Grade A Certified

"Wise Words From A Decent Man…"

Posted by J. Tinsley on July 9, 2009

Being successful is the one dream every person has. How important is it to you?

It’s been roughly twenty-one weeks since Drake’s “So Far Gone” catapulted him from underground favorite to the most sought after rookie in over a half-decade. This cult-like following has also strengthened the argument for S.F.G. to obtain the coveted label of “classic”, which it has from several industry peers such as Jay-Z and Jamie Foxx.

From message board to message board, site to site, tweet to tweet the final verdict regarding the tape has pretty much been accepted as a quality release from one of hip-hop’s more anticipated new artists. Personally, I find it hard to believe that many albums (or mixtapes) released this year match the creativity and flow Drake’s third project managed to encompass. Regardless of what the general consensus may result to, one track, however, has managed to escape criticism and only reap the highest praises.

Before I travel to work (regardless of which job it is), the same routine is followed to an almost unbreakable tee. After putting on my work clothes, I grab my Polo hoodie (when the weather permitted) and some sort of fitted, let’s say this one. Once in the car, regardless of what was playing from my last stint in the whip, is taken out and my “official copy” of Drake’s opus is inserted into the CD deck. From then until I pull in front of the work place, track three, “Successful”, which features the two artists who helped mold Drake’s career into where it currently stands, Trey Songz and Lil Wayne, is placed on repeat.

Not because it happens to be my favorite song off “So Far Gone”, but because, at least in my book, it represents so much more. Following the days after its leak, I received several text messages about this record ranging from “Successful is the best cut” to “Trey murdered the hook” to “I thought it was a typo when it said it featured Weezy”, all of which I happen to agree with.

More so than that, the track represents where so many people find themselves in life, between the cusp of greatness and their own definition of mediocrity. In essence, it’s the quote everyone says to themselves at some time or another while praying to a higher power or speaking to themselves, “I just wanna be successful.”

Personally, I encounter this every day. For as long as my memory allows me to flashback, music has always been a love of mine. I remember having internal battles with myself regarding how I, like so many others before me, could leave an indelible impression on the art, which for lack of a better expression, served as a father figure during my maturation. Through experience and life-taught lessons, I’ve learned sometimes the pressures we put on ourselves can prohibit us from reaching what we’re truly meant to be. A good friend of mine sent this text message months ago and has stuck with me ever since.

“You’re gonna be successful, pimp. Just remember to enjoy life and its many pleasures. You gotta hustle hard and hustle smart. Have fun and laugh…”

“Successful” embellishes the rawest human emotion displayed over a simple, yet soulfully slow instrumental. Slow enough for Drake to express whatever was running through his brain at that point and slow enough to ensure that each word was felt to its intended level. The wild part about it is, in the grand scheme of things, it’s only one story out of billions. Music was just the way Drake chose to express his.

Of the billions of songs I’ve listened to in my life, this has found its place in the elite category. It’s not Pac’s “Dear Mama” by any means, but it strikes that same nerve. The ability to relate to a song so much that you feel it was written specifically for you is a surreal feeling, almost indescribable. Some may say I’m overrating the song, but my response is this. Music affects each person in a different way, and this is what I took from it, no explanation required.

At the end of the day, it’s all about knowing what you want out of life and working harder than you could’ve ever imagined to obtain those goals. Anyone who is so fixated on making tomorrow better than today feels every word of this post. Late nights, early mornings, doing what you have to do now, to do what you want to do later happens to be the motto of every hardworking individual. Throughout the history of time, success has never come to a person who sits in their room saying what they WILL do.

“I want it all, that’s why I strive for it…”

It has always come to those brave enough to manifest those fantasies into their physical form.

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  1. YM said

    The first time heard successful was an emotional moment for me fam, I was saying my boy Songz got another hit record, 804 always. I was thinking like waiting all nite for the release of the mixtape was worth the wait, this album is a banger. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, this song Succesful spells out everything that I strive for being SUCCESSFUL!! WOOW this one of the realist songs I ever heard.

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