By Kishmar Shepherd – My Life On Screen
Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Jay-Z fan. I love his music, his character and what he means to young black men all over the world. To me Jay-Z represents success, triumph over bad situations and constant personal growth.
He has set a good example for anyone to aspire to but today I want to talk about his new Album MCHG and what messages creative people can get from the songs on the album. My boss always says “Success leaves clues” so let’s see what clues we can pick up from the great Hov.
“Bright lights are enticing but look what that did to (Mike) Tyson.” – Holy Grail
Don’t be blinded by your success –
As artists, sometimes we struggle for so long that when success comes we get carried away in it and lose ourselves in the hype. This has happened to a lot of creative people who become successful and find it hard to remain creative or inspired. Remain grounded in the good times and the bad.
“I just want a Picasso in my casa, no my castle.” – Picasso Baby
Aim high and know what you want out of life. In order to reach a destination we must decide where it is we want to go. In the song Jay Z raps about what he wants out of this life, his goals are lavish but at least he knows what he wants and is more likely to get it. Our goals may not be to own a Picasso but we should have some clearly defined goals and say them out loud, don’t be afraid to tell other people what you want. This is part of the speaking into being Christians talk about. What do I want? I want to win an Oscar.
“Don’t be good my ni**a be great” F.U.T.W
Don’t settle for being good, we should always strive for greatness. But what is the difference between good and great, what is that defining piece of the puzzle that takes one from ordinary to extraordinary? For this industry there is a different defining factor, there is not one formula that will work for everything, but one thing is for sure, hard work and never settling will take you further than share talent. Always strive to be greater than you are today and your greatness will come to you.
“My uncle said I’d never sell a million records, I sold a million records about a million times” – Crown
Don’t let other people put parameters on your success. You are not limited by what people say you can do, you are only limited by yourself. People may not always believe in your dream but that does not mean it will not come true. Some of the world’s greatest men were once considered mad for attempting things others thought were impossible. Yet these things have been accomplished through will, power, determination and belief.
“No guilt in giving clear a n**** conscience out, no guilt in receiving, everything within reason.” – Nickels & Dimes
As artists we should not be afraid to give to others without asking for returns. This is not to say we should work for free; or give away what we earn but I believe that everyone in a position to, should help others. The other side of that is that we should not be embarrassed to receive from others. Sometimes we let our pride prevent us from taking gifts, this may come as money or even advice.
And there you have it, my 5 pieces of advice which I got from Jay-Z’s new album. I am sure there are lots more messages we can get from the album along with the great music.
Enjoy the album.