The Rap on Brokerage Houses

What if a famous hip-hop act expanded into financial services?

Just when you thought competition in the world of finance could not get any steeper, "Wu-Tang Financial" is in da house.

Okay–not really. A brokerage firm run by the notorious gangsta rappers Wu-Tang Clan, is just the figment of the fertile imagination of comedian Dave Chappelle, who included it in his Comedy Central show.

As hilarious as the skit was–the deadpan voice-over gave off authenticity that paid off mightily once the rappers appear on screen–it is perhaps most notable as an example of the world of finance’s increased presence in popular culture.

The skit’s funniest moment comes when two WTF advisors begin a prospective-client meeting with the usual rapper ritual of degrading the competition. The profanity-laden opening line (aimed, in this case, at Smith Barney) gives voice to the subtext of many a real-life conversation. (The skit is viewable through comedycentral.com. Follow the links to "Chappelle’s Show.")

Of course, the skit’s real currency comes from the fact that it seems weirdly plausible. Famous athletes and entertainers are engaged in all sorts of business ventures, including investment companies, and Wu-Tang certainly rates among the most savvy of business-oriented entertainers.

And, let’s face it, who wouldn’t like to see Wu-Tang’s ODB chatting up a client: "Hey, baby I got your money, don’t you worry."

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