Drake and Jay-Z look up to him. Music videos that reference him still get shown on MTV. Television talk-show hosts discuss his plans when he’s not a guest. Warren Buffett takes money from him, and Justin Bieber doesn’t act like an entitled spaz around him.
And he uses only $2 bills.
While your first guess is that we’re talking about the Dos Equis guy, we’re actually talking about a Biglaw partner in New York who adopted a unique calling card and translated it into becoming an under-the-radar celebrity among celebrities. He may not be the Most Interesting Man In the World, but he’s at least the Most Interesting Restructuring Attorney In the World…
The partner in question is Steven J. Reisman, the co-chair of the Restructuring and Insolvency Group at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. Eight years ago, a cab driver gave him a $2 bill with his change. The move inspired Reisman to make the rare currency his calling card. He went out and got himself some Jeffersons (despite popular belief, the $2 bill is still in production) and began handing them out to people he met and telling them to pass the relatively rare bill on to the next person.
And he started to meet a whole bunch of people. As a Biglaw partner and a hard-core rap fan — let that sink in for a second — his $2 bills started working their way into the hands of stars he would meet going to concerts. When you look closely at the social media offerings of the music world — particularly the hip-hop world — a number of $2 bills start showing up. It was enough to get people asking, “What’s with all the $2 bills?” In an effort to discover why there was an underground economy of $2 bills, Foster Kamer of Complex Magazine discovered a mysterious man, identified only as “Steve the Lawyer,” who hands out the currency like candy and is genuinely beloved by the stars of the industry:
We heard stories about Reisman going outside of concerts, and handing out front-row tickets to fans who couldn’t afford to cop them. About his first encounter with Drake, who, at the close of one show, pointed out to Reisman in the crowd, and told everyone that he had given him one of the greatest fan experiences of his—yes: Drake’s — life that night, and how he knew every lyric to every Drake song. “I was about to fuck the words up, and you knew them,” Drake says to Reisman, before walking off stage.
But not before Reisman could hand him a $2 bill.
Drake, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Michael Strahan, Macklemore, Vampire Weekend, Yeezy, Pete Wentz, Warren Buffet, Bill Clinton…. who doesn’t this guy know? And he’s not an entertainment lawyer or trying in any way to leverage these connections into new business — which is probably for the best, since he does bankruptcy work — he’s just a nice guy.
So the next time you get a $2 bill, consider that it probably once belonged to Steven Reisman, the coolest Biglaw partner out there.
And then consider that Justin Bieber probably jammed that same bill into a stripper’s G-string.