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      I started my career as a Rapper on November 1st and finally gave up yesterday. It’s not that I’m not cut out for it (I’m pretty fucking good) but in my short journey, I learned quite a lot about too much. There are too many rappers. Everywhere I turn, someone is making music about something –I’m not hatin’, I promise. I applaud it, but how many of those people truly want it. Whenever you go after a goal, you must sit and consider the competition. The “rapper” him/herself has evolved. It started out being a voice for the suppressed and underrepresented, then spoke loudly of rebellion. After the violent rebellion, the looters bragged of their spoils over the airwaves as new trails were blazed. As the white majority became accustomed to our way of dress and manner of speech, a few of us snuck our way into their schools. We abused their writing programs and when to war with our words daily. We found out what it meant to be educated. Still, they could not make it fully through without giving their all to Hip-Hop. They learned of what Langston Hughes did but preferred Jay-Z. But the educated youth is always unstoppable isn’t it? They refused to finish listening to the white man: Some couldn’t make their way across that stage, others grabbed the diploma and folded it up somewhere. We all move in the right direction, you’ve just go to understand what do do with the opportunities that present themselves to you -in the right moment.

       Hang with the older heads & pick their brains for all the evils the game will do. You’ll also know whether or not that field is worth your time. As I ate my BLmayo (I’m not into raw tomatoes),  my new rapper friend gave me all the secrets to the game. “I don’t know exactly what it has to do with it, but I know timing means a lot, too,” he explained. Really, my nigga? This is the brilliance people are trying to get out there. I took his advice to heart, though and thought about it. Is this the right time for me, I asked myself as I laid in the bathtub. I need to know. I understand why timing is important even if this fool doesn’t. When is my time? This is when I put myself in perspective with the rest of the world. I needed to understand where I feel within this new profession I was trying to rape.  I decided, not only is it not my time, but it’s no one’s time. 
        As I finish listening to J Cole & Wale (because I am, – for the most part – done with each of them) I sit back and digest what I have just witnessed.

Congratulations, Wale – you are the smartest Hip Hop artist to start college and never finish (after Kanye, that is). & best regards to Jermaine Cole – the realest intelligent gangsta to grasp a degree –with a 3-something GPA and no criminal record (after Jay-Z, that is). Now, this isn’t to downplay their work –they are both brilliant. This isn’t to say J Cole should commit a crime to gain my respect, nor that Wale should go back & finish what the fuck he started (although both would be “appropriate” at this point in the game), this is simply to say, “Now what?”  You have to know when to quit. Sometimes, it’s okay. Sometimes, you need to “Embrace Failure“. Not every path is for you. There are things we all wish we could do for a living –I still want to be a rapper– but that’s not exactly the most solid idea. As you consider your goals and what you aim to accomplish, you must consider 3 things: How much effort you’re willing to put in, how to get there, and what to do once you’re there. Some people think of success and an endpoint. It’s not. Successful is a state of being. Just because you mage it up the hill doesn’t mean that you have succeeded, Jack. Now you’ve got to fill that pail with water and bring it back down without tumbling. & be weary of those who will come tumbling after. & Not everything is lucrative all the time.  This is when a normal person would tell you not to put all of your eggs in the same basket. I say, buy more eggs.  I’m not sure what kind of profession rap is though if JCole’s goal this year is to “stack a million.” Not to mention how his momma is still working and he has yet to send her a bouquet. What are these boys really  making? Rappers? *laughs* For that, I’ll date someone off the Knick’s bench. 
            I went out with an aspiring rapper on Saturday night. The issue was, I was waist deep in my own dreams at the moment. I couldn’t stop… working. I was reading up on everything IAB.net has to say on digital advertising for work (Plan A), planning the next moves for this blog (Plan B), and working on some new material (Plan C lol) –I still don’t thin I’m serious, read “Sideline Ambition“. I had three notebooks, a binder (with tabs), three boxes of mechanical pencils and an alternate rap names (just in case). I even had a whole conversation with Ashley about the one album I need to drop to make some serious paper. BTW I love Ashley, yo. She was right there beside me lol. I had it all figured out. I’d give them Lauryn’s purity with Jay-Z’s real. Wale’s ambition with J Cole’s drive. Nicki’s concern for personality and BIG’s rawness. Diddy’s ethic, Mary’s soul. After a while though, you just start to form yourself from others –you’re no longer you. Like Jay already said, “Soon they forget where they plucked the who style from and try to reverse the outcome, I’m like “cluck!”. Swag can only originate once. Genius happens once. As I listened to Cole & Wale I just realized how much of what they’re doing has already been done. Hip-Hop is no longer that voice of the warring youth. It’s a career. It’s “poetry to rythm,” as people liked to describe it in my high-school poetry classes. Eigh years later, everyone I’ve ever gone to school with is a rapper. You proved it. It don’t take shit but a computer to be a rapper now-a-day. A thesaurus and some Fruity Loops. And some Apple Jacks, Jay says. (That was my alternate name, ask Ashley. Don’t judge me -_-)


