I watched the promo video for JayZ’s upcoming album release Magna Carta about a week or so ago. As you may have heard, Magna Carta was released to one million Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners for free on July 4th at 12:01. As a hip-hop fan I am lightweight jealous that I don’t have a Samsung Galaxy. That’s okay. I’ll just listen to the leaks online and wait to download it in a few short days to my “not so cool” iPhone.
Since the release of Reasonable Doubt in 1996, JayZ has been re-creating himself in every way possible. Street hustler turned rapper. Rapper turned business man. Business man turned professional sports team owner. Professional sports team owner turned sports agent who recently signed Kevin Durant as his client. Oh yeah, almost forgot. He also married one the greatest female pop artists of all time. From the streets to the top of the world. An amazing story you couldn’t make up if you tried.
Why do I share this with you? Because JayZ says something in the promo video I mentioned above that stood out to me...”we need to write the new rules.” A simple but powerful statement. What does it mean?
We do things a certain way because that’s the way we've been taught. Society, environment, family, tradition, and cultural influences train us to think and do a certain way. We follow without question; quietly steering within those bounds because we don't know better or we're afraid to challenge or change. We fear what people might think. We have ambition and motivation to progress. We have big dreams of success in our chosen fields but because of the mold we’ve been formed into, we prevent ourselves from ever achieving that dream no matter how hard we try. Yet the few who can overcome, step outside of their mold, and challenge the norm, are those who ultimately change their course. Some of them even change the world.
A short time ago, we couldn’t care less about social media. Now we live in a world where we have convinced ourselves that the value of our existence is validated by the number of likes and comments we receive through social media. We are supposed to believe that this is an accurate valuation of what our true worth really is? Why do we believe this nonsense? Because someone re-wrote the rules.
Overcome. Achieve. Victory - IKUNA.
My heart will always beonlg to Cycle of Violence, but it’s great news when a publisher keeps a writer’s back list available or, in this case, re-releases an older title. Now, if only the digital edition didn’t cost more than the print book here …
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