Coming up in the game of Hip Hop is often described as a hustle, which is to obtain something through energetic activities. Entrepreneurship is most certainly a hustle, and if there ever was a time where hustling is a factor in success, it is right now.
We are in the depths of the worst economic slump in the past 80 years, and for many this makes the already difficult task of business building even harder. Entrepreneurs need to be reminded that they are in the good company of other determined people, that there is a reason they do what they do, and turning a sharp ear to hip hop is a great way to fulfill that.
Many successful hip hop performers come from difficult socio-economic backgrounds. Broken families, poverty and exposure to criminal conduct are recurring themes. In rhyming about the trials and tribulations of the hustle, rappers often share their own history of determination.
Part of credibility in the Hip Hop hustle is rising from these extremely difficult circumstances where the odds of success are far longer than the typical entrepreneur. Those champions of hip hop who actually make it often turn their lyrical and musical focus towards their own journey.
Speaking of Difficult Circumstances
Belmont University entrepreneurship professor Jeff Cornwall recently published an article detailing four steps to beating the recession blues. While I agree with a number of Cornwall’s points his reference to the Serenity Prayer and overall tone of the entry can’t help but strike something of a somber and discouraging note.
Music has the power to motivate and educate so to supplement Cornwalls’ four steps, I present four two (see endnote) recent hip hop songs that can serve as an inspiration to any entrepreneur who is struggling to make it. The songs are presented in order of increasing adult language and content.
Inspirational Hip Hop song #1: The Roots (featuring John Legend): “The Fire” (iTunes)
The Roots get much respect for me on their ninth studio release, How I Got Over. Besides including a track with a Joanna Newsom sample, they included this incredible tune titled “The Fire.” Okay Player has released several photo stills from Filipino director Rik Cordero’s (wikipedia, twitter) recently completed WW2-inspired music video for this song.
The chorus alone is enough to put “The FIre” on the list, sung with heart by R&B vocalist and songwriter John Legend, it explains:
There’s something in your heart,and its in your eyesIt’s the fire, inside youLet it burnYou don’t say good luckYou say don’t give upIt’s the fire, inside you
Endnote: This blog post was originally written July 1th, 2010. I never finished it, but wanted to publish it anyway. A year late is better than never.