“Gather round hustlers that’s if you’re still living, and get on down to this ol Jig rhythm. Here’s a couple of jewels to help you get through your bid in prison. A ribbon in the sky, keep your head high..”
It was with these welcoming words that Jay-Z invited us into his inner most thoughts and gave us ingenious insight for his sixth studio album, “The Blueprint.”
On September 11, 2001, the Marcy born MC drew up a definitive body of work in the midst of destruction that still stands strong till this very day. Hov takes form as a rap artist architect as he scales out what attributes to his success in his songs. Here, he shares his hustler’s ambition, humble beginnings, and how his rap career continuously reigns supreme. The layout he creates using his lyrics is not only a map for business principals, but can be followed in building a foundation for almost anything; relationships, personal well-being, and more. This overall outline is probably the reason why the album is considered such a classic.
Khaled may have had the keys to success, but they’ve got nothing on the jewels Jigga drops with The Blueprint. Take a look at ten specific lyrics that you can apply to your life below.
“If y’all got love for me, I got love for y’all. And if y’all go to war with me I go to war with y’all.” -from Jigga That Nigga
This is for all my creatives and entrepreneurs out there: Focus on those who support YOU. Getting caught up in worrying about who’s not and chasing after an uninterested audience or market is a waste. Your product, service, or artform will serve more purpose meeting the needs of those who want it. Whether you have one supporter or one million, put your energy into the one’s that’ll ride for you. We gon roll till the wheels fall off. Y’all mothafuckas check your tires!
“You can’t date skeeos and wife it” – from The Ruler’s Back
Jigga “knows a difference between a bitch and Bey” and puts a spin on the phrase “you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife” here. (Ladies, in our case it would be, “you can’t turn a hoe into a husband.”) However, men AND women shouldn’t expect to “change” someone into something they’re not. Putting expectations into someone else only leads to disappointment, especially in a search for a significant other.
“Chains is cool to cop but what’s more important is lawyer fees” – from Never Change
Be prepared and prioritize your paper. PERIOD.
“Nigga respect the game. That should be it. What you eat don’t make me shit” – from Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)
We’re currently in a climate where it’s easy to compare ourselves, commonly seeing others share on social media. Don’t be easily enamored with how others depict their way of life or even try to emulate the same things. Furthermore, don’t use someone’s success as an example to measure up to, use your own ruler. The only competition should be with an older version of you. Bottom line: Worry about yourself.
“You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song” – from Takeover
There’s always room for improvement; so think BIGGER and BETTER. Jay did when he sampled Nas’ line from “The World Is Yours” and made “Dead Presidents,” which was the reason behind this infamous bar.
“One life to live, notice you get no sequel, so I truly gotta live this like my last movie” – from Hola Hovito
Reap what you sow and enjoy what you’ve earned. Of course it’s important to work hard, but’s imperative to play even harder.
“Pay us what you owe us for all the years that you hoe’d us. We can talk but money talks, so talk mo’ bucks” – from Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
Jay aimed this towards execs that exploit black talent and those who monopolize the music business but this still applies for those who aren’t in the industry, including myself…
Demand what you deserve, especially when it comes to your dollar$.
“You can’t fuck with me. Go play somewhere, I’m busy” – from Takeover
Do yourself a favor, don’t let anyone feel entitled to your time. If they can’t understand how important you utilize your time, they’re not worth ANY of it.
“I’m representing for the seat where Rosa Parks sat, where Malcolm X was shot, where Martin Luther was popped” – from The Ruler’s Back
We are what our ancestors and forefathers have fought hard for and to forget that is a crime.
“Y’all not rolling with Hov then hit the highway” – from Hola Hovito
What are some lyrics you live by? Are there any on The Blueprint or from Jigga? All I Need for you to do is tell me in a comment.