10 Lessons That I've Learned From Kanye West
Every step of the way, people have told Kanye West he "can't" do something. He's been out there with his problems, he's been out there with his mental illness, he's been out there with his dreams and he's achieved all of them. Is he a happy person? I don't know. Mental illness is a hard fulltime job. But I got to give him credit for his genius.
1. DON'T BE LABELED
He was a grammy nominated producer. But everyone said, "you're just the producer. You can't rap." He didn't have the gang background which was popular at the time. So everyone wanted to keep him in the producer role.
His first rap album, "The College Dropout", has sold over 4,000,000 copies.
Same with fashion. Everyone said to him, "You can't" be in fashion. Now UBS values his sneaker and fashion business at around $4 billion.
2. Don't let other people define who you are.
“Everyone's always telling you to be humble. When was the last time someone told you to be great?”
3. DON'T BLINDLY FOLLOW THE RULES OF SOCIETY
His mother, a professor said, ""It was drummed into my head that college is the ticket to a good life..For Kanye to make an album called College Dropout it was about having the guts to embrace who you are, rather than following the path society has carved out for you"
4. Idea Sex
Idea sex: "The College Dropout", his first album. He didn't imitate the gangsta-style records he was producing for, he combined: children's choirs, gospel music, orchestral music, soul, R&B, chain gang chants. Take a chance against EVERYONE's advice?
5. Look to everyone for inspiration
In "Graduation", West went further from his rap roots and was influenced by U2, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash. The album hit #1 instantly and sold 1mm records its first week. DON'T PLAY IT SAFE! Then you die.
6. Love the haters
I need to pay more attention to this one.
7. Don't outsource your self-esteem to brands
People feel they become important when they associate themselves with brands they feel are important. They wear the t-shirts with the logo or the flashy car. Kanye was determined to become his own brand. Don't outsource your self-esteem:
8. Be Honest About Your Problems
When he was $53 million in debt and he was basically broke, he was honest about it, he wrote music about it, he even publicly asked Mark Zuckerberg for money.
Vulnerability buys freedom. If you don't have to live up to other's expectations, you are free forever.