I have been listening to the Hip Hop artist, KRS-ONE for the past 30 years and I finally took the opportunity to see him perform live and see him in conversation as part of the Moogfest in Durham, NC. After his conversation, KRS did something I should've expected from him but was still left in awe. He took time with every individual that came down to speak with him and he engaged with them on a very personal level. I got the chance to shake his hand and to express my gratitude for him and the messages in his music that has heavily influenced my life and helped shape me into the person that I have become. Whether it be my interest to study Egyptology or my decision to pursue my current passion through my venture Elemental Financial, KRS's lyrics and the music was in my ears helping me better understand myself and how I could use my gifts to Uplift. Our conversation was quick but it touched on the idea of wealth and thus brought me to think about the song Health, Wealth, Self.
On the last song of his self-titled album, KRS-ONE tells us that he's not going to need anything else other than health, wealth, and knowledge of self. This has been an important mantra in my life since hearing this track in high school. Through the song, KRS provides 5 lessons for Emcee longevity, and as I hear these lessons now they can easily be substituted for any other career path as well as providing an understanding of Wealth.
1. "If it ain't fun you're done. If you don't like what you do - your through"
If you are pursuing your passion it should be driven by your love for what you are doing and will likely be shaped by your values. In terms of understanding wealth, we'll call this Cultural Capital.
2. "Make sure you've got a dope Crew" -
The relationships you build and those that you surround yourself with should not only have your back but should have your best interests at heart. To be a supreme being you'll want to surround yourself with others that are seeking to be supreme as well. Your Social Capital is another important aspect of understanding wealth.
3. "Emcees should have other ways of making money - Learn other things besides music, make money elsewhere that way Hip Hop you won't abuse it."
This lesson touches on Financial Capital, which is what we usually associate with wealth. Making money, having money, the numbers in our bank or retirement accounts. I love this contradictory message - KRS is telling emcee's that if you are doing this just to make money then you will lack longevity, so find other streams of revenue to allow your art to remain artistic.
4. "Sell your image never sell a record" -
In 2018 this is much more apparent than it was in 1995 when it was more prevalent to 'sell a record'. In the day of streaming, fans are more interested in your brand, in your authentic self and are looking to engage with your art more than just spinning the physical format of your music. Here we are talking about Human Capital and for all of us, this provides us with our greatest wealth potential. Be you!
5. "The Illusion - What separates the Pro from the amateur is Stamina." I take this lesson to state two things. 1)Wealth is not measured by consumption, don't let the illusion of what you see promoted by the media and marketing influence your consumer behaviors. 2)To be a professional at whatever you do takes time, effort, practice, evolving with the times.
Longevity isn't measured at the beginning of your career and it isn't measured by how much money you make or how much money you have. It is measured and acknowledged by those that you have taught, by those that you have touched, it is measured by what you have created and the other leaders that have learned from your lessons.
Thank you Mother, I'm out....
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