BEWARE! This Article Contains True Stories
1) Responsibility Sets In… HEAVILY! And It’s 100 Times Worse Than Having A Kid!
When you make it as a rapper, you are a business.
Jay Z: I’m not a business man, I’m a business…. man.
Everything you are doing from touring, to making music and selling merchandise is now not only feeding you, it’s feeding your friends, your family, your team and everyone that they support. Such as their kids.
If you take a day off, miss a concert, get sick, stop making music, get lazy, go to jail… everyone that relies on you for their well being… is now affected.
From your manager who makes his 15-20% of your career down to your merchandise guy who makes a living making you T shirts and helps you sell them on tour.
If you have a kid… cool, you gotta take care of the kid.
But when you’re making millions of dollars a year and you have a full team of 20+ people PLUS your family members who need you to support them, which in turn is supporting THEIR kids…. buddy, you have a lot of responsibility on your hands.
Most people never think of this and that’s why I’m starting with this point.
Which brings me to my next point.
2) You Have To Be Conscious Of The Legal Repercussions Of Everything You Do
You can’t just break into someone’s house and start beating up people like I did when I was 19 when I caught my first couple felony charges.
Because that means you not only go to jail… but since you are now worth money…. they are going to sue you.
Even if they started it and deserved it. You are worth money and even if they are still living at their mom’s house and only make $20,000 a year… a judge will make you pay damages worth much more than they make a year.
And all because you are famous and ostensibly have the money to spare.
It just starts there though… You also can’t talk bad about another brand without a good reason. They will sue you for slander.
You also have to take into account how people will snitch on you for things… so you have to be careful in situations that you’d never think anything bad would happen.
Look at Tiger Woods… and you especially can’t let a Kobe situation happen.
Look at how it affected their careers….
Here’s a great story from one of my old Managers who used to Manage Nas.
Yes, Nas the rapper.
He gave me the advice that anytime I ever had a girl in a hotel room when I was on tour
1) They can NEVER… and I mean NEVER stay the night. They will potentially rob you. (I knew that… duh…. the next part is what’s the good advice)
2) When you are letting them leave… NEVER let them leave alone…. Get in the elevator with them and bring them down to the main floor, make sure that someone who works at the hotel sees you actually walking her out in a safe and conscious manner
3) Make sure the hotel worker sees you give her $20 for a cab and hug her goodbye as she leaves.
Well first off, when a girl leaves your hotel room and gets on that elevator alone… that whole ride to the first floor she is in an enclosed space, feeling used, “Will he ever call me?” “OMG! I’m a slut!” and by the time they are getting into their Uber or Cab… they are already thinking about ways to make you pay for making them feel like that.
And when you don’t call back in 3 days… that feeling amplifies, the coolness they felt while being with you turns into anger and now… if they are capable… they want payback.
Look at that chick at Chris Brown’s house calling the cops on him and come to find out the girl just had her ego hurt and completely made up the entire story.
But if you walk them down and you’re polite and actually show effort in getting them home safe… not only do they see it, but a hotel worker also witnessed them leaving safely and you giving them money and a hug.
Now the girl can’t say anything crazy like the Kobe situation… and you have a witness.
People are crazy… do you understand this?
This leads me to my next point.
3) You Get Girls, But Most Of Them Are Insane Or Go Crazy
It’s not hard for me to get girls, I DM them and I get something similar to “Omg, hi!” back. And that’s at my level.
Imagine at the top level.
Girl’s throw themselves at you like dollars get thrown at strippers.
Look at what Kat Stacks did to make a living for herself. Getting video of a bunch of famous rappers in messed up situations so she could blackmale them to make $1,000’s a month off of each rapper so she can live care free.
Bummy ass bitch.
The girls who meet you will probably like you A LOT if they like you AND your music + feel cool for being able to hang out with you.
Additionally, they want you more because they know that tons of girls are throwing themselves at you.
It makes you desirable.
But… when they realize that you are not interested in a relationship with them (because you have tons of girls throwing themselves at you.)
They get crazy or they are going to talk shit about you because they feel self conscious that you don’t want them.
Or if you do get into a relationship with them because you actually like them… they start getting super jealous and accuse you of things… because they know you’re capable of easily getting other girls.
4) People Will Want To Sue You For No Good Reason
Sometimes there is good reason to sue someone.
Like, maybe they stole something from a song you wrote, they backed into you with the $50,000 car their mom and dad bought them and it broke your leg… there are a myriad of realistic reasons to sue someone.
The issue here is that once you are super successful, people are jealous, they see you have the fame the money and everything else… and they want some of it.
And more importantly in this matter, people are lazy as fuck.
They don’t want to work for their money, they would rather sue you and take the hard earned money that you got from years of hard work.
