“If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.”
How many times have you turned to music for advice, comfort, inspiration or something to do while you procrastinate finishing an important assignment?
Our guess? Every. Time.
When was the last time you left the house and thought, “today, I don’t even need my earphones. I’m just going to listen to the sounds of my surroundings. Especially the high pitched squealing of the subway, I really enjoy that”?
Our guess? It’s probably been a while.
That’s because music is an amazing way to block out noise or to get inspired or to feel connected with somebody else or to remember that one time last summer where you actually filled the tub halfway and then proceeded to ride your surfboard.
But what about career advice? Little known fact: music is filled with amazing career advice. If you listen closely, musicians are telling you exactly how to get from where you are to where you wanna be.
Today, we turn to some hip hop heroes for some epic career advice.
"No lie, just know I chose my own fate I drove by the fork in the road and went straight"
Jay-Z - Renegade
We kick the list of with the king of hip hop, Jay-Z.
How do you get where you want to go? Oh I don’t know, how about ignoring all of the useless advice you’re being given and do something that you haven’t considered yet or something that nobody is telling you about.
Jay-Z is giving you the ultimate blueprint for how he found his path. Spoiler Alert: He didn’t find anything. He created a path that hadn’t been made before. More specifically, he looked at the options that he was being given by other people and decided none of those were right for him.
This is perfect advice.
You’ve grown up with people around you telling you what options you have. Maybe people are telling you what you should be doing with your life. The school you should be going to, the jobs you should apply for and the life you should be living. If you don’t feel that any of those are right for you, you have the ability to choose your own fate. To say, “no thanks, I’m going to carve my own path thankyouverymuch”.
"Got a Chanel chain, on top of Chanel chain, on top of Chanel chain, on top of Chanel chain." 2 Chainz - Marble Floors
To tell the truth, we included this as a complete joke at first. Read it. It’s absolutely absurd.
Then, maybe because we’d been getting so philosophical about rap lyrics or maybe because the timing was just right, 2 Chainz started making sense.
While we think four Chanel chains is a little excessive, even for somebody named 2 Chainz, Mr. Chainz just might be onto something here. Something called, fill-your-work-with-the-stuff-that-you-love.
Look, we know that to find work that you love, it takes time, persistence, rejection and failure. But we also know that when you do start down your career path, there will be many things that you discover that you will absolutely love. And when you find those things, you need to fill your work with as much of that stuff as possible.
Maybe you love talking with customers. Talk with customers, on top of customers, on top of customers on top of customers. Maybe you find you do your best work cleaning the stockroom. Clean up boxes, on top of boxes, on top of boxes on top of boxes.
How do you find that stuff you love? You do as much as you can to learn about your work. You talk with other people. You volunteer to help and you constantly push yourself to have great experiences.
2 Chainz wasn’t born knowing he wanted chains on chains on chains on chains but through his work, he discovered his love for the jewelry and reassurance that he chose the right rap name.
They say the shoe can always fit, no matter whose foot it's on. These days feel like I'm squeezin' in 'em.
Whoever wore 'em before just wasn't thinkin' big enough. I'm 'bout to leave 'em with 'em
Drake - 0-100/The Catch Up
People love giving you advice. They literally love it more than they love a three-day Walking Dead Netflix binge. The problem is, 99.99% of the time, the advice that people are giving you is 100% based on their experience and it usually only comes in one of two ways.
You’re given advice based on the success that somebody has seen. “You should totally do this. Why? Because I did that and look at me, I’m happy and successful and if you want to be like me, you need do exactly what I did.
You’re given advice based on the failure somebody has seen. “You definitely shouldn’t do that. I tried it once and hated it. You’ll hate it too.”
Drake is telling us that’s it’s tough trying into shoes that aren’t yours. Sure, with some squeezing, stepping and a shoehorn you may be able to get your feet in a pair of shoes that clearly aren’t yours but you’re better off leaving those shoes with the people who can wear them.
You need to do whatever is right for you. Yes, your parents, friends and teachers want the best for you, that’s why they’re giving you advice but it’s completely ok to say “thank you” and move on to something that makes more sense for you and your future.
The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great cause they paint a lot.
Macklemore - Ten Thousand Hours
We’re hoping this one doesn’t need a ton of explanation. If you have something you want to get better at? Decide to get better at that thing.
Want to start a career as a web designer? Start today by learning and practicing every. single. day. You didn’t get the job you really wanted because your French isn't good enough? Get better. Start right now and don’t stop until you’re where you want to be and known for being the type of person who stops at nothing to get better at the things.
This goes for every possible skill an employer could want from you and for every possible thing you want to be known for.
If you want to be great, paint and paint a lot.
Success is on the way, I feel it in the distance. Used to look up at the stars like, “ain’t too much that’s different”.
I be shinin’, they be shinin’, get your one shot don’t you miss it. What you know ‘bout wakin’ up everyday like you on a mission?
Big Sean - One Man Can Change the World
Everybody knows that person who wakes up everyday like they’re on a mission to get something done. It may be your aunt who paints custom motorcycles or your friend’s dad who coaches the college basketball team but those people are locked on their goal and won’t stop until it’s done and everybody who meets them knows it.
Be that person.
Figuring out your next steps can be pretty tough but here’s one thing we can promise: if you’re ready to work the hardest you’ve ever worked and are eager to learn, success is just around the corner. Even if you can’t see it, it’s there.
Success is on the way and the only way you can meet it halfway is through relentless action.
Get to work.