Allow me to re-introduce myself! * In Jay-Z voice*. The Mad Scientist is no more. Not to worry, in his place, “Ladies and gentleman, please join me in welcoming to the Mic – the Accidental Rapper a.k.a Frankenstein … Can I get a Hip Hop Hooray?” I kid. I kid. The only place the Accidental Rapper will be dropping bars will be my shower.*Pause*. The Mad Scientist stays. Selfish, I know. The “My 1st Song” that I am referring to is the last song on the Black Album by Jay Z. The Black Album was supposed to be Jay-Z ‘s last album before going into what turned out to be just a brief retirement in 2003.
The song itself starts out with an excerpt of an interview of the Notorious B.I.G. “Biggie smalls”. In the interview Biggie Smalls repeats advice that he got from his producer/friend Puffy , now known as Diddy. Biggie says “Puff told me, the key to this joint, the key to staying on top of things. Is treat everything like its your first project, Knahmsayin? Like its your day like back when you was an intern. Like, that’s how you try to treat things like, just stay hungry.”
This is the theme that Jay-Z carries into the song, picking up on that advice about treating every project as your first. As such jay Z supposed last song is aptly titled My 1st song. The song is very much autobiographical as Jay-Z explains his sustained success. He taunts “Y’all wanna know why he don’t stop? Y’all wanna know why he don’t flop?‘ His advice? If you treat every song like your first then you’ll never regret anything.
I like to think of myself as the quintessential Hip Hop nerd. My love for Hip Hop has its roots primarily in the lyricism and wordplay. How some of my favourite rappers are so gifted at playing such beautiful games with language. The vivid storytelling, the melodies, the thumping 808 bass-lines. I could carry on. A facet of Hip Hop I also love and that is embodied by this particular Jay Z song is its ability to educate. More than any other musical type Hip Hop has a strong entrepreneurial ethos that is deeply ingrained in the genre. It’s hard to listen to hip hop without hearing it’s entrepreneurial spirit. Its contagious, addictive and inspiring all at the same time.
So its no surprise then I often reach out to Hip Hop when I need to recalibrate, re-energize, and even more specifically with this particular song, when my ego starts aligning itself with complacency. In these moments, as cheesy as it might sound I like to go back to this song , as a reminder. To stay busy. To stay working. To keep clocking in the hours with the same determination, dedication and hunger that I started out with. To treat every single hour in my 10000hours to success last like my first. Its a great reminder. One I felt compelled to share today.
Hustle hard in any hustle that you pick ~ Shawn Corey Carter