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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.