The stock market is plunging but your rap career doesn’t have to go the same route. With a few fiscally responsible adjustments the flossiest rapper can learn to ball on a budget.

1) Cut your rates: Rappers like Jean Grae, Saigon and Sean Price have taken to selling their verses on Myspace and and Craigslist for a few hundred bucks a pop. It beats waiting around for royalty checks from record labels printed on rubber paper.

2) Hock your grills: They’re already out of style. You notice even Paul Wall doesn’t smile as much in his recent photos? Bring those dental diamonds down to the pawnshop, take the cash and invest in weed and coffee, cuz folks are about to be stressed the hell out.

3) Go Independent: And that does not mean signing to MySpace Records (Wasn’t the whole point of the Internet to sidestep the labels?)

4) Sell street team posters: All of those old Foxy Brown and Lil Kim snipes can catch you a buck or two at a swap meet. Just don’t bother with eBay at this point, hustle hand-to-hand.

5) Kill the Escalade Lease: If you must ball at least get the Hybrid that will be out in a month or cop the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec that gets 27 MPG thanks to its diesel engine. Or just walk, bitch.

6) Stop making songs about money: In 2008 alone we already have “Queens Get The Money” (Nas) “Money”(The Game) “Money Make Me Come” (Rick Ross) “Money Make The World Go Round” (G-Unit) “Where’s Mu Money” (Busta Rhymes) and “Got Money” (Lil Wayne) …we get the point. We need to embrace more blue-collar concepts like Cunninlynguists Will Rap For Food.

7) Stop Rapping: Seriously. The laws of supply and demand are killing the rap market. If even half of you hang up the mic for a year and get the fans hungry while you work on QUALITY projects, your music won’t get lost in the glut of b.s. being forced down our throats from all angles.

8 ) No More Videos, Just Commercials: Stop spending money for music videos that just make money for the owners of Youtube. BET isn’t playing them anymore and TRL is dead so who are you making them for? Instead, make a buck and get them underwritten. Hey Q-Tip, “Gettin’ Up” is now sponsored by Cialis. Cha-Ching.

9) Bring Back the White Tee: Footlocker 5 for $20s were the most economically sound fashion trend ever, just don’t have them down to your knees, fellas. Nobitchasness.

10) Make Your Own Bling: For about $2000 you can send that dude that carries your weed to Gemology School and get him to pick your diamonds for a fraction of what you’re paying now. You see where Jacob is anyway.

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