribute to household expenses each month? Who will be responsible for which shared expenses, and in which proportions? If you decide to have children, will one of you scale back your career in order to care for them? If so, how will the two of you make sure the spouse who sacrifices their career or future earning potential is still adequately taken care of financially?
These are just a few of the questions that drafting a prenup can help you open up communication around and plan for. A marriage is, among other things, a financial union. Just like with any other financial partnership, you need to make absolutely sure you’re both on the same page about what’s expected of you, what you expect of each other, and what you’re going to do to ensure the health of that union.
When pop culture gets it wrong: Ed sheeran ft. Khalid.
“Inside the world of beautiful people
Champagne and rolled-up notes
Prenups and broken homes” (Musixmatch, 2022).
Xevent’s reduction of prenups as being the sole domain of the wealthy is unfortunately not unique in the tapestry of misconceptions about prenups. Pop culture frequently reflects misunderstandings of what prenups are all about. In this case, our friends Ed and Khalid have mistakenly associated prenups with broken homes. If we had to take a gander, we’d say our two lovely but incorrect friends are drawing their association from the widespread idea that writing a prenup indicates a higher likelihood of divorce. After all, if you’re making contingency plans for divorce, doesn’t that say something about your level of commitment? Well, actually, no.
First of all, a contingency plan is usually something made while simultaneously doing everything in your power to ensure that it will never be relevant. When you buy a really good health insurance plan, do you think “excellent, I think I’ll start smoking, or take up amateur bullfighting”? When you sign on the dotted line for car insurance, do you plan to drive home extra recklessly, just because you have insurance? Or, do you try your best to look out for your health and drive safely, despite having plans in place for how you’re going to protect yourself should something happen? In the same way, a prenup (which, again, is much more than just a divorce contingency document) can act as insurance for your marriage.
What’s more, since the process of writing a prenup forces a couple to discuss and be present with important topics they may not have gotten so intimate with before, prenups can actually make a marriage stronger and therefore less likely to end in divorce by facilitating discussions that can prevent problems in the future. Without the nuanced discussion of finances and expectations brought up through the prenup process, couples could be more likely to run into serious relationship conflict when these undiscussed issues arise later in the form of misunderstandings and unmet expectations. Sitting down and explicitly discussing these things up front and in detail helps you to make plans you take seriously and which you’re both happy with. What’s more, legally documenting your plans and expectations in writing makes you accountable to yourselves and to each other.
Additionally, prenups can help the neurotics among us to put our worries to rest. Neuroticism is one of the personality traits quantified on the popular Big five personality test, and for good reason. Many of us have some degree of neuroticism (tendency to worry and/or experience mood swings) in our personalities. People who score high on neuroticism can be great at organizing, making lists, and making contingency plans for every little thing that could possibly go wrong.
The logic behind this habit is that with a contingency plan in place, a person prone to neuroticism feels adequately prepared for the worst-case scenario and able to stop ruminating on it. By contrast, without a plan, the worst-case scenario will be particularly salient in their minds and can cause anxiety. In a marriage, the last thing you want is for one person to be worrying about the what-ifs all the time. A prenup can put these worries to rest, allowing both spouses to concentrate on nurturing and enjoying their relationship.
There’s some solid science behind our confidence that prenups are good for marriages. Some data shows that the sense of certainty provided by prenups actually has a strengthening effect on marriages (Meyer, 2017).
So, Ed and Khalid, now that you understand how prenups can actually help prevent broken homes, could you do us a solid and write a hit song about that? Ed, we know you’re married, but Khalid, we’d be happy to help you with your prenup in return whenever the time is ripe!
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Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected]
Lyrics.com. 2022. PRENUP! (Feat. ilovexann). Retrieved from: https://www.lyrics.com/lyric-lf/5572519/XEVENT/PRENUP%21+%28feat.+ilovexann%29
Meyer, M. S. 2017. Will Signing a Prenup Make Me More Likely to Divorce? Retrieved from: https://www.moensheehanmeyer.com/blog/will-signing-a-prenup-make-me-more-likely-to-divorce/
Musixmatch, 2022. Beautiful People feat. Khalid. Retrieved from: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Ed-Sheeran-feat/Beautiful-People
Musixmatch, 2022. Gold Digga. Retrieved from: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Kanye-West-feat-Jamie-Foxx/Gold-Digga
Musixmatch, 2022. Prenup. Retrieved from: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/cupcakKe/Prenup
Weaver, J. 2020. Millennials Have Made Prenups the Latest Wedding Trend. Retrieved from: https://www.prenuppros.com/the-millennial-prenup-trend#:~:text=Millennials%20in%20particular%20are%20choosing,to%20avoid%20potential%20alimony%20disputes.&text=There%20is%20a%20longstanding%20misconception,individuals%20seeking%20to%20avoid%20alimony.