Rap is an art

Music is an art, I think rap is an art as well as other kinds of music but because I listen to rap more than I do others, I feel like I can personally relate more to what I’m saying if I describe rap. To be honest, I could never change my view on rapping being an art just because of how I’ve personally learned about how diverse it is as I’ve listened to it over the years.

A while back, I was thinking as people usually do and a couple of songs popped up in my head which made me realise how many styles of rap there are (again) and within those styles of rap, there are sub-genres which involve different things like the beats and the delivery. The lyrical content is sticking point for me when I understand the lyrics because the lyrics could be a critique of society, a group of catchy one liners that happen to rhyme, a story, some bragging, or something else that I haven’t mentioned.

As I said before, this could be said of other genres but I mostly listen to rap as my song of the week posts will tell you. Some people talk about rap having gone downhill in recent years and all that jazz because people mumble and the lines are hard to understand. I used to agree with it but the truth is that, with every era of rap, the genre diversifies and allows for more potential greatness within the genre. Every rapper plays their part and whilst not every rapper is good, they bring something to the table because they appeal to somebody.

Music is something that does a lot for those that listen to it, or at the very least it does a lot for me. Like I said before, rap is an art; hopefully one day I’ll be able to explain it better but for now I’m going to appreciate it.

 

Winning…

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Winner

Personally, I just want to win in life, in fact I’m sure that everybody wants to win in life. I’m not going to go into what winning means for everybody because it’s subjective and I don’t have the answers. For me, winning means being where you want to be in life and constantly adding more W’s to your name but the thing is that it’s not easy to get to such a point. There are a lot of obstacles in life that will have so many effects on you, for me I have a job that I’m not particularly fond of and my money disappears quickly because of random commitments and I don’t even have it the worst out of all the people that I know. There are also random daily events that will lead to things unfolding that you never expected to see. One thing I’ll say is this, despite all of the shit that life throws at you, there can always be something to motivate you and help you continue on your way to winning.

I ask a lot of questions on this blog about achieving what you want from life or sometimes I just talk about it and it’s because I see a lot of people who are living proof of the things I want to see. One example that I’m going to give to you is Diddy, this guy is a living legend in my opinion. He got to be around The Notorious B.I.G, a musical great and that doesn’t even scratch the surface for me. The truth is that he just makes winning look easy, probably because he just doesn’t give a fuck. Diddy is a guy who definitely enjoys his money and lifestyle and when he isn’t… Actually lets be honest, he’s probably always enjoying his money and lifestyle which is why I’m aware that he’s always winning. Don’t believe me? Tell me who else in this world goes to a party in a car and leaves in a yacht (A FUCKING YACHT!) and who else in this world stops sex so that they can call their personal chef to serve them snacks. Diddy is a guy who clearly makes sure that he gets the most out of life.

I said earlier in this post that winning isn’t easy which I think is true, it’s probably one of the most frustrating things to do but I feel that we can agree that it’s very worth it. Everybody has the ability to channel their inner winner and disturb the sleep of a chef so that you can eat when you get hungry during sexy time. As hard as things will get, I think that there’s no reason to stop going after something when you know you want it.

In hindsight

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Me contemplating life (when I have my facial hair)

Not everything is for everyone and I’m happy that I’m learning this, it would have been better if I learned this earlier in life but at the end of the day, life is just a huge learning experience. The other day, I was thinking about a job that I didn’t get and it should have been depressing but it really wasn’t. In hindsight, I’m happy that I got rejected by the company and I’m seriously writing this.

If I had been employed by said company, I’d be working more hours, making more money, possibly having a better sleep pattern and one warning away from being fired. The reason that I believe the last part of that sentence is because the company is based in an area which is only served by one train that runs twice an hour (because fuck a metro train system), not to mention this train frequently gets cancelled. In other words, my employers would get really pissed with me despite doing my best to be on time because employers have no souls (and nobody is telling me otherwise).

Life is so shit when things don’t go your way, especially if you feel that you’ve worked hard enough for a break and I’m sure everybody reading knows this. I’ve had so many times where I’ve felt disappointed in myself for not doing what I felt should have been piloting my own life because things didn’t pan out the way that I wanted. The thing is, whatever happens, happens for a reason and it can work to your benefit. Cheesy lessons like letting go of things and looking forward whilst enjoying yourself are some of the wisest things that can be spread and they’ve definitely been some of the best things I’ve heard in my life. The amount of value that words like these hold can’t ever be underestimated.

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Me when I used to hear things like ‘Let it go’

Hindsight can be really helpful (probably not as helpful as foresight) for your mind. It makes it clear that things will make their way to you in due time (not like destiny because I don’t believe in that).

Hustling…

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I feel like I understand people who hustle more than I did before. I’m not too sure why but I feel like I just do and when I mean hustle, I’m not talking about the dictionary definition, I’m talking about those who think of ways to get ahead. You’ve got to hustle to get to where you want to be in life, that’s probably part of why it’s so fucking hard to progress at times (or at least in the case of what you want to do with yourself). When I think about it, I feel like people who have a hustle show ambition and the earlier you do it from the better.

