Since the days of Kurtis Blow, I have loved rap music.  I’ll grant you that some of it’s becoming hard to justify, but there are some lessons that I’ve learned from it over the years that have helped me in life. Here are some of my favorites:

“You don’t grind, you don’t shine.” – Mike Jones

If this current economy has reminded us of anything, it’s that most of us should no longer expect financial prosperity to come without sacrifice. Solomon said that there is profit in all hard work and the converse is true: if you don’t grind, you don’t shine. Put your top effort into creating the future you desire.

“If I can’t change the people around me, I change the people around me.”Chuck D

The Bible says that we should not be deceived; that bad company corrupts good morals. Throughout the Proverbs, there are warnings to choose our friends and associations very carefully. A lot of who we become results from those with whom we spend the majority of our time. Surround yourself with people who are pursuing purpose.

“Before we go any further, let’s be friends.” – Whodini

Relationship advice from the great Rappin’ Jalil (or was it Ecstacy? or Grandmaster Dee?). A lot of times we push relationships too far, too fast because of infatuation and hormones. I advise my sisters all the time to resist the urge to let relationships become “sexualized” too soon because once a guy has sex on his mind, he can’t think. Let’s not just get to know one another. Let’s be friends.

“You see me? I eat, sleep, _____ and talk rap. You see that ’98 Mercedes on TV? I bought that.” – Juvenile

One thing that I’ve always admired in successful people is their focus. Solomon spoke of this, too, when he advised that we should do with all our might whatever it is that we do. This is in Ecclesiastes 9:10 in case you’re wondering.

“It’s what you keep, not what you cop.” ~Beanie Sigel

Making money doesn’t profit much if you spend it all. We Americans have developed the nasty habit of spending even MORE than we earn.  W. Clement Stone said, “If you cannot save money, the seeds of greatness are not in you.”  Wise words.  Very. 

“Don’t let a win go to your head or a loss to your heart.” – Chuck D

Fight to stay encouraged when things are tough by taking control of your emotions. Don’t take it personally. Things happen to all of us in this life. Also, use the positive emotions of victories to propel yourself forward without becoming complacent. Good seasons don’t last always the same way Winter doesn’t last forever.

“It takes two to make a thing go ri-ight! It takes two to make it out of sight!” ~Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock (See also Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 because Solomon said it, too: “Two are better than one…”)