Speak On It: @CALanaSmith Asks, How Bad Do You Want It?
HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
Written by: Lana Ave.
The informal use of the word “grind,” which is to work or study laboriously, has historically been adopted by the Hip-Hop culture. We’ve taken on the pride that’s associated with working hard to get what we want and own it. However, when I look around at the new generation of aspiring rappers and singers I wonder if the intensity of the grind has been lost or diminished.
I can’t tell you how many people have asked me to help them with song writing and artist development only for them to consistently drop the ball. At first I thought maybe they felt I wasn’t offering the productive help they thought they needed. But when they kept returning with a short-lived “refreshed commitment,” I realized it wasn’t me. It was them. The grind got to be too much work for them. They didn’t want to rehearse the same songs over and over again until they could perform them effortlessly. The studio hours were too late at night, too long, or cut into their weekend fun. What killed me were the ones who wanted me to write songs, locate tracks for them and decide how they should perform. I’ve had people ask me to script their ad lib. Really? The term ad lib means something improvised in speech; at one’s pleasure. Where’s the willingness to be creative? How can you show the world what you got when you’re only giving them all I’ve got?
This is the GRIND people. Get on it! It’s what it is to be Hip-Hop; to use your talent and dedication to overcome despite those who aim to oppress you. You don’t do that by slouching. Look at Russell Simmons, P. Diddy, Rev Run, LL Cool J, Will Smith, Ludacris, Queen Latifah, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lil Wayne. These are the people I chose as examples because they’re not new to this. Where they are today took years and years of dedication, some of which we as an audience have been privy to. They’ve all worked hard and continue to grind because they decided to attain their goals, not just talk about them. Earned success requires you to put in long hours, learn your craft and master it. To make it and make a profit in any business you have to study the game and play with strategy. But you can’t play if you don’t show up. Buckle down and get focused. Hip-Hop has never been a business for the lazy. We claim what’s ours. Now go get it!