1. Keep Your Ego In Check
On Track 1 of Jay-Z’s latest album, 4:44, he dives into the mysterious world of Ego and where it can take you if you don’t keep it in check. Jay talks about sensitive situations from shooting his brother to the change that he needs to make to raise his daughter - Blue Ivy. One situation that he addressed, was the stabbing of Lance “Un” Rivera, on December 1st, 1999, at an album release party for Q-Tip. All this while rapping in 3rd person as if Jay-Z is synonymous with his ego; different from the man Sean Carter. Jay-Z led Sean Carter to the feeling of being invincible and untouchable. This ego made him cheat on his wife. Bye Jay-Z.
Keep Your Ego In Check!
2. You Can’t Run Away From Being Black
Light-Nigga, Dark-Nigga, Foe Nigga, Real Nigga, Rich Nigga, Poor Nigga, House Nigga, Field Nigga….still Nigga. No matter what we try to label ourselves, no matter how successful we become and no matter how much we try to fit in, at the end of the day we’re all the same. An epitome of this realization is the “Story of OJ”. A documentary to check out if you haven't seen it is ESPN’s "OJ Simpson: Made In America." The film exposes the dynamics of America, where OJ Simpson - an extraordinary athlete with a Heisman Trophy on his resume & prominent public figure, talks about how his “biggest accomplishment is being viewed as a man first, not a black person”; forgetting that we’re all disrespected; man, woman, or child.
3. Live Your Truth
Smile. Remember, it takes more muscles to frown than smile. Live Your Truth, as Charlamagne Tha God would say. It’s better to spend this lifetime on Earth making the best of who we are and our opportunities. There’s no such thing as a loss as long as you learn a lesson from it. Gloria Carter, the mother of Sean Carter (a.k.a Jay Z) is featured on the end of her son's song - where he addressed her sexuality and his appreciation of her no matter that sexuality. Jay-Z also talks about how on this path on Earth, we may face obstacles but as long as we persevere and prepare for our future, the ending of happiness will be rewarded for those who live their truth.
4. Watch Out For The Snakes
Too many people try to disguise their agendas hiding behind a facade and bad energy. We come across these people on a daily basis. One thing that should be addressed, is if this track is a subliminal diss to Drake. From the sample choice to the lyrics, Jay definitely seems to be taking shots at the 6 God.
5. True Love & Honesty is Key
There are certain principles in life that allows you to transcend your circumstances in a positive and less destructive manner. One of these principles is the ability to live hones and to also not tamper with the love that God puts in your path. That’s it.
6. Keep The Family Together At All Costs
“What’s better than 1 billionaire? 2 - especially if they’re from the same hue as you.”
The family is the foundation of excellence in the community and the base of the continuance of a legacy. Trials & Tribulations will be on the road to creating a successful family but at what length will you go to protecting the family. The difference between a wise man & a smart man is the fact that a wise man learns from another man mistakes; the mistake being Jay-Z cheating on his wife; the legendary Beyonce Knowles. Keep The Family Together At All Costs.
7. Protect Your Respect
Could this be Sean Carter re-addressing his ego counterpart “Jay-Z”? Don’t let Sean Carter (the family & businessman) get you confused, Jay-Z will still come out you. Still keep the ego, ambition, and passion in a healthy place.
8. Time To Get Out Of “The Sunken Place”
In the process of this life, an illusion of life unfolds that could lead to disillusion (ex. Donald John Trump). Behind the illusion is comfort due to old-school habits. In order to get anything accomplished in this lifetime, one must stay focused on the mission and our path. “The Sunken Place” - deriving from the commercially and critically acclaimed movie: Get Out, is the representation of the state that many of us might find ourselves in on our quest to greatness. We must fight to stay out “The Sunken Place” and continue to align ourselves with our true path.
9. Remember Your Roots
To get where we want to go, excitement, success, ego, confusion, and excess ambition might overcome us. Remembering our roots will allow us to be dignified our our path in life. The roots of a tree are what soaks up all the rain from the dark days, which allows it to grow. The rain being our knowledge and knowledge of self. Our past allows us to understand who we are and the direction we’re suppose to be heading. Never forget your roots.
10. Create or Continue a Legacy for Your Family, at all Costs
Black Excellence, We Gon’ Let 'em See.
Find the source of pride in the legacy of your family. The position of your family might not be where you think it should be, or it’s continuance may be getting slowed down. It’s the hurdles that comes with life for us at this time. This lesson is a 360° circle of all the lessons of above. Why? Due to the fact that the first nine lessons allows you to continue your legacy. As long as you apply these Sean Carter... or Jay-Z lessons, you set the future generation of your family up for success. Don’t be selfish with your time on this planet. Never forget, your “Legacy” proceeds you.