Kanye: Drama, People suin’ me/ I’m on TV talkin like it’s just you and me.
I’ve heard once you ‘make it’ people will be suing you for anything and everything. It’s truly sad. It’s a very very trailer trash way to make your money.
To me this is like throwing your kid in front of a car in order to sue the driver of the car for a quick $12,000 from their insurance company.
This is a fucked up world… and I know people who have actually done that.
But because I don’t want to get sued… I can’t even tell you the family member of mine who did it. Seriously.
5) You ALWAYS Have To Watch What You Say
It’s a small world. Much smaller than you will realize until you have bumped into 100+ people that know people you know and that already know you.
At the higher level’s you aren’t allowed to say you don’t like someone or something anymore. No matter how much you dislike something, the best business move is to keep your opinion to yourself.
For instance, If I don’t like 1 big rapper and I tell 1 person who is my friend I don’t like the rapper… then they go tell 5 people just in casual conversation I don’t like that rapper….
Now I have to deal with the fall out of my simple opinion. That rapper now dislikes me, they tell their surrounding team what I said and now their whole camp dislikes me.
Word spreads and now I have a small group of people choosing sides between me and that other person… all for what? Just because I wanted to express my opinion on the person?
Yep. That’s right.
There is NEVER a good reason to talk shit about someone else unless it is a calculated move you have a plan for.
I will repeat that.
There is NEVER a good reason to talk shit about someone else unless it is a calculated move you have a plan for.
Imagine if you heard a friend of yours talked shit about you, how does that make you feel? You no longer like that person or anything associated with them.
But in the higher levels, it’s a much smaller industry and it does matter more. It affects your business, your pockets, your potential networks and shit you don’t realize until it happens.
Here is one of my life lessons where I go further into detail about this topic.
ACT LIKE A DRUG DEALER
6) You ALWAYS Have To Be Careful With What You Do
Going out and just getting drunk to have fun isn’t really a smart option at the higher levels.
You can’t make mistakes like you used to make mistakes. From the potential lawsuits to all the responsibility you now have, you have to be even more careful.
I go to parties in Hollywood and girls try to bring me in the bathroom or a side room to try to get me to fuck them.
As much as I’d love to bang the Instagram model with more followers than me… How do I know she didn’t put a camera in that side bedroom and is planning to try to use it on me later or black male me with it?
Paranoid… maybe… being precautious and smart because people are sneaky… definitely.
You also now have a reputation to uphold so you can’t be at parties with other celebs and do this stuff anymore.
Last night I was at a girl’s place rubbing her back and right when I wasn’t lookin she starting snap chatting me on her back jokingly saying “Snitchin, Snitchin” because she knew her ass shouldn’t have done that.
She still posted it… She asked me if I wanted her to delete it… It’s not a big deal, so what? I was rubbing a super hot girl’s back.
Still I’d prefer if she never had proof I was with her just in case… but it’s whatever.
Also, every time I enter a room I have to assess who potential dangers are. This is normal mentality from how I grew up but now it’s magnified because of the next 2 points I’m going to make.
7) People Stare At You All The Time
I’m from south side Chicago.. when someone stares at you, it’s usually to intimidate you and it leads to fights.
It usually goes like this
*Person stares at you with a mean mug*
*I stare back then mean mug a little bit*
*They stare too long*
I say “You look softer than baby poop! What the f*ck are you looking at!!!?”
*Gunshots or fist fight ensues*
*If their friends jump in a knife gets pulled*
Issue is, a lot of people have resting bitch face, so when they stare at you they don’t mean to mean mug but they can’t help it.
So you can’t tell if they like you or wanna fight you.
Or if they just think they are tough because they wanna seem tough when another 5′ 11″ 205 lb tatted up tough guy is the room.
Either way, you get stared at a lot!
Last week I had 2 people resting bitch face staring at me the whole time I was in Starbucks in Hollywood. I stared back.
10 Minutes Later I got a DM, “OMG I think I just saw you in StarBucks!!!!”
I could have sworn they were plotting to cash me ousside
8) You Don’t Know Who Loves You And Who Hates You Until They Talk
Going back to the last one
Drake: I got enemies, got a lot of enemies.
For one, I DO have a lot of enemies. From things like people putting money on my head when I was younger in Chicago, my old team’s enemies with major drug runners all the way to having beef with major rappers and their fans just not liking me since me and that rapper didn’t used to get along.
A lot of wanna be rappers are jealous I made it and they didn’t. Especially back home where I’m from.
They see me, they wanna battle rap to prove they deserve to be where I am at now (Even though that would prove nothing since it’s about branding, persistence and talent more than just lyrics)
I laugh because they haven’t earned the level to battle me just because they wrote some lyrics but didn’t work hard enough to get to my level… Then they wanna fight.
