I am the worst arguer. I totally zone out. I hear everything that’s being said; I feel everything there is to feel and I notice everything from the clothes we are wearing to the background noise to the time on the clock and anything and everything in between. This makes it hard for me to come up with retorts that consist of more than “You’re an asshole,” or “That’s stupid.”
Whenever I hear Drake’s Wu Tang Forever, off the CD, Nothing Was the Same, I think about the same fight I have with almost everyone close to me. I’m obviously not Drake. I don’t have a record deal. I don’t have millions of fans looking up to me. I’m not making millions and don’t plan to. But I do need to be creative and need space and time alone to write. You can’t sit beside me and read quietly. You can’t watch TV downstairs while I work upstairs. I can’t just bring my laptop to the beach. That doesn’t work for me. I try to spend four hours a day writing my novel and even if this current project ends up in my unfinished canon with my movie script, short stories, songs, TV pilot and YA story; I need to trudge along. I feel sick when I don’t write. I get confused, lethargic and apathetic. I wish I had the balls to just say “Wu Tang Forever, baby” whenever someone gave me grief for hiding out in my hole to write. I also wish that didn’t sound as pretentious as fuck!
Well, made me think about the game, girl
And how I switched it up with a new thang
Young nigga came through on his Wu-Tang
I’m not delusional. I know I’m not going to change the writing game like Drake and Wu Tang Clan changed rap music; but I have always believed I have something to share with the world. All my experiences; everyone that has encouraged me or belittled me; loved me or hated me; stood by me or abandoned me have shaped the world that I write about. It theirs as much as it is mine.
Nobody else’s, yeah, this shit belong to nobody, it’s yours
It’s yours, it’s yours, it’s yours, it’s yours that’s for sure
For a long time I thought you had to be tortured to be any kind of an artist. Great art comes from pain; I still believe that to be true. But you don’t have to live in that pain forever. You don’t have to stand on the ledge forever to fear falling. You need to know what you write about. You need to empathize and relate to your characters, but you don’t have to live their life forever for authenticity’s sake.
I find peace knowing that it’s harder in the streets
I know, luckily I didn’t have to grow there
I would only go there cause there’s niggas that I know there.
It’s hard to be original. Everything is compared to everything so nothing is left to stand alone as unique. That’s just the world we live in. But being unique isn’t everything. You have to be good. You have to be funny. You have to be relatable. The best comedy is based on simple observations. The greatest songs are about the most common emotion in the world: love. The top-grossing movies are re-makes…. okay that doesn’t work in this instance, but I think you get the picture.
Machine gun raps for all my niggas in the back
Stadium packed, just glad to see the city on the map
I just gave the city life, it ain’t about who did it first
It’s about who did it right, niggas looking like “Preach”
Drake cribbed those first two bars from Raewkon in the Wu Tang Clan hit It’s Yourz. He’s not afraid to copy those he respects. What makes Drake so talented? He’s not the first sensitive rapper (What up, Common!); he’s not the first to sing and rap (I think we can raise a Toast to the Douchebags, for that one); he’s not the first rapper from Toronto (Northern Touch, anyone?) but he’s probably the first to combine these influences and many more and do it so well. I don’t think any writer starts a novel saying “Oh this is the first teen novel about vampires,” or whatever but they hope it will be the best.