During my first year in secondary school, there was someone who decided make a little bit of business for himself. He decided to innocently sell some chocolates for a good price (and the bars were pretty big), he managed to make a decent amount of sales and I’ll admit, he managed to get a sale out of me. In the end, it turned out that he didn’t get too far with his business because the chocolate was expired (I should have checked the date but I didn’t and it tasted good). To be honest, I was there when he got figured out and I’ve never seen somebody disappear so quickly in my life.

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When he got caught out

The guy had some questionable morals for making money off expired chocolate bars (but I have to respect an eleven year-old for being so crafty) but he somehow knew that he wouldn’t be caught out immediately, or he was just feeling brave. I don’t really know far you have to go in order to get what you want but clearly you’ve got to be willing to take a risk (even if it’s other people’s health) and it seems like those who are willing to risk more gain more because I know for a FACT that the person selling the expired chocolate didn’t give any refunds.

Obviously, I don’t respect every hustle, some things aren’t explainable like dealing arms and things on that level. If it’s something relatively harmless then I’m all for it because for me it shows the willingness to take risks and get something that you didn’t have before. Until a few days ago, this wasn’t in my head but I thought back to that situation and asked myself why I didn’t think of that.

Sometimes relax

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Me at work… A lot

If I haven’t said it before on this blog then I’ll say it now, I love work! The gloriousness of spending my most productive hours travelling and working, watching the day go by as I wonder what I could be doing with my time if I had the day off, telling myself that not all people who hurl abuse are shit humans and all of that jazz. You know what I mean? If not then you might know what I mean when I say that work can be rewarding when you go above and beyond the cause. This is something that I can legitimately appreciate…

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What I could be doing during those hours

I know I’ve said that I’m lazy somewhere on this blog, really lazy, really, really lazy (depending on what’s at stake) but with that being said I really do appreciate hard work, without hard work it’s unlikely that you’re going to achieve much. I feel like people have to be mindful of what they’re investing their energy into because rewards differ based on the situation, I also feel that relaxing doesn’t get enough credit. One thing I’ve learned from working is that you’ve got to be in the best frame of mind if you’re going to have any chance of taking the day on and to do that rest is needed. I know that not every working situation is ideal and so not everybody is afforded the time that they deserve to relax (if you earn minimum wage living in London then you might have to embrace your inner Oliver Twist and beg for more work unfortunately). For me I feel that if you’re constantly working yourself, you may make money and gain compliments along the way but you’re killing yourself to do it.

I don’t think this would be my line of thinking after being in my job for a while but there’s a man who I used to work with, he told me that he’s been working since his early teens and at one point he was working five jobs. The kind of conversations that I used to have with this guy made it clear to me that the working lifestyle is what he knows and what he’s used to. He’s actually a very hard worker and he’s the type of guy who’ll happily spend 16 of his 24 hours working if he has to, basically he’s somebody that any company would find to be extremely reliable if they had a sticky situation. He admitted to me that he practically lost his back to work, which I have to admit is very obvious and he also admitted that he doesn’t get as much time to himself which has worn on him (luckily, he got a better job). I’ll admit that I tried to take on more shifts once upon a time, I worked from 6am – 10pm over the course of a couple of days and I told myself that I was a fucking champion when I took those shifts. The thing is that it didn’t take long to realise that strong headaches and lack of sleep aren’t a good combo.

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My body when I took the extra shifts

So much time is spent working, I’m pretty sure that the retirement age for my generation is 71 so that’s an indication of how much more work the people around my age are going to have to do. If we lose or quit a job we have no choice but to find another one, money is a great perk but it shifts between going and coming. Time is more valuable and everybody has to look out for theirs, I’m not saying fuck work and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do your best when possible but there’s no denying that people put themselves second when they don’t always have to.

Since being in my job, I’ve met a decent amount of people who look as if they’re always refreshed even though they’ve been working from before I turned 10 and I’ve also met workers who look as if they’ve had enough of everything from when they step into work. There’s a difference between the way that these set of people are when I interact with them and I don’t think I need to say which group takes it easy.

Obviously, people can live life however they want, this is just my perspective. I know that I’m getting this one chance to live and I don’t want to sacrifice my wellbeing for shit. (You might think that I’m just ridiculously lazy reading this and I need to man up and if you do, I can’t on sight you so you can have this instead).

Quick Question time!

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Question time

Let me ask a question, do you allow the negative thoughts that others publicly have of you to motivate you to do better? I know that some people use it as motivation in order to prove the ‘haters’ wrong or maybe it just makes it feel that much sweeter when they’ve done well in the future and the ones who didn’t believe find out. I believe that it’s a good way to rationalise things, changing the negative into positive and pushing further with it but that doesn’t work for me, I have a hard time letting go of things.

I’ve said that I’m petty in the past and the truth is that when somebody is overly negative towards me I think “fuck you and everything that you stand for…Bitch!” Depending on how harsh the words are will depend on how long I hold on to the negativity. I want to do well and I can see why it would count as a way of telling the negative people that they’re wrong but I know that if I succeed because of the negativity then it wouldn’t satisfy me. It’s hard to describe but I’m not the type of person that wants to give someone who was negative towards me the satisfaction of knowing that they contributed to me doing better, I’m more the type of person who wants to achieve things in spite of negativity not because of it.

