Never met the man, I must admit, but his music has had a great influence on my life. I know, he uses the N-word and the F-word and a lot of other words, too. But there’s something about the music that I can’t shake no matter how I progress as a spiritual leader, and I think that’s just fine.
I find a lot of wisdom and inspiration in hip-hop. If you’re hearing a person on MTV or Hot 97, that means that artist has probably overcome some serious obstacles in the pursuit of his goals. So what if his goals aren’t your goals. Jay-Z raps. The questions are, 1)what do you do? and 2) whatever you do (could be mopping in a slaughterhouse), do you love it and aim for the type of mastery in it Jay-Z and the other greats bring to their work?
I got thinking about all of this because every now and then, Jay-Z drops a song that I simply can’t get out of my head. Right now, it’s that “A-billi Remix”–a few months ago, it was “The Roc Boys.” “La La La” was another track that I couldn’t get enough of a few years back. I won’t open up the box and start listing the songs I like and why. Let’s just respect it.
If you don’t like this particular artist, no problem. But I hope some sort of art, music, architecture, literature, or rhetoric has shaken you to your foundations, helped brilliant ideas find their way into your head, or at least brought a smile to your face. And when you find that thing, keep pressing repeat until you know it by heart and you’ve squeezed it for all you can. Then find another.