Ownership and equity have become primary topics of conversation in a generation fueled by the hunger for more than stable employment. The job market is shaky and oversaturated, causing young professionals to look for control over their income, professional progress, and the future of their work-life balance. It's a scenario that closely mirrors the music industry. Labels are scrambling to adapt to a standard business model that hasn't quite formulated itself yet, after the internet put branding and marketing power in the hands of the artists. Consequently, obtaining a fruitful label deal is just as shaky as being gainfully employed in today's job market.
Now, with streaming and social media at their disposal, artists are expected to come with established fan bases before expecting budgetary resources from a major record label. Enter Nipsey Hussle, the artist who saw the beauty within all the chaos. His entrepreneurial eye set sights on a tremendous opportunity to become a boss in every sense of the word. Instead of growing his audience and running to a label for a deal (employment), he'd approach them as a partner to maintain control of his destiny as a creative businessman. Echoing the principles of cultural paragons like Kanye West and Dame Dash, Nipsey Hussle has quietly forged a path to ownership of his brand, within a culture slowly understanding the importance of owning its billion-dollar influence. In the footsteps of Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam, Murder Inc., and the like, here are seven key jewels Nipsey dropped in an interview with The Cruz Show about the journey to creative and economic freedom.
Follow codes and follow rules, to prevent from making goofy moves
"Don't play yourself for an opportunity. You'll consume yourself in the opportunity. When it's done, it'll be discovered that the way you got the opportunity was fraud." In other words, you cannot jump at every opportunity that comes your way, especially if you have not rightfully earned the opportunity through building skillsets. Great connections, and being in the right place at the right time will eventually afford you various opportunities. It's important to remain clear on what's for you, and what you're capable of.
You have to mine for diamonds (resources) in life, and that's a dangerous job
You have to live outside of the confines of the world and remain in a creative zone. You're not appreciated until you bring the diamonds (resources) back. Being an outlier is as glorified as being an entrepreneur. The end result is to be admired, but the road to the finish line is treacherous. You've got to be okay with being misunderstood, ridiculed, and overlooked until your time comes. When that time comes, you'll be hailed as a hero for the resources and opportunity your journey will afford you to give to others.
Work Life Balance | The biggest business you have to manage is our life – Rick Ross
A conversation with Rick Ross left Nipsey with advice he'd never forget. Regardless of your profession, higher levels of success require more attention and time. Typically, this means taking a time away from family and friends. On the flipside, dedicating more time to family and friends means that there is less time to work. Creating a substantial work-life balance is a job in itself, and it's the biggest one. Hov said it best: "A man who don't take care of his family can't be rich." But this isn't ain't The Godfather, don't miss the whole shit.
Grow comfortable with not getting recognized
"Not receiving love is part of the game. Every artist has hit the stage to hear crickets." The crowd will not always cheer for you, especially in the beginning stages. To be great, you must be willing to accept several quiet seasons. There will be times where people don't see your vision. There will be times where people aren't fans of your work or your antics. It's up to you to keep in mind that there's a bigger picture. Stay ahead of the game, let everyone else catch up when it's time.
If you're not willing to reach back and give game to younger hustlers, that's a sin
Having an OG or a mentor to guide you through the peaks and valleys of your life is a priceless asset. No one can show you how to unlock your potential like those who have run the same marathon you're running, and came in first place. However, the true mark of a winner is their ability to show other people how to win. In fact, not reaching back to give game is a sign of selfishness and insecurity within. Attributes that indicate helplessness and fear of competition.
Trust Your Instincts | "The problem in the music industry is good records. You know when a record is bad and you know when one is a hit, but the good ones are confusing." – Lyor Cohen
When Nipsey made his album, he didn't put any song on the album that he didn't feel like was a smash right away. Relate this to your life, if something doesn't feel right about a situation then don't force it. Your instincts serve you no differently than an animal in the wild, it's what keeps you alive and thriving. Trust your instincts with unwavering certainty. It's your connection to the natural order of things.
Stay solid through the process
There will be ups. There will be downs, but you must maintain composure and be your best for yourself and others. Reputation always proceeds the person who built it, keep your face clean.
Following these seven principles has put Nipsey Hussle in position to enjoy a moment he's been working toward for over a decade. Recently, he signed a partnership deal with Atlantic Records and his own imprint, All Money In. The monetary details of the deal haven't been released to the public, but it's confirmed that it is a multi-album arrangement. Nipsey Hussle is the definition of his last name, and yet another example of what it means to make yourself the business.