Imagine you came from nothing. Everything you want, everything that shines – it’s all off limits for you. You see others grabbing the good stuff, but since you’ve got no money, all you can ever be is a spectator. When you finally get your hands on that first hundred, do you stash it in the bank for a rainy day? Hell, no. You hit the club like a hurricane, and blow it all, as fast as you can indulge yourself.
Mike Smiff and Gank Gaank understand that nothing creates urgency like satisfaction deferred. The Florida rappers know what deprivation is like, and they’re also intimately familiar with the joy that accompanies purchasing power. To illustrate the point, they open the video for “My First Hunnid” with a quick vignette: two kids are turned away from an ice cream shop on a hot Miami day because they don’t have the money for a scoop. Their desire – and their disappointment – is apparent. Only when a patron shows up with a huge bankroll and splurges for the crowd does the mood turn around. Pointedly, once the grownup shows his bills, the man at the ice cream window is happy to accommodate the kids’ wishes. Money, the clip suggests, speaks in the loudest, clearest voice.
Mike Smiff is a rapper that’s been out for that cash for as long as he’s been working. Nobody in Florida grinds harder or communicates his desires with more clarity. Has his hard work and vocal talent earned him the respect of his peers? Just look at the features on the third volume of his All Gas No Brakes mixtape series: he’s rapping alongside legends like Trick Daddy, Southern hip-hop staples like Boosie Badazz and Gunplay, and up-and-comers like Ali Coyote. “My First Hunnid” is a pure showcase for his skills, but it’s also a demonstration of his belief in teamwork. The song is compelling from its first bars to its closing beats, but it’s never more exciting than it is when Smiff is trading lines with Gank Gaank.
The two vocalists are a natural visual pair, too: they both lead with their hedonism, their enthusiasm, and their love of rapping. In these frames, Smiff shows his audience what money can buy, including champagne, jewelry, and luxury cars. But the two hungry kids at the window of the ice cream shop stick around in the clip, too, and they’re on their own version of a shopping spree. By the time the video is over, the main kid’s identity is clear – he’s a junior version of Mike Smiff, and he’s getting his first taste of spending cash.