The Funky Fresh Leadership Lessons I Learned From 80s Rap Music
I ain't no joke / I used to let the mic smoke
Now I slam it when I'm done to make sure it's broke - Rakim
Man! Rakim let 'em know, didn't he?! He was not to be trifled with! He sets the tone from the start: I ain't no joke! All wack mc's beware! This is the type of attitude you need to have in business and life. That you are not a joke! That folk who step to you unjustly are doing so at their own peril.
Know Yourself. No, I'm not advocating that you go out and get into freestyle battles with your team or strangers on the street. What I'm saying is this: Know who you are and be confident about it. Be self-aware. The best leaders are self-aware leaders.
That's some of what 80's rap music taught me about leadership.
There's much more about leadership to be learned from 80's rap. These cat's had to believe and know that they were the baddest, could take out all rookies, and have folk eating Cool J Cookies! Their confidence and lyrics were at once a mix of braggadocio, and humorous truthiness. No, I'm not suggesting that you brag.
Use Your Gift. I'm saying that you shouldn't back away or shy away from knowing that God's given you a gift. He's given you a gift to share with others. There's nothing to be ashamed of about that. You don't need to try and hide it or hide behind it. Especially not with false humility. Know what you've been given and share it.
Back in the day, I thought I was a rapper or at least that I could be one. Me and a couple of my friends had hats made and everything. Because when you get your own hat, you're official! We got black trucker style hats with the letters RFP on the front: Rated Fresh Posse. Yep, we were dope! Well, we thought we were. And as you know by now my lyrics changed the game. Forever.
The Power of Belief. We believed we were good. We had to. If we didn't, no one else would. You've got to do the same thing. You must believe in yourself. Sure, there'll be times when your belief in yourself will be shaken. That's when you've gotta know what God says about you. You've got to know that He believes in you. You've got to say, "I know I'm somebody, cuz God don't make no junk!"
It doesn't matter what line of work you're in or what's going on in your life. You've got to have the confident swagger of an 80's rapper. Confident coolness. Ready to diss any wack mc/situation who would dare step to you!
Say it with me: I ain't no joke!
Speaking Life Into Your Existence,
Editor's Note: Eric's lyrics--although they were/are dope--did not change the game. And before you ask, no that's not Eric in the pic at the top of this post. Although he did have braids in a former life. And a hightop fade too.
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