Itâ€™s pretty much undisputed at this point there is a connection between successful venture capitalists & entrepreneurs, and listening to hip-hop music.
This is totally unscientific, of course. But it makes total sense to me now.
I donâ€™t know when it started, but these days, Iâ€™m seeing it everywhere.
And I know itâ€™s crazy, and I know Iâ€™m making something out of nothing here, but I sincerely believe that there is a correlation between ambition and listening to rap.
Hereâ€™s Ben Horowitz (of A16Z, investors in Instragram, Airbnb, etc.) talking about how Kanye Westâ€™s Stronger helped Ben process “11th-hour, late-night auditing mishaps that almost stymied the $1.6 billion sale of Opsware.â€
We also know that Horowitzâ€™ love of hip hop was a factor in the firmâ€™s $15M investment in Rap Genius, a rap lyrics site that is trying to be the meta-data layer above everything (actually a cool idea).
Hereâ€™s Mark SusterÂ (a well-known blogger and VC) relating his entrepreneurial experience to 8 Mile.
Pretty sure Fred Destin listens to it even though he claims his main influence is Crystal Castles.
And hey, hereâ€™sÂ Shervin PishevarÂ (Uber, Tumblr, etc.) tweeting out Pusha T lyrics. Clearly Iâ€™m onto something.
“Ballers put numbers on the boards. How could you relate when you’ve neverâ€¦ â™« Numbers On the Boards by Pusha T â€” https://t.co/Wr0fdMFU3Q
â€” Shervin Pishevar (@shervin) October 16, 2013
Am I just seeing things? Maybe.
But Iâ€™ll tell you what listening to outrageous, sometimes super arrogant music does to you.
It pumps you the fuck up.Â It makes you feel capableâ€” like you can take on the world.
I think that either ambitious people listen to hip-hop, or, rap makes people ambitious. You decide. But check this.
A lot of rap actually is about business.
Letâ€™s take an easy one:Â 10 Crack Commandments by Notorious B.I.G.Sure itâ€™s about slinging crack-cocaine. But it also actually offers good advice.
[Rule] Number 2: Never let em know your next move
Number 4: Never get high on your own supply (never believe your own press)
Number 7 (this rule is so underrated): Keep your family and business completely separated
Other songs teach you about haters, about spending too much money, or focusing on yourself instead of others.
Now, a lot of people might say itâ€™s a bad idea to take advice from egomaniacs.
Nonsense! I think thereâ€™s something to learn from everyone, as long as you consider the source before deciding. (I also think this about crappy self-help booksÂ btw.) And hey, they did make money, they clearly know something.
Anyway if you wanna get yourself hyped-up, hereâ€™s my top 5 tracks to get me super enthusiastic.
And in case youâ€™re wondering about my credibility wellâ€¦ this was before your time, but although I am the whitest man alive, I did have a hip-hop radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. So. 🙂
Anyway, enjoy! Now go do something amazing.
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