A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 29, 2011
Money Making Manhattan (Money Makin’ Manhattan)

"Money Making Manhattan” or Money Makin’ Manhattan” (or just “Money Makin’” or “Money-Makin’") has been a rap nickname for Manhattan (or just Harlem) since the early 1980s. John “Mr. Magic” Rivas (1956-2009), a hip hop radio DJ, probably coined the term.

The Beastie Boys, a hip hop trio, used “Money Makin’” in the lyrics to “Root Down” (1995) and “money makin Manhattan” in the lyrics to “Super Disco Breakin’” (1998).


Wikipedia: Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely-populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on Manhattan Island at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York. The borough and county consist of Manhattan Island and several small adjacent islands: Roosevelt Island, Randall’s Island, Wards Island, Governors Island, Liberty Island, part of Ellis Island, Mill Rock, and U Thant Island; as well as Marble Hill, a small section on the mainland adjacent to the Bronx. The original city of New York began at the southern end of Manhattan, expanded northwards and then, between 1874 and 1898, incorporated land from surrounding counties.

Wikipedia: Mr. Magic
John “Mr. Magic” Rivas, (March 15, 1956 – October 2, 2009) was a prominent hip hop radio DJ.

Career
Mr. Magic debuted in 1981 on WHBI-FM in New York City with the first exclusive rap radio show to be aired on a major station. Billing itself as Rap Attack, Magic’s show featured Marley Marl as the DJ and Tyrone “Fly Ty” Williams as the show’s co-producer. Magic moved to WBLS-FM in July 1982. Magic’s reign on the New York City airwaves lasted six years and was instrumental in broadening the scope and validity of hip-hop music.

Google Books
19 April 1986, Billboard magazine, pg. 43, col. 2:
A real underground rap record is Cut Master DC’s “Brooklyn’s In The House,” a hardcore track about that wonderful community just across the river from money-making Manhattan.

Google Books
The Death of Rhythm and Blues
By Nelson George
New York, NY: Pantheon Books
1988
Pg. ?:
A Harlem party-giver who called himself Mr. Magic bought time on WHBI, a barter station filled with ethnic broadcasting near WBLS on the dial. He aired a rap showafter 2AM on Friday and Saturday nights. Magic’s broadcast were a throwback to the days of personality jocks, with the program’s brash host hyping shows he was emceeing, taking requests, and flooding the airwaves with stock phrases his listeners loved ("Money Making Manhattan” was a favorite).

Google Books
March 1989, Spin magazine, pg. 28. col. 2:
Rapping for him is an archaeological dig in the bootleg live cassette ruins of the South Bronx, and the ghostly remains of the Ponderosa Club on Eighth Avenue and 144th in money-makin’ Manhattan, which spawned Spoonie Gee, Doug E. Fresh, and hip hop forefathers D.J. Hollywood and Eddie Cheeba.

Google Books
Living High and Letting Die:
Our illusion of innocence

By Peter K. Unger
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1996
Pg. 147: 
With young male children, who are most young children, these impoverished Third World youngsters will, I’m told, have a greater chance of reaching their majority than the male six-year old kids in the far richer neighborhood of Harlem, just six miles uptown from my own truly rich neighborhood in downtown “money-makin’ Manhattan.”

Google Groups: alt.music.lyrics
Newsgroups: alt.music.lyrics
From: (Lugnut)
Date: 1996/10/06
Subject: BEASTIE BOYS: Ill Communication

@SONG: Root Down
(...)
Come Up Representing From The Upper West
Money Makin’ Putting Me To The Test
Sometimes I Feel As Though I’ve Been Blessed
Because I’m Doing What I Want So I Never Rest
Well, I’m Not Coming Out Goofy Like The Fruit Of The Loom Guys
Just Strutting Like The Meters With The Look-ka Py Py
‘Cause Downtown Brooklyn Is Where I Was Born

Google Groups: alt.graffiti
Newsgroups: alt.graffiti
From: SPADE 127
Date: 1997/02/03
Subject: Re: Hip-hop and graffiti

Heads that weren’t there cant really speak on it.I grew up in the Washington heights section of The Money Makin Manhattan 140 st and BROADWAY and this shit went on all the time.

Google Groups: rec.music.hip-hop
Newsgroups: rec.music.hip-hop
From: (Spirit68)
Date: 1997/11/21
Subject: Independent Hip-Hop in Starbucks????

It’s in money makin’ Manhattan.

OCLC WorldCat record
Hello nasty
Author: Beastie Boys (Musical group)
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA : Grand Royal, 1998.
Edition/Format:  Music CD : CD audio : Rock music : English
Contents: Super disco breakin’

Lyrics Freak
Beastie Boys Super Disco Breakin’ Lyrics
(...)
Money makin’, money, money makin Manhattan
Super disco, disco breakin’

New York (NY) Times
Our Towns; Finding Hope In a Museum Of Hip-Hop
By LISA W. FODERARO
Published: July 28, 1999
(...)
In fact, the city is known in rap slang as Money-Earnin’ Mount Vernon, just as the boroughs to the south are commonly called the Boogie-Down Bronx and Money-Makin’ Manhattan.

Google BOoks
A Rapper’s Love Story
By Ronnie Goss
Gardners Books
2007
Pg. 270:
“...business ideas, and one of his friends told him aboutthe book Hustlers from harlem and how he felt that book was the only book that gave you an in depth look where harlem got it’s (sic) original nick name almost thirty years ago, Money Making Manhattan.”

Nike Talk
Nicknames of 5 boroughs?
GUNNA GET IT
08/21/09 12:34 PM
money makin
(...)
jawnyquest
08/21/09 12:37 PM
money makin manhattan
(...)
akuratl02
08/21/09 12:44 PM
JAWNY whoever still says “I’m headed to money makin’ manhattan is an idiot”. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • Friday, April 29, 2011 • Permalink