          I’m tired. I’ve been listening to Jay-Z, faithfully, for that past 15 years. If there were ever a blueprint to how to make it being a rapper, it’s already been done. He also made an album called Blueprint if you have trouble deciding what to listen to (J Cole isn’t the greatest listener, I don’t think). He gave you a “blueprint for you to print, a map for you to get back, a guide for your eyes, (and so you won’t lose scent) [he] made a stick for you to think [he] inked these verses out of prose so you [wouldn’t] get conned out of two cents.” It was in his “last will and testament,” didn’t you hear? I’m just unsure of what we’re trying to prove now. What fight are you all fighting for? Is there a message anywhere? Are you telling a troy that has yet to be told?  Or do you  just think that you’re opinion hasn’t been expressed before? Maybe you say  it cooler? I guess. Because, in all honesty, it’s been a while since I heard an original thought from… anyone
      And here is where I’ve gotten: Think for yourself. There are so many people out there who are just “like” someone. They have no real goals. No dreams. Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and has  no business idea. Everyone wants to sell something. Every nigga with a pen is a rapper and every female with a a knock-off Louis is a fashionista. It’s getting old.  I want to hear a real plan. Something you believe in so that I can believe it, too. Have you ever noticed that some people have dreams they talk about day-after-day but put no work in? Everything starts tomorrow or when they “get the money up”. If you want to do something, you have to do it. I’ve traded a meal for business cards and I’ll do it again. Take a hard look at the goal you want to accomplish. It’s going to take a lot of work, right? Now decide, right now, whether or not you can put 150% in. Because if you can’t, you might as well stay sitting exactly where you are. Get comfortable. If you want something go after it. Ladies & gentlemen, we need to chase our dreams the way we chase each other. We need to be loyal to our desire and understand that once we’ve invested in something,  you might as well go all the way. You might as well make it forever. You might as well make it the best decision you ever made. Put your heart into what you do the same way you carefully picked out flowers for your lady or made your man dinner. Put in work. Show some effort.  If you want something, you better act like it. 
       Some of you all collect dreams like shoes. You just keep them on the shelf in case someone wants to know if you have them. Never the same one right? Changes every day, right? In reality, you need a pair that’s all black, all white, nude, red, pink (if your a female) and one in your favorite color. With that said, you’ve got to do what you have to do before you can do what you want to do. & these 30 year old mean choosing rap as a retirement plan isn’t doing it for me. You need real goals. Use your mind. I’ve said the shit before & I’ll say it again, education is key. Only but so many rappers make it big. Now there’s a bunch of fools out there (I used to be included) who think they’re going to take the rap game by storm. & a few will. Three of them maybe.  Same applies for the fashion designers out there. I admire all of your crafts. I envy your passion, but I pity your foolishness.  I don’t mean to crush anyone’s dream. If it really is destined for you, then it will be, but you’ve got to be putting 150% into whatever it is you’re doing –without having to be told so. That is your dream. & you’ve got to come into the shit with the idea that you are the best at it. But, be honest with yourself if you’re not. If the people you are competing with are legit better than you, you might want to try another craft. Personally, I don’t like to lose. It’s what I do worst, so I only participate in activities that I can win. Not only, win,  but kick ass. 

      Life is longer than you think it is. Get rich quick schemes are usually invented by people who go broke fast. You’ve got to watch out for these. In evaluating the moves you’ll make today, think beyond yourself. The fame and the fortune cloud me often –begging me to acquire them quickly as possible. But what about the rest of time? After you complete the goal at hand,then what? does it continue to grow? What is the next project? Anticipate the needs of your audience. What will the world want? What is the world missing. At this point, I not only have to think about myself, but all the backwards promises I’ve made. All the people who feel they deserve a penny off my dollar –because a lot more expect it than deserve it. You’ve got to grow continuously. Allow your dreams to dream –but settle in on one or two (3 for fun). Don’t chase anything you can’t give yourself to 150%. I’m running on 300% and I promise it’s not easy. I can only do so because my life  has settled itself in a way in which I have enough time to devote to my success. Understand how much time you do or don’t have and deliver what you can. Only what you can.

    Choose your battles wisely. And once you have done so, be the best you can be at it. No one is going to teach you to love what you do. No one is going to stand beside you and tell you to keep working except for yourself (consider yourself very fortunate if you do what support, though). You’ve got to take control of your own destiny. If you think you’re going to make it big 00and you work accordingly –you will. But if you fail at your dreams, that’s just bad planning on your part. Life is just like any test, if you want to excel, you’ve got to prepare yourself. If you like drawing, you should know everything  about drawing. If you like skiing, you should know everything  about skiing. Take responsibility. 
        I called my mom last night, but she was sleep. There are few people I ever want to speak to, but I needed to tell her one thing. I needed her to know I’m trying to be a better person. The best, actually.  That I’m chasing my goals in the most productive manner possible. I wanted her to know that I am fully invested and I’m weighing options like a real grown-up now. I wanted to tell her the world is in the palm of my hand and she’s entitled to her fair share –but I’ll hold off on that conversation until I can realize my metaphors. 
At some point, you have to realize that your dreams are just dreams if you don’t wake up. 

Wake the fuck up. 
As for this blog shit? 
I’m the best to ever do it, though.
 “Anybody with some money should invest now.”
 šŸ˜‰
xoxo, 
Ella