I’ve always enjoyed ben's blog for it’s straight forward, and insightful articles.
For any young entrepreneur/hacker, it’s an extremely useful place to learn about non trivial topics like building a winning team, being a leader, as well as insight into the VC world and entrepreneursip in general. It’s a veritable gold mine of information, and yet, it’s hard to put a lot of it to use at this stage of my life.
At this point in the game, 23 years of age for me, the most useful thing I’ve learned from reading his blog is that I should listen to hip hop as much as possible.
If you haven’t realized by now, all of his blog articles are prefaced by a rap quote. At first I didn’t pay much attention to it, but then I read that all of his articles are inspired by rap lyrics. Not the other way around.
So I decided to start listening to rap a little more. It took a bit of time, but I quickly realized how powerful rap music really is, because when it comes down to it, it’s all about hustle. Those articles were inspired by hustle, not for the sake of recounting them. And at this stage in my life, hustle is what I need.
Believe or not, rap lyrics have helped me express a lot of what I’ve had to deal so far when starting my own company:
Realizing that being young, and productive doesn't do you good as an employee:
I don’t want the glow, I want the glo-ray
And I’mma fuck the world, but this is just foreplay
Tired of hearing bullshit, bring on the cow shit
Haven’t met a smell that’s stinkier then our shit
Lil’ Wayne in Successful
Deciding to quit my day job and work like an animal:
Uh, hardly home but always reppin’
You hardly on and always second
When I’m awake, you always restin’
And when they call you the answer, you are hardly question,
I’m doin’ classic shit in all my sessions
Other n*ggas’ situations, they are all depressin’
That’s why I never follow y’all suggestions
I just always did my own thing
Drake in Uptown
Me coming to terms with visa issues as a Canadian:
Illegal entrepreneur, I got my grades there
Blaming society, mad, it wasn’t made fair
I would be Ivy League if America played fair
Nas in Triple Beam Dreams
Having to let go of a cofounder who wasn’t pulling their weight:
Kobe ‘bout to lose a hundred fifty M’s
Kobe my n*gga I hate it had to be him
Bitch you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym
(Bitch you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym)
Drake in Stay Schemin’
So far I’ve found it to be extremely inspirational, and in my opinion serves as a pretty good soundtrack to the life of an entrepreneur. You can say whatever you want about rap as an art form, but it fosters a mentality of hustling, winning and being hungry – the very same things you need to be an entrepreneur.
I know I’m still at the beginning of my journey, but you can rest assured that rap has the lyrics I’ll need after our team succeeds. They better quit printin’ dictionaries, because we about to redefine hustle.
Whose world is this?
(The world is yours, the world is yours)
It’s mine, it’s mine, it’s mine
Pete Rock and Nas, The World Is Yours
PS. I understand there are lots of aspects of rap music that aren’t that great, even despicable, but I’m trying to focus on the good parts.