Keith and I both love listening to rap and hip-hop music. We always have. Maybe it was the fact that it was a sort of forbidden fruit growing up, maybe it’s because you can’t help but move to the beat, or maybe it’s because of the savvy business advice we received from the music. Whatever excuse you want to use to justify it, we like it. It’s fun to see how many similarities there are in rap and business. There is a constant state of hustling that has to take place. Maybe that’s why it seems easy to make the comparison. Every single rapper has to be a self promoter, a self starter, and an entrepreneur to even be considered by a record label. Below, I’ve listed a few of my favorite lyrics and songs from rappers that get me inspired as an entrepreneur. There are several great rappers who have extremely strong work ethic and unique business models, you could write a whole blog about Chance the Rapper’s unconventional way of growing his brand, but this is a short list I came up with.
#IDGT – Kevin Gates “I got six jobs I don’t get tired” Whether you are in an entry level position, or CEO of your Fortune 500 company, it’s important to stay busy. In your current position you might be doing six people’s jobs. That’s okay. What you need to think about is how you can showcase everything you’re doing. Are you volunteering? Are you serving as a mentor? Are you dividing your job between divisions of the company? Are you recording a podcast in your spare time? I firmly believe that everyone is devoting themselves to multiple “jobs” the question is are those draining the life from you are they rewarding? That’s the reason you don’t get tired, because every job you have is a part of your ultimate life mission.
“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business man, let me handle my business damn”would be an easy line to quote from JAY Z but that’s one of his most popular lines and almost felt too easy. Instead, take a look at this line from the song Clique – “Turn that 62 to 125, 125 to a 250, 250 to a half a million, ain’t nothin’ nobody can do with me” in addition to thinking about how to turn a profit, you need to think about how you want your company to grow. If it’s slow and organic, that’s fine. If it’s quick, and doubling your sales, you need to come up with a plan that you can implement to sustain that growth.
Kanye West – Good Life – 50 Cent – In Da Club “If they hate then let them hate and watch the money pile up” This line was so good that it was quoted by Kanye in the song Good Life from 50 Cent’s original song In Da Club. The main take away from this one is easy. You can’t let anyone else tell you that you are wrong. You need to listen to advice that’s given to you for free, but make sure you sift through people telling you, you can’t achieve your goals.
Save Dat Money – Lil Dicky – Made an entire rap video without spending a single dollar.I always feel awkward mentioning this rapper because of his name but he made an entire music video without spending money. That’s pretty impressive. As the co-founder of a start up, this might be one of the most important lessons we have implemented. We are constantly trying to think of ways to save money.
Big Sean – The one – “Ye told me I’m the man for the job So I told my mom, call her’s up and tell ’em that she quittin'” What a goal. This should be everyone’s goal. To find a job that you are so passionate about and that produces a strong enough cash flow that you can support those you care about to the point that they don’t have to work unless they want to.
God’s Plan – Drake “I hold back, sometimes I won’t, I feel good, sometimes I don’t”In many situations you have to walk the thin line of holding back or not. You will have great days in business and not so great days. The lesson here is to stay positive and trust in God’s plan. Not your own. Plain and simple. #GodsPlan
There are a lot of lessons to learn from rap music, some are more straight forward than others, but if rap music doesn’t typically resonate with you, maybe these lyrics will.