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The Game of Life Ain't Based on Sympathy

If you are a lover of Hip-Hop then you should already know that there are messages delivered through the music that are extremely impactful. These messages are usually perceived as detrimental to minds of the youth or they encourage empowerment and success. Given that Hip-Hop music usually stresses the need to accumulate wealth, how to get the lady or man of your dreams, and not becoming a victim in society; Hip-Hop should be perceived as proverbial guidance to listeners. For instance, on rapper Rick Ross’ album Rather you than Me he offers a timeless message to Black males growing up in neighborhoods across the United States and suggest that the game of life ain’t based on sympathy. According to Ross, Black males must know that “negative people just seem to fail first” and because of such failures we need to work harder by shooting for the magic as if we never heard of Dikembe Mutombo (one of the NBA’s best shot blockers). In other words, the rapper implies that as Black males, we must understand that no one will give us handouts and we must succeed despite knowing that we have “haters” trying to block our success.

One reason Rick Ross’ message is so powerful is because it clarifies why racist incidents such as what happened to LeBron James is not unusual. In 2016, a week before the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) finals, Lebron James received a hate message on the gate of his Los Angeles home. Why did he receive a hate message? Is it because he is a Black man in America, or is it because he is constantly seeking to master new positions in life because he has perfected the others? Whatever the reason, as Black men in America we must understand that people do not want to see us succeed. The haters of this world do not want us to succeed because they believe our raise is their fall. In other words, they are scared of a Black takeover. They think that once a Black male attains a position of power he will abuse it and punish them for their devilish ways. Therefore, in order to succeed despite such animosity, there are three principles to remember and follow:

  • Know the laws and rules in this country were designed without you in mind. The history of Black people in America is a history of strife. There was once a time when Black people were not considered humans in America and because of this, some people will still try to mistreat you as such. Therefore, know your worth and know that you cannot be brought. You and only you have the power to design yourself into whatever you want to become.

  • Treat everyone the same. By providing fair treatment to all people you are able to see who really supports you and who does not. That is to say, meet people with an open heart because it allows you to see their character and provides you with the ability to treat them accordingly.

  • Pay attention. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu declared a leader must ponder and deliberate before making a move. In order to follow Sun Tzu’s advice, one must pay attention because “he who only sees the obvious, wins his battles with difficulty; he who looks below the surface of things, wins with ease.” In other words, your purpose in the world is not to be a functioning zombie that is unaware of the trends and changes that occur in it. To simply put it, you must pay attention to details because when you pay attention to specifics, you are awarded insight about the future. You are able to predict things that will happen two and three years ahead because you understand attitudes, behaviors, and the thoughts people possess. That is to say, paying attention allows you to utilize your gift of second-sight.

Ultimately, when we understand that this game of life is not based on sympathy and acknowledge that we must fight for everything we need to attain, then we can understand that the hand which we are dealt in life is an uphill battle that will only makes us stronger and more appreciative of our efforts and outcome.

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