“There is something you need to know about the mastermind. In order to understand the overall concept and apply it to achieve success in all that you do. You must know that you can borrow other people’s knowledge, achievements, life experiences, and even their personal resources in order to execute your own life goals. By adapting this one idea, you can achieve more in a short time than you could in a lifetime otherwise…I said boss and I live that!” – Rick Ross – Mastermind Intro
When I heard Rick Ross’s latest intro a few months ago, it hit me that this is exactly what I have been doing my whole life with hip hop. I have been soaking up stories, confidence, ambition, passion, and inspiration from my favorite artists and using them to fuel my own life goals. Growing up, I spent hours every day ingesting stories from 2Pac, Biggie, Nas, Jay, Big Pun, AZ, Big L, Kanye, Jada, Mobb Deep, and many more. I began to see a life for myself outside of the norm. I longed to experience the things I was hearing about every day in music and the music itself gave me the courage to pursue this dream. When you listen to someone overflowing with passion, courage, and charisma over and over you begin to adopt those qualities in yourself.
Before moving to LA, I was listening to MMG heavy every day when I worked out. The music made me feel a certain type of way. I was inspired. I was happy. I was ready. I was being injected with confidence, clarity, and purpose. Ross’s calm, cool delivery paired with his impeccable beat selection made me feel like success was eminent. Meek’s tenacity and ambition poured out of his lyrics and into my mind and heart. I literally felt changes in my body listening to this music. While I was watching an interview one day, I heard Ross say that when he met Wale at King of Diamonds, Wale was by himself. Ross remarked how he thought it was dope that he had rolled solo. Highly respecting his opinion, I decided that his was something I needed to adopt. When I moved to LA, I didn’t know a soul. I began going places alone and testing myself, first a nice restaurant, then a club, then several industry events. There were times when I was uncomfortable, but I pushed through it knowing how important it was to develop this skill. After being consistent with this for over a year, I can now confidently walk into any room, party, event, etc. alone and feel totally at ease. The opportunities that have presented themselves in many of these situations have been unbelievable. I’ve been able to experience life in a way I never had before because I don’t have to worry about relying on other people. I am eternally grateful for watching that interview and really taking to heart and applying what Ross said in my own life. Adopting Ross’s knowledge and Wale’s experience significantly changed my life.
Dreamchasers and Dreamchasers 2 contain many of my inspirational anthems I listened to heavy when I was moving to LA. I’ve listened to “Dreamchasers,” “Big Dreams,” and “On My Way” hundreds, if not thousands of times. Meek is a master manifester, as is Ross. Meek has literally spoken everything into existence from day one and I’ve watched closely as his words and beliefs have created the exact lifestyle he spoke about from jump. When Dreams & Nightmares came out, I bought the hard copy and rode around the Hollywood Hills until I had ingested the album from top to bottom. I was filled with gratitude listening to “Maybach Curtains,” reflecting on how far I had come in my journey and was motivated by “Young Kings,” to keep filling my circle with only the best. I felt like a queen listening to “Young Kings,” and often blasted it with the top down riding down Sunset. I’ve had guys roll up like, “I’ll be your young king”. LOL I used to ride around incanting (saying over and over with feeling and emotion) “I’m a Boss,” at full volume. Within weeks, many of my behaviors changed. I started speaking up and demanding respect from people with whom I had let things slide in the past. I began, completely out of the blue, drinking Macallan 12 and thoroughly enjoying it. Many of my preferences changed and I began embodying what I had been incanting. When DC3 came out, I took it as a personal challenge when Meek asked, “The world is yours and everything in it. You gon’ go get it?” and happily reflected while agreeing that “I used to pray for times like this”. It’s an indescribable emotion to be in your dream city, dream industry, surrounded by people amazing beyond your wildest dreams and realize that you (and God) created this life. You had the courage to pursue something that you used to not even want to speak aloud because people would make fun of you for it. I truly don’t know if I would have had the courage to chase my dreams without the dreamchasing music I have been blessed with from my favorite artists.
When I heard Lil’ Snupe freestyle, “Mama and Daddy, they had a king for real. Man, I swear I’m living all my people’s dreams for real. I do my thing right now. My Daddy ain’t livin’ dreams. Mama ain’t livin’ dreams. Granny ain’t livin dreams. Cousins ain’t livin’ dreams, so you know what I’ma do? I’ma live out all through Snupe, we gonna rock,” I was moved to tears. I saw how Meek had given this young, super talented kid the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s one thing to live your dream, but the masters understand that sharing this with others is the greatest gift of all. After his passing, I was watching videos of them in the studio where another young kid came in to rap for Meek. There was such a positive energy in the room, an energy of love, passion, ambition, loyalty, and respect. I’ve been around so many negative environments and watching this video opened up a whole new possibility in my mind of how my experiences could be moving forward. Hip hop is laden with negativity, but there are so many positive aspects that are highly motivational. To come from nothing, achieve your goals, then give back to your community with resources, inspiration, and motivation is the ultimate fete.
“Mastermind” was a big influence in me leaving my last job. Listening to “Rich is Gangsta,” “Devil is a Lie,” and many other tracks, I felt a power arising in me. I caught Rozay’s performance live at the Revolt HQ’s and really got a glimpse of the true mastermind he is. He created a massive empire out of thin air, utilizing his thoughts, beliefs, and actions to create his deepest desires. I felt in that moment stronger than I ever had before that the same principles Ross had used were available and at work in my life as well. My possibilities expanded in my mind and I felt moved to take a look at my current situation to see if I was living up to my full potential. Music has a way of bringing out the best in me. Even though I moved to LA alone, I understood that in order for me to attract the best people into my life, I had to become the best, strongest, most courageous version of myself possible. Like attracts like and I understand that I only have to do my part by following my dreams, and the Universe will take care of the rest. This is what happened with Meek and Ross. Meek did his part to become the hungriest, most inspiring, and tenacious rapper he could be and the Universe (through fans and Twitter) connected the dots to bring Meek and Ross together.
Rappers are often the targets of constant criticism and scrutiny, and I think it’s time that they start being acknowledged for all the good they bring into this world. As Marianne Williamson writes, “We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” This is the gift I have received from many of my favorite artists. Letting their lights shine has liberated me and in turn allowed my light to shine. Facing their fears has encouraged me to do the same. The above photo is from my vision book that I often focus on before I visualize my dreams. Seeing my dreams play out in my mind while listening to artists like Meek and Ross, I am endowed with a Godly power. Feeling is the dominant force in creating our lives. There is no stronger creative power than the way you use your feelings in conjunction with what you are thinking about. I literally take the energy from these artists and use it as motivation and inspiration. I have borrowed their courage over and over until it became my own. Holding on to the vision of Meek telling me to chase my dreams, I am reminded of Drama’s intro, “You see, we dreamchase cause that’s all we was given to start with. Then we realized that dream was attainable. Now look at us…” I hold this in my mind until I can feel throughout my being the feeling of my dreams manifested. And whenever fears and doubt start to creep in, I look over and see, “Yo L, chase ya dreams youngin,” and I know exactly what to do.
“I’m on a mission which requires a higher position. Desire and vision keep the fire inside of me glistening”. – Big Pun