20 Times Jay-z’s Music Gave us the Blueprint For Success

If you’re a fan of hip hop motivation I’m almost certain that Shawn Carter may be one of your go-to’s for shifting your mood and getting into the right mind frame to get sh*t done. Jay-Z has been one of the most successful to ever do it, with a career spanning over 2 decades, having sold more than 50 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide, while receiving 21 Grammy Awards for his music. It’s pretty safe to say that he really understands this business thing – thoroughly. I’ve compiled a list of 25 quotes from his music that we can all learn from. I’m a firm believer that success leaves clues. We just have to look for them sometimes. Now, ‘Put your hair in a bun, throw on some gangsta rap and handle shit’.

On Success

The genius thing that we did was, we didn’t give up. — Excerpt from an Interview

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with the aim, just gotta change the target. – American Dream

Well, we hustle out of a sense of hopelessness
Sort of a desperation
Through that desperation, we become addicted
Sort of like the fiends we accustomed to servin’
But we feel we have nothin’ to lose
So, we offer you, well, we offer our lives, right? – Can I live

“I’d rather die enormous than live dormant.” – Can I Live

On Authenticity 

I’m different, I can’t base what I’m gon’ be off of what everybody isn’t – So Ambitious

Raw rough and rugged, when addressing the mass public
My attitude is fu*k it cause motherfuckers love it – Some People Hate

Everybody look at you strange, say you changed
Like you work that hard to stay the same. – Most Kingz

Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself. – A Dream

On Leverage

Financial freedom my only hope
F**k livin’ rich and dyin’ broke
I bought some artwork for one million
Two years later, that shit worth two million
Few years later, that shit worth eight million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children
Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine
But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99 – Story of OJ

I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo
For like 2 million
That same building today is worth 25 million
Guess how I’m feelin’? Dumbo — Jay-Z – story of OJ

Never Do it For the Fame

Bright lights is enticin’, but look what it did to Tyson
All that money in one night, thirty mil’ for one fight
But soon as all the money blows, all the pigeons take flight – Holy Grail

On Adversity

So there you have it, sh*t happens
Just make sure the plane you on is bigger than your carry-on baggage
Everybody go through stuff
Life is a gift, love, open it up – Glory

I guess it’s just the penalty of leadership
I guess I’m what they wanna be and sh*t – Some People Hate

Laughin’ hard, happy to be escapin’ poverty, however brief
I know this game got valleys and peaks – Can I Live

I gave you prophecy on my first joint, and y’all lamed out
Didn’t really appreciate it, til the second one came out
So I stretched the game out, X’ed your name out – Hard Knock Life

I don’t bend, break, fold, scratch, go down
My mental rolodex see these words? I just don’t know – Guilty Until Proven Innocent

He who does not feel me is not real to me
Therefore he doesn’t exist – Izzo

Show ’em how to move in a room full ‘o vultures
Industry shady it need to be taken over
Label owners hate me I’m raisin’ the status quo – Izzo

You walkin’ around like you invincible
You dropped outta school, you lost your principles
I know people backstab you, I felt bad too
But this ‘fuck everybody’ attitude ain’t natural – Kill Jay-Z

I seen the worst of the worst. I deserve every blessing I receive I’m from the dirt – Some How Some Way

What’s your favorite song from Jigga on your playlist? Any bangers that I missed? Tweet me or slide in the dm’s.

Happy Hustling, xo

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith is a woman of many talents and refuses to let a single one go to waste. This Toronto-based serial entrepreneur keeps her hands full as an author, speaker, stylist and non-profit founder, all while doing her most important job as a full-time mama of one. Marching to the beat of her own drum and a playlist of her favourite 90s R&B, she’s blazed a path of her own. A master multi-tasker, marketing and branding enthusiast, and fierce self-love advocate, Danielle is the epitome of a boss babe. Committed to helping Millennial women shine, she’ll be serving tips, tricks and honest advice on everything from Getting Unstuck to Authenticity.

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