Words To Live By: The Jay-Z Edition

Jigga is my nigga. Since 1996, I’ve wanted to meet him but not on some groupie shit. I wanted to be his little sister, his protege (I always say if I knew how to make words rhyme, I’d be a rapper). In my opinion, Shawn Corey Carter is the best rapper alive and I’m not about to argue with a soul about that. Wanna know why? Jay-Z told me not to. As a matter of fact, Jay-Z has provided, through song, a plethora of very good advice that I’ve incorporated into my daily life. Here are my (his) words to live by:

“I got 99 problem but a bitch ain’t one”
99 Problems, The Black Album, 2004

Quite often, I ask a friend of mine “How many problems do I have?” to which she replies “99”. I then ask her how many are a bitch. Her response: Not a nam one. I’ve gone through a bunch of bullshit in my life…not as much as some, but enough…to not sweat the little shit, little shit being when someone decides they don’t like something I say or do or me in general for that matter. I don’t expect everyone to like me. I don’t care if you do or don’t. I’m not saying I live my life pissing people off and leaving angry masses wherever I go; I just can’t put that much attention on bitches…which I use to describe anyone displaying bitch-like behavior such as rolling their eyes, not saying hello, or other juvenile exhibitions of “I don’t like that broad.” Chances are, I don’t like you either, but with maturity and Jigga on my side, I’m not exerting as much energy disliking you as much as you do disliking me. I have 99 problems. You’re not important enough to be one of them.

“A wise man told me don’t argue with fools. Cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who.”

Takeover, The Blueprint, 2001

I have a big mouth and a bunch of opinions. I say what I want, almost whenever I want and I used to waste my time arguing with people about my views. It took a long time for me to realize shutting the fuck up was way more powerful than proving some idiot wrong. I drop a one liner, nod my head in feigned agreement, then walk away with the satisfaction of knowing I didn’t waste my time proving a point not meant to be proven. I used to get my rocks off by participating in active and fervent disagreements but I’m getting too old for that shit. I don’t mind sharing my views and opinions, but I’m not about to make you agree with me. In this day and age, it’s way too easy to consult Google so I don’t argue reasearchable shit either. I will engage in an intelligent discussion of opposing views, but when things gets heated…nah, son…I’m backing off. You can look stupid by your damn self.

“I know I contradicted myself, look I don’t need that now.”

Feelin’ It, Reasonable Doubt, 1996

I am not the same person I was in 2000. Hell, I’m not even the same person I was a month ago. I’m at my finest every single day. The only thing that changes is my definition of fine so if you think you’ve caught me in a contradiction well good for you. I’m glad you’re paying attention. I’m a dynamic little mofo; I spend a great deal of time trying to become a better me than I was the day before so if I’ve said or believed yesterday something that contradicts what I say or believe today, it’s because I’ve grown. Once upon a time, I would NEVER date a man with kids and was repulsed by the thought of it. Now days, since I have a kid of my own, I don’t mind so much. Don’t expect me to get all excited just because he pays child support, but having a kid doesn’t automatically disqualify a man like it did in 2001.

I could go on and on and on and on…E. Badu. Jay-Z has not only provided me with words of wisdom, but snappy retorts as well, dig a hole being one of my favorites. Actually, most of my life is based on musical geniuses: Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Common (Why do I need id to get id? If I had id I wouldn’t need id) and a host of other artists who inspire me with their supreme lyrics. Without Jay-Z, I’d be arguing with a crazy bitch about some shit I said that I decided to change my mind about. Because of his infinite knowledge, I’m a much better woman.

“I sell ice in the winter, sell fire in hell/I am a hustler baby, I sell water to a well”

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