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Yeezy Taught Me
3 Things I Learned from Mr.West
3 Things I learned from Mr.West
A lot of my friends have been asking me why I am such a huge Kanye fan. Kanye does some questionable stuff to say the least. He undoubtedly gets a lot hate. Even Obama called him a jackass.
However, you can’t deny that he is a hugely popular and critically successful rapper. As I’ve been listening to him these past seven years, I’ve learned a lot to apply to my own life especially in my entrepreneurial ventures.
I could’ve made this list go on forever, but I picked 3 things I learned from Ye.
1. You have to be confident when nobody else believes in you
“Some say he arrogant can you blame him?
Last year shoppin my demo, I was tryin’ to shine
Every motherfucker told me that I couldn’t rhyme
Now I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem
Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams
I use it as my gas, so they say that I’m gassed
But without it I’d be last, so I ought to laugh” — Kanye West, Last Call
Before Kanye thought he can change the game there had been Eazy-E, Cube, Dre, Pac, Biggie, Jay, Nas, TCQ, etc. list goes on and on. The rap industry was dominated by a gangster/street image.
Nobody believed in Kanye when he started out. Only his arrogance allowed him to believe that he (a nobody with no street cred) could be the biggest in the game one day.
And he was right. It was a self fulfilling prophecy. A middle class son of a English professor grew up to kill gangster rap, pioneer a new sound of hip hop, and change the world.
If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? You got to be the best salesperson for your brand, your ideas, and your place in the world. To be the best, you got to be arrogant enough to believe that you will better than the other 99% of the world. And you got to be willing to grind to prove that you are.
2. Never be satisfied. Keep innovating. Keep learning.
“Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries. Now that he’s a pop-culture juggernaut, he has the platform to achieve just that. He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process. Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why.” -Elon Musk on Kanye
Kanye is never satisfied. He is always trying to be a better version of himself. He started off with soul samples and now he is experimenting with a more minimal style. Most of his albums are way ahead of their time. Much of hip-hop today is influenced by what Kanye did and is doing. Kanye has always been and will always be a pioneer.
Kanye is perfect representation of what Reid Hoffman calls “permanent beta.” You have to keep growing, innovating, and challenging yourself. Stay agile and always be ready to change for the better. Always ahead of the curve. You have the ability to mold the perfect version of yourself.
3. Hustle like your life depends on it because if you want success it does.
Y’all don’t know my struggle
Y’all can’t match my hustle
You can’t catch my hustle
You can’t fathom my love dude
Lock yourself in a room doin’ five beats a day for three summers
That’s a different world like Kree Summers
I deserve to do these numbers” — ‘Spaceship’ Kanye West
Say what you want about Ye, but he hustles. He hustles hard. The guy puts in an insane amount of time in his work and as a known perfectionist. And he demands the same from his collaborators.
Patience is bullshit, impatience is the virtue. You got to put in your time if you want to be one of the most successful people in the world. And you got to put in the time now. Don’t put off on following your dreams. So, Carpe Diem friends. Hustle every minute of every day because your life isn’t longer and your dreams aren’t getting any closer unless you hustle.
Kanye has taught me a lot of things that I have been applying to my life. People tend to dismiss things they don’t like (and they tend to not like things other people don’t like). Love him or hate him, you know that he has a proven record. With 21 Grammys, 7 platinum albums, and many entrepreneurial ventures, he knows what he is doing. You got to learn from him and try to apply their lessons to your life.
Kanye has taught me many things; these three are only a sample. He has also taught me about innovator’s dilemma, the power of personal brand, how to assemble the dream team, and much more. But maybe that’s a post for another day and another time.
TLDR: Kanye is a genius. Here is what I learned:
Be incredibly confident
Apply the idea of Permanent Beta