Ain't Nothin' Goin' on But the Rent

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"Ain't Nothin' Goin' on But the Rent"
Single by Gwen Guthrie
from the album Good to Go Lover
Released 1986
Format 7", 12"
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Gwen Guthrie
Producer(s) Gwen Guthrie
Gwen Guthrie singles chronology
"Just for You"
"Ain't Nothin' Goin' on But the Rent"
"Seventh Heaven"

"Ain't Nothin' Goin' on But the Rent" is a hit song recorded by American singer Gwen Guthrie. Released as a single in 1986 on Polydor Records, the song became the biggest hit of Guthrie's career, and the song's title became a semi-popular catchphrase among many women throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s.[1][2]


The song was a major hit in the U.S., mostly in dance clubs and on the radio, charting moderately on the US pop chart (reaching #42 on the Billboard Hot 100), but faring better on the R&B chart where it spent one week at #1 and on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart where it spent two weeks at the top.[3] The song was also successful in parts of Europe, reaching #5 on the UK Singles Chart.[4] It also reached #1 in New Zealand.

References to other songs[edit]

The song contains apparent references to at least three other songs:

The line "Ain't nothing goin' on now, but the rent-uh" appears in the 1972 James Brown hit "Get on the Good Foot — Pt. 1".

The line "You got to have a J-O-B if you want to be-with-me" is set to a melody line that recurs throughout "Doctor Love", a 1977 disco hit by First Choice.

The line "Nothing from nothing leaves nothing" is taken from Billy Preston's 1974 hit song of the same name.

Covers and pop culture references[edit]

The song has been referenced numerous times in popular culture, including songs with similar messages, such as Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills", and by Eddie Murphy in one of his stand-up comedy shows. The last stanza of Blackstreet's song "No Diggity" uses the title line. Rapper Foxy Brown released a cover version of the song, titled "JOB", which also featured Mýa. It appeared on Brown's 1999 album Chyna Doll.

The song was also used in the 8th episode of Rupaul's Drag Race Season 5, when contestants Alyssa Edwards and Ivy Winters had to lip sync to it to avoid elimination.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hard 'Rain' Falls On Women". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  2. ^ "Gwen Guthrie; Songwriter, Singer of Dance Hits". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003, (Record Research Inc.)
  4. ^ UK Singles Chart info from

External links[edit]