By: Patricia Kusumaningtyas |

When we are first introduced to Rosalía’s green-dominated album cover, with a picture of her in a money-patterned shirt, we might think, yet another upbeat track about money. Indeed, we are led to think that way—her recent single with J Balvin, “Con Altura,” is an upbeat reggaeton hit about living greatly with class. With the release of Fucking Money Man from its visuals, and with her newfound popularity post-El Mal Querer, it’s easy to guess that Rosalía is singing about the joys of having lots and lots of money. However, as Rosalia usually does, she challenges our expectations. And she did it all in the native language of her hometown Barcelona—Catalan.

The two-part release starts with “Milionària,” which doesn’t stray far from “Con Altura” or her other recent release, “Aute Couture.” This is an upbeat track that might seem to follow her recent tracks, but if we do a deeper dig of the lyrics, that’s not how it seems to be. “Milionària” talks about the protagonist’s dreams of having lots of money, and her inability to achieve it (“Però tot això sé que no ho puc fer fins el dia que tingui molts diners” / “But I know that all this I cannot do until the day that I have lots of money”).

The second track is “Dio$ No$ Libre del Dinero,” which translates to “God free us from the money.” The message here is more explicit; after “Milionària,” our protagonist interrogates this very notion of wealth. Why do we want money? Why is it always the biggest pursuit of humankind? Our protagonist knows that we can’t find the answers to these questions through worldly pursuits alone, so she seeks God and prays to the divine being to ease her confusion. Even this is contradictory because most religions would separate the divine from the worldly; where money is worldly, God is divine. However, Rosalía begs to differ; she acknowledges that the worldly cannot exist without the divine, and the divine cannot exist without the worldly—that God cannot exist without money, and money cannot exist without God.

The exclamation of “fucking money, man” Rosalía often references in this two-part release is definitely not based on joy. It’s based on confusion, tiredness, interrogation. It’s the exclamation that comes out of an analyst when the stocks plummet. It’s the exclamation of a college student paying their tuition. It’s the exclamation of a night shift worker living from paycheck to paycheck. Rosalía questions the very notion on why money makes the world go round, and ruminates to the fact that it’s all systematic, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

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