Monday, November 23, 2009

In the Dictionary Originality comes before Success

As citizens of The United States of America, we reside in the land of opportunity and golden roads. Living in this country as a young African American man, I have come to the realization that many of my peers rarely talk and reflect upon all of the advantages we have in 2009. If I took a time machine and went back 100 years, I would think I was living in the times of slavery. I say all this to pose these questions: Are you working at your full potential? Are you working in a field that makes you happy? Is there an opportunity for advancement for you? I ask this in 2009 because when I look at my peer groups, I see a bunch of Indians posing as Chiefs. I do not think that we are not working at our full potential. What are you doing to leave your name in a different category from everyone else?

We browse our favorite blog sites and social networks to stay updated of the world around us on a daily basis. Lets be serious, in 2009 anyone and everyone has a blog. Some of them range from serious content (i.e. coming soon), to more casual content, but it leads me to pose the question yet again, what are you doing different from your peers?

Every random encounter with an old school mate, and every random profile I browse upon on Twitter or Facebook is a rapper/fashion blogger/model/singer/promoter/party photographer/you catch my drift. I do try to support my peers and their endeavors, as some of them actually have talent, and others need to stick to their day jobs. For my friends who do pursue the more "typical" of the dreams, I always ask them what is their Plan B. There have been various times I have been told "There is no Plan B," or "I'm going to get signed and drop a platinum album," or "I'm going to win America's Top Model and become a Ford Model." Not having a Plan B is not only sad, but also a major risk. I love writing and hope to get published one day, but dreams are not going to keep the lights on. Shit, if I don't have the funds to pay Con Ed, I wouldn't be able to power up my PC to write and entertain my readers. I am not trying to deter you from your dreams, but I believe that it is essential to have a back-up plan. Right now, my main hustle is working with a state-funded afterschool program, and I try to pass on my wisdom to the youths. I have seen a whole classroom of young boys telling me they are going to be like Lebron, yet they have already been left back in elementary or junior high school. Maybe my words will encourage at least one of them to pick up their notebook and study, instead of solely depending on a basketball scholarship. I would love to prove the benefits of Plan B for them before it is too late. Maybe then, all of these overnight "CEO's" of promotion teams, record labels, party websites, etc. could have actually been avoided. Who is to blame you ask? Take a look in the mirror! With so many phrases like "I'm gonna keep it 100" floating around, you would think that more people would be doing just that. Instead, many have fallen victim to doing the complete opposite. I have seen horrible local rappers with a movement- a rapper and about 3 "YES men." A "YES man" does not equate to an A&R because if they was so good at scoping talent, they would not be in the hood, but working for a Def Jam, Roc Nation etc. We should all take upon the task of living by the phrase "Be Yourself." Ask your friend’s questions like "Have you done research for the field you are trying to get into," or "What original ideas or concepts will differentiate you from the masses?" Simple questions like those may deter their specific dreams for the better, or make your friend actually step their game up! In recent years, I have witnessed the erection of party websites where the "CEO" of the site has little to no interest in photography, and might not even know what Photoshop is. Money is their only motivation, but I would like to give the fair warning, do not become a slave to money. Does it make sense to enter a field when every other week you have a new competitor? Be yourself friends, if you like a field, do the research and educate yourself. The only fast money that happens overnight is the Lotto. Why are we always on such a paper chase anyway? Because unfortunately, "swag" is defined by which luxury brands are being worn and which European car is being driven, which is a damn shame. True swagger lies within originality and education. Anyone can buy a Gucci belt and take a few pictures with an overpriced bottle of liquor on a Wednesday night, but will you be doing that in 10 years? Do thoughts like that ever cross your mind? Indeed, life is short and enjoy your youth, but live an original life, not the collage of celebrities and your peers.

1 comment:

  1. I loved it and I have enjoyed every single post I have ever read by you... I am praying for your success as well as my own. Keep up the great work.