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Whatever You Like
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
10/20/2008

The Song: “Whatever You Like” by T.I.

Main Point of Discussion: Earthly treasures mean nothing if we are not rich toward God.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: (The following should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.)

  • Born Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., this rapper, businessman, and actor—formally known as T.I.P.—has had many scuffles with the law, and every song (including “Whatever You Like”) on his album Paper Trail carries the EXPLICIT warning label.

  • Although most copies of the music video are edited, the unedited lyrics are foul. I recommend presenting this video as "This is what the world says... let's see what the Bible says." (We will include a statement expressing our disapproval of the song's message in the introduction.)

  • Above all, don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

Lyrics: (clean version)

    Hey Jim
    You know the old suga daddy

    I said you could have whatever you like (you like)
    I said you could have whatever you like (you like)
    Yeah

    [Chorus:]
    Stacks on deck
    Patron on ice
    And we can pop bottles all night
    Baby you could have whatever you like (you like)
    I said you could have whatever you like (you like)
    Yeah
    Baby I could treat you so special, so nice
    Yeah
    I'd gas up the jet for you tonight
    And Baby you could go where ever you like (you like)
    I said you could go where ever you like (you like)
    Yeah

    [Verse 1:]
    Anytime you want to pick up the telephone
    You know it ain't nothin to drop a couple stacks on you
    Wanted you could get it my dear
    Five million dollar home, drop Bentleys I swear
    Yeah I want yo body, I need yo body
    Long as you got me you won't need nobody
    You want it I got it, go get it I buy it
    Tell 'em other broke joke a be quiet

    [Chorus:]

    [Verse 2:]
    Shawty you da hottest of the way you drop it
    Brain so good (good) school you went to college
    Hundred deposit, vacations hit the tropics
    Cause errbody know it ain't trickin if ya got it
    Ya need to never ever gotta go to yo wallet
    Long as I got rubberband banks in my pocket
    Five six, adds with rims and a pocket kit
    Ya ain't gotta downgrade you can get what I get
    My chick could have what she want
    And goin every store for any bag she want
    And know she ain't never had a man like that
    To buy you anything ya own desire I that
    Yeah I want yo body, I need yo body
    Long as you got me you won't need nobody
    You want it I got it, go get it I'll buy it
    Tell 'em other broke joke a be quiet

    [Chorus:]

    [Verse 3:]
    I'm talkin' big boy rides
    And big boy ice
    Let me put this big boy in yo life
    Girl you smell so fresh and look so nice
    Let me put this big boy in yo life
    That's right
    And I want yo body, need yo body
    Long as you got me you won't need nobody
    You want it I got it, go get it I'll buy it
    Tell 'em other broke joke a be quiet

    [Chorus:]
    Hey Jim (Hey Jim)

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message of this song?

A: If you have a lot of money, you can have whatever you like.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?
A: Pursuing wealth can be dangerous to our spirits. And even if we do acquire a lot of money, we shouldn’t spend it on whatever we want at the moment—there are too many hurting people in the world to pursue our selfish desires and ignore their needs.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?
A: Put our money where our mouths are and get involved in providing for and educating the poor. Donating to Compassion International or World Vision or similar charitable organizations (there are plenty to choose from) is a wonderful way for families to learn about giving and selflessness.


Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.



For Deeper Discussion: (If your kids seem into diving in deeper, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.

Transitional Statement:

T.I.’s message in this song is clear: no matter how much it costs, you can have whatever you want or like. The video shows him spending LOADS of money on cars, clothes, and private jets. Let’s take a few minutes discussing T.I.’s spending habits to see if they line up with God’s expectations for us.


More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Everybody take a second to share what gift you’d like a multi-billionaire to buy you.


  2. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Luke 12:15-22
      Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
      And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

      "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

      "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
      “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

  3. ASK SOMEONE: What did the rich man do with all of his excess wealth?


  4. ASK A FEW: In what ways does the rich man’s attitude (from the Bible) line up with T.I.s attitude (from the video)?


  5. ASK SOMEONE: What ended up happening to the rich man?


  6. ASK A FEW: In your opinion, what should the rich man have done with his vast wealth?


  7. ASK SOMEONE: At the end of the passage, Jesus says, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” What does Jesus mean by this?


  8. ASK A FEW: In what ways can we be “rich toward God” today?


Wrap Up:
Tonight we watched a video about a guy who’s rich beyond imagination, but he spends all of his wealth trying to acquire things – or people – for himself. We also read a story from the Bible about a man in a similar situation who has more than he could ever need, but instead of being rich toward God, he only stores up things for himself.

But the Bible clearly shows that these attitudes displease God. Instead He wants us to be rich toward Him instead of trying to store up stuff for ourselves. We can do that in lots of ways, but I want to talk about one specific way we can do it as a family—starting right now.

We can invest our money into the lives of people doing God’s work by (choose one)…

  • Sponsoring a child through Compassion International

  • Providing gifts to families through World Vision

  • Supporting your church’s sponsored missionary

  • Investing in a local mission project (such as a homeless shelter)

So, let’s please God by being rich toward Him instead of trying to accumulate more and more stuff for ourselves. I guarantee that we can please God by showing Him how much we care for Him and His people by supporting this project.

Close in Prayer

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