Dance like nobody is watching.
Sometimes we take ourselves so seriously that the fun starts to disappear. It’s important to remember the passion and joyful exuberance which existed once upon a time within you. Don’t lose sight of the goal or the innocence. I’m not sure if Drake actually dances like that, but this might be the most enjoyable I’ve seen him in a video. Be yourself and keep the reigns tight but every now and then let a bit loose. If you can’t dance don’t worry about it. Trust your instincts and let it fly. This is a quality that’ll keep you authentic.
One of Drake’s biggest critiques from many a hip hop head was his “softness.” Much of that mentality changed in the eyes of many after the Toronto rapper dispatched Meek Mill. He followed up his beef with a playful sound and video. Hotline bling is so far from a sharp tongued battle but almost as successful. Drake can get a on Migos record or Rick Ross song and kill both. He can give you straight bars or punchlines and choruses. He can kill a drill record or a love song. Such versatility can be brought into a leadership space. You are going to travel through various spaces but can you always walk that walk if need be. Can you hear the people and be able to talk the talk in various languages.
Versatility gives you the ability to reach larger audiences; which in turn allows a chance you to influence more people. The leader who is only capable of speaking to one will not be able to reach the masses. The masses is how is how true impact happens. A one trick pony never wins the derby. Push yourself towards constant development. Learn skills that will help you navigate in and out of different spaces.
Hotline Bling was released on the same day Drake dropped his first Meek Mill battle track, Charged Up. While embroiled in a heated rap beef, this lovely little pop song was introduced to our eardrums. It gave listeners an opportunity to pick and choose which direction they wanted to go. Many of us listened to Charged Up then Back to Back shortly after. All the while Hotline Bling was just chilling waiting for everything to settle.
As a leader, it won’t always be as easy as handling one issue at a time. I’m not sure when the two songs were recorded, but the ability to exist in two worlds successfully is a trait we should seek to have. You may have to be ready for a class presentation during the day and introducing a major speaker in the evening. RA’s deal with it often. I can’t tell the number of times, I was called to break up a party at 2AM, only to be ready for a exam at 9am later that morning. Be ready to handle both. One true sign of leadership is the ability to answer the bell as it rings in multiple tones.
Be Inspired by the Past
Director X who wrote the treatment for the Hotline Bling video. One thing, I took away from an interview with Noisey.com was his reference to the Gimme the Light video, which he also directed. Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes it comes from something you’ve already done. Other times it exists in a space that was occupied before you. Don’t shy away from your old ideas, especially if they worked. Use them as tools to build new innovative versions. You can truly grow if you know what was happening before you. Avoid those prior mistakes or take a look at brilliance and reshape it.
Stay trill, folks.
MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 4 books of poetry, including his latest, Deconstructing Ratchet. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at firstname.lastname@example.org