Or… I do battle, they overestimated their skills and underestimated me since they didn’t realize I started a battle rapper that is 54-0.
I murder them and anyone in their team that steps forward to battle, they walk away and start throwing rocks at me and my team once they are at a safe distance to run… can’t make that shit up… that actually happened. We chased them, they ran for their life.
Also, I used to always get mad at everything so I have talked a lot of shit on the internet knowing I could back it up in person if it ever came time. I usually just end it with, “Cool, well see me when you see me” fearlessly.
Don’t lie…. you have done it too…
But when am I to know when that time comes? How am I to know who is standing in front of me 5 years later who is in a downward spiral in life and is mad I’m thriving.
Tupac: Some punk that I roughed up way back/ Comin back after all these years/ Rat tat tat tat tat… that’s the way it is/
Eminem: I’ll buy a ticket to your show just to come and whip your ass
I remember one time when I was in the gym in Charleston, South Carolina. This guy walked up to that was twice my size, easily 6 foot 4 and built like a tank.
He walked over to me, we mean mugged each other for like 2 seconds and he put his phone up to my face and said “Is this you!?” with his deep ass voice.
I was like “Shit, this could go either way.” and I said “yea” and leaned back a little lol
Then he was like “Yo I thought so, Ima big fan man!”
But imagine if he was someone who didn’t like me.
Imagine how that could have ended.
I still talk to that guy to this day. His name is Adrian and we had Chick Fil-a a few months back when he visited LA on business.
I got loyalty, got a lot of loyalty.
9) You’ll Have To Learn To Handle Pressure
If you think it’s hard right now… you have no idea.
The thought that millions of people are awaiting your new music project will make you 2nd guess, 3rd guess and all the way up to 10th guess everything you do musically.
It will heavily influence your music in ways you won’t understand until you experience it.
You’ll get big from certain songs and feel like you need to RE-DELIVER that kind of music or sound.
Or maybe even stay up on a trend that is going on right now in order to stay or become MORE popular.
Look what happened to 50 Cent. Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ is FIRE from start to finish. Then 50, like his last album’s name said, wanted to “get rich” and saw that the radio records are what make you money and keep you relevant so he chased that instead of continuing doing what made him a real person and brand.
Yes, I know “In Da Club” made him worldwide and forever iconic, but his story and everything else is what inspired his followers.
That Kanan mixtape was the first time since the G-Unit album I’ve heard the original 50 Cent I was a fan of in 2002.
Why did he do that tape? Oh because of years of people saying what I just said….
The truth is, being yourself and continuing to be yourself for your audience is the best way to have a long term career.
I spent a long time trying to find out what was right, only to find out I had been sitting on my own story and my own personality the whole time that made me the best version of myself for my fans and my own happiness.
Aside from the pressure of creating great new music, you have to also OUT DO yourself… which is not something easy to do if you lose any amount of buzz.
At that level you will be networking, doing tours, radio interviews in every city, barely sleeping and then creating music while mentally drained… unlike you were when you created your initial project which probably took you years.
The list goes on…. imagine your career now, and magnify your pressure by 100.
10) You’ll Lose People You Thought Were Friends
This won’t be because you’re a bad friend… it will be because that moment will finally come where you learned so much and experienced so much as a person your brain will evolve to the next level while those lazy people around you are still the same uneducated people.
Your old buddies around you now who were just Yes men and that were rooting for you never got a skill set to help you move forward and now you are supporting them because they quit their job to go around on tour with you.
You can only have so many errand boy friends on your team. It’s going to eat at your pockets and that friend is going to get high enough one day to leave lala land in his inflated head and realize you do not need him for anything and everyone else on your team is a actually a professional with a purpose for your team and continued growth.
So he tries to be as nice and Yes Manny as he can to you in order to stay in your good graces.
So now your best buddy is FOR SURE shoveling the wrong feed back into your ear just to make him seem like someone you want to keep around because when he is around you are somehow happier… you’ll figure it out eventually though.
You can say you’ll keep ‘Day One Homies’ with you all you want. But when the time comes that you are smart enough to realize someone or something is holding you back from excelling, you will let it go. Because you’ll have to. That’s life.
11) People Will Try To Steal Your Stuff And Claim It As Theirs
One time I had an entire conversation arguing with someone about how he stole my lyrics. Or… how he said I stole his lyrics… the thing is… My original song with the 50+ bars in the same order released 2 years before his song… LMFAO! He could barely stay on a beat… he wasn’t even really a rapper and that was the only song he had ever released.
I thought he was just messing with me… but he wasn’t. He believed it.
One time I watched a battle rap at a festival in Chicago Heights where I’m from. I was back in the crowd so the people battling couldn’t see me.
I watched a 16 year old kid steal an entire verse from a song of mine.