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Hip-Hop Lessons Life Rap

13 Lessons Learned from Griselda Records

The approach of Westside Gunn and his crew offers valuable wisdom for not only music, but business, writing, and even life

“I really like that whole, like, cliquing up, Griselda shit. It’s just ill to me…I think what they’re doing is great. It just reminds me of a different time and it’s not easy to do. To make that music and just come off wavy and be interesting.”

 — Drake

The 2010s was a decade in which the line between rap and other genres became not only blurred, but largely nonexistent. Referred to by some as the “melodic era,” it was no longer a rarity or even a surprise to see a hip-hop artist transition into harmonizing, and while that had certainly been done in the past, it now became de rigueur as Drake, Young Thug, and many others rode that wave to stardom. 

At the same time, some dudes stepped onto the scene and began flooding the market with their own music that sounded fresh but at the same time reminiscent of projects that had been released in the mid-’90s. No singing, no theatrics, just grim street tales of drugs and violence delivered over grimy, pounding basslines, creating a “gnarly sound inspired by the slimy criminal underbelly of Buffalo, New York.”

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Books Lessons Life Nostalgia Reading

The Magic of “The Tender Bar”

My personal “Tender Bar” collection — first edition hardcover; audiobook; paperback

“Kid’s a scribbler…”

Film adaptations are tricky. How can you boil down 400 or more pages of story, themes, and character development into a two hour film without losing the impact of what was on the page? 

Anyone that has had their favorite book turned into a movie knows the feeling of being simultaneously excited and anxious, hopeful and terrified, at what the outcome will be.

Now it’s my turn, as the film adaptation of The Tender Bar, the book that completely changed my life, is set to be released in theaters and on Amazon Prime Video. 

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Books Lessons Rankings Reviews

Ranking Ryan Holiday’s Books

photo by Christopher Pierznik

Ryan Holiday is my favorite author.

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Fatherhood Knowledge Learning Lessons Life True Story

My COVID-19 Vaccine Experience

I received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday.

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Art Books Education How I Work Learning Lessons Process Work

Get the Most Out of Your Books – Be an Active Reader (Video)

There’s a YouTube channel called the The Art of Improvement that does those funky illustrated videos to add a visual to written text.

Back in 2019, they asked if they could do the same for my essay “Get the Most Out of Your Books – Be an Active Reader.” I, of course, enthusiastically said yes! It’s a piece of which I’m quite proud, so to have someone not only appreciate it, but build on it in this way is very cool.

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Lessons Life Love Marriage

A Wedding Is Not a Marriage

The ceremony should serve as the base camp of a mountain, but far too many people treat it like the peak

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Children Fatherhood Lessons Life Parenting

My Children Help Me Battle My OCD (Just By Being Themselves)

Not my house but close (via)

“Life is a long lesson in humility.”

— James Barrie

It’s a cliché that having a child changes your life forever, but things become clichés because they’re true, and one of the biggest adjustments is just how much stuff children come with and how difficult it is to keep it all organized.

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Hip-Hop Lessons Life NBA NFL Rap Sports

All of the Greats Take Losses

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I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

— Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was “The Greatest.”

Everyone knows that, but there’s something that seems to be lost in the deification of the man born Cassius Clay: he wasn’t unbeatable.

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Books Business Career Knowledge Learning Lessons

10 Books That Are as Valuable as an MBA

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You can’t learn everything in school.

In fact, many of the greatest lessons are found outside of the classroom. As someone that went to graduate school (twice) and did get an MBA, I will not diminish it by saying that reading some books is the equivalent of completing a postgraduate degree. It’s not. I learned a great deal from reading case studies, listening to lectures, and engaging with my fellow students.

However, there there were some gaps that business school did not address.

To fill in those gaps, I turned to books.

Categories
Hip-Hop Lessons Rap True Story

From 12 Copies Sold to 10 Million — The Evolution of The Fugees

Whether personally, professionally, or creatively, you’ve probably had a project or plan fail miserably, even beyond your wildest fears and worst-case scenarios. In fact, you’ve probably had more than one. I certainly have.

While there may be a natural tendency to wallow in our misery, it’s important not to let that failure derail us. They say the best marketing for your current project is to make a new project. And that’s true.

It’s also the best way to overcome failure.