A Lesson Learned: Jay-Z, Decisions, and Self Growth

April 10th, 2009 | By

Wow! Where to start?


Life is nothing more than a myriad of decisions, most with a simple yes or no answer. The person that refuses to make these decisions will find the road of life riddled with obstacles that could have been removed.

I have the funniest ways of connecting a point. Let’s take one of my favorite songs,

“You must love me” Jay-Z In my Lifetime, Vol. 1

2nd verse Lyrics

We used to fight every night
but I never would suffer
just smile my big brother’s
tryna make me tougher
As we grew fussing and fighting continued
as I plundered through ya stuff
and snuck ya clothes to school
Got intense real intense
as we got older
Never believed it would lead
to be popped in one of ya shoulda
With my rings knew you had it
’cause you took too long
as Mickey, Andy, and the girl that bought it looked on
Huffin’ and puffin’ gun in my hand
told you step outside
Hoping you said no but you hurt my pride
made our way down the steps
maybe you thought it was just a threat
or maybe ya life was just that crazy
and you was beggin’ for death
try to justify this in my young mind
but ya drillin’ it
and my ego hurt combined
drove me berzerk
Saw the devil in your eyes
high off more than weed
confused I just closed
my young eyes and squeezed
What a sound
opened my eyes just in time
to see ya stumbling to the ground
Damn what the fuck I done now
runnin’ around in a circle
thinking I’m assed out
hot gun burnin’ my waist
ran straight to Jazz’ house
Like a stranger damn I just shot my nigga
and ran off into the night as if it was not my nigga
Left the scene how could I go out that way
Still you asked to see me in the hospital ya next day

You Must Love Me

Here’s my point about making tough decisions. Both Jay-z and the brother in the story were faced with decisions. Both were forced to make decisions rapidly because they were under scrutiny of their peers. If either would back down or refuse to act, they would have faced mass criticism.

So both acted. The brother made the decision to stand his ground and Jay-z made the decision to do what the street demanded he do.

But, what did we forget?

We forgot that this was not the first time both were faced with this decision. They’ve spent years fussing and fighting but never made a life changing or relationship altering decision, until the moment the bullet left the gun.

At that moment, a permanent decision was made. Jay-Z finally realized how irrelevant all the bickering was; who cares what happened between us, your my brother. And the brother realized, if the positions were reversed, he would have done the same thing. I mean, where do you think he learned what was expected?

Sometimes, the best decisions are the one’s rapidly forced upon you. Where in a split second, you don’t overcomplicate or reason, you just answer. Most of the time, these moments feel like mistakes the instant they are made. Could you imagine if the brother had died?

But most of the time, especially if you have God leading your path, you were put in that position because a life altering, relationship changing decision had to be made and you were refusing to make it. You were stagnate and God doesn’t like it when you ask for his help, then refuse to make steps necessary to receive your blessing.

Jay-Z got lucky. There were no major ramifications for his actions. The relationship with his brother was stronger because of a rash decision.

But that’s not always the case. Sometimes those rash decisions come with hefty consequences. It all depends on how you look at it. If you are a person who never made a life altering, relationship changing decision, then you probably got a lot of those decisions ahead of you. You’ve got to see the dark clouds, before the silver lining.

If you are a person who refuses to bend on position, then it’s probably the people around you trying to get away. They are making the life altering, friendship changing decisions for you.

But, if you are the person that refuses to go to the hospital the next day, you have decided against self growth. You don’t want to deal with the consequences of your decisions. So to you I say, watch out for the speed bumps in the road. You missed the lesson learned.


Watch For the Stupidity

Some people question my “relating life” to a song. They tell me, it’s just a song. It’s not meant to be taken with the importance you give it.

I’m beginning to think, this is the real problem with Hip Hop. We used to use song to uplift and praise. Now, if we are lucky enough to find a song with real meaning, using the lyrics to show a lesson learned is unacceptable or underappreciated.

Maybe the problem isn’t Hip Hop, maybe the problem is us.

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