Become a Student of the Game

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A true master of the game is a true student of the game.

Thereís one thing thatís common in the game today and something thatís common in general with artists, and that is ignorance of their craft. And itís not only just ignorance, itís also pride in Ignorance. The problem is a lot of niggas think that itís ok to be in the game without any knowledge of the art nor what came before or what the hell theyí doing. They just get in and they just, do. As Fung Shui and Confucius that shit might sound, in this case it is no bueno.

The reason I say that this is no good, is because that any true master of the game, any great artist, will tell you the same thing, and it is that a master of the game is a student of the game. This means simply that for you to achieve success and longevity in the music industry, you have to always be on your toes. You have to always study your craft. Now Iím not saying that if you a rapper that you got to know all the forefathers of Hip-Hop, and all the classics that were dropped in the 90ís (way too many to name anyways), but you should know some shit. At the very least, donít think that you can just come in the game with no knowledge of the business, the art or anything, and that youíre going to last forever, let alone thrive in it.

Every genre has its own rules, its own methods, its own history and culture. If you come into it not knowing anything about it, how do you expect to thrive in it? Thatís like a nigga who ainít never played ball, picked up a basketball, and just started throwing the ball around and shit, and a few times he got lucky and got the ball in the hoop, but overall he doesnít win the game. Why, because the nigga that knows how to play basketball is breaking the other dudesí ankles and actually getting the ball in the hoop a good percentage of the time or at least enough to beat the dumb nigga.

Itís the same thing with music. A lot of dudes come in the game, mumble some shit on a track, make a hit or two, run with the buzz, and have no fucking clue what to do next. Why? Cause they donít know the game. Now let me let yall know, I have nothing against Mumble rap or pop, I love that shit. Iíll bump Future and Young Thug just as proudly as Iíll bump Nas, or KRS-One. The only thing that I usually see with the pop rapper though, is that these niggas be acting like they ride the short bus to school. Unprofessionalism in everything they do and people think itís cool. That is no bueno.

So in the end, what should a serious artist or industry professional do? Itís simple, have some knowledge of your craft. Study your shit, whatever it is, especially if youí a rising artist. Whether it be people in your specific genre or subgenre. By doing this, you understand and master your craft better, and therefore make better music because youíre learning from someone great who did it before you, then you take it and go further by expanding upon said art form.

So if youí a DJ who wants to perform at clubs, study the DJís in your genre thatís popping and learn from them and expand upon it and create something original. If you a Trap rapper, study Gucci, Future, Jeezy or anybody else in that genre and understand the genre and expand upon it. Are you trying to be a lyrical, conscious rapper, then study Cole, Kendrick, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and so on, and then expand upon what you learn.

When you do these things, thatís how you become a full master of the game, whatever game you may be playing and this means success. So remember kiddos, a Master of the game is a student of the game.

Written by: Jean-Bernard Lauture

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