I feel that those who are negative towards you and don’t believe in you don’t deserve anything from you. Not even your insults, at the same time I know that everyone is responsible for their own lives and the paths that they take.

Not to get too far from the point, let me ask the question again, do you allow the negative thoughts that others publicly have of you to motivate you to do better?

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When you do well in life and the negative ones see you

 

  • I feel like I’ve said torture people with success at some point on this blog, but disregard those words from me

Pressures…

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Under pressure

There are a lot of pressures in life but is it me or are some of these pressures unnecessary? The amount of things that are expected from people doesn’t always make sense to me if I’m being honest. I’ve said before that I feel life is meant to go the way that we want it as long as we put in the work that’s required but with that being said, what I feel is in no way correct (it might not make sense to some). These pressures that we’re meant to come out on top of can really ‘defeat’ us; we all know that not everybody finds a partner, some of those who find partners get married and find that there’s no love, not everybody gets their dream job and not everybody lives into their elderly years having friends.

I’ve always felt that these expectations are silently placed on us and it becomes easy to feel like failures for not achieving these things, even though the possibility of not achieving these expectations is very real. Do I feel that this is fair? That’s something that I feel you know the answer to and now I think about it, it’s not really relevant to the point.

What I want to know is how you deal with the pressures that I mentioned before? I know that thinking about these things for a long time can be trying which ultimately leads to dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Do you reckon that these things even matter as much as they’re made out to? What pressures do you feel are unnecessary? Let me know.

Thoughts on worrying…

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One thing I’ve noticed about myself is that I spend a lot of time worrying to myself about loads of things when it comes to my future. So many times the same questions come up, things like where am I going to be? What will I be doing? Who will be around me? It’s normal to be worried about something that you care about since we don’t know the answer to these questions. I’ve heard so many times that worrying isn’t a good thing because it’s not going to get you anywhere which is true. Life goes in whatever direction that it feels like and we don’t get a say in it which pretty much gives us fuel to worry about things because we may be making moves but we don’t know if they’re the right move and there’s never a way to find out (saying right can bring about more questions since that’s subjective as well). I’m someone who likes to feel as if I’m in control of things which is why I may never stop worrying.

I’m not really sure if worrying is all bad; I know that it can be terrible but at the same time it can be utilised positively. A couple of weeks ago I watched a video of somebody who had no idea of what he was going to do with his life, he was worried about what to do because the future that he saw for himself was taken away from him. Eventually he decided to have a go at re-voicing characters from his favourite series just for the fun of it and it ended up working out well for him. I feel like we should worry at times for our own sakes, there were a couple of times where I guess I was worry free because the situation allowed for it but I got too comfortable and it led to me having some regrets. If worries can lead to action being taken, then it may be for the best. I’ve learned time and time again that if you want something done then take action. I don’t think that there’s a problem with being motivated to do better out of fear because sometimes having positive beliefs about where you’re going and pushing your worries to the back of your head can wear and if I’m being honest, it’s not like life is all roses. BAD SHIT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU AT SOME POINT BECAUSE IT LOVES TO DO SO!

This doesn’t mean that I’m fully trying to fully advocate worrying because I don’t want to see blood pressures being raised or find out that someone read this post and ended up having a nervous breakdown, I’m just saying that it’s not a bad thing to care about something. Worrying is a blessing and curse in a way.

I can see why not worrying has its benefits, but I think it’s the small things that will really show why. My worry free days didn’t always lead to regrets, in fact a couple of years ago I heard through the grapevine that I had a reckless attitude and as the rumour would have it, I went to party uninvited, didn’t say happy birthday, helped myself to a piece of cake and gracefully exited (does writing gracefully make it less of a dick move?) was I worried about what happened next? No. Should I have been? That can be debated at another time. At the time I wrote this post, I was at work wearing the wrong uniform (which I promised I would change a few days earlier), was I worried that I straight up lied and will continue to wear the wrong uniform in the future? No! Like I said, the little things shouldn’t worry you.

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Would this guy really steal cake?

Not to get too far from the point of the post, I know that worrying isn’t healthy but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used to your advantage. I guess it’s really a perspective thing.

Thoughts on Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

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(Possible spoilers)

After watching Black Lagoon, I had to watch Roberta’s Blood Trail and to be honest I should have watched it a lot sooner. I wrote some thoughts on Black Lagoon and the second barrage earlier in the year if you want to check that out as well. The OVA is aptly named to be honest and it follows the lagoon company, mostly Rock and Revy as they help Garcia Lovelace and his maid Fabiola Iglesias search for Roberta when she goes missing after the death of his dad. There’s more to the story than the goose chase as it brings the political nature of Roanapur into the light as well as Rock’s descent into the lifestyle of the city.

The first thing that stuck out to me was how much more story based these episodes were than the previous set of episodes. There was the occasional story arc however they didn’t last very long, not that you’d expect them to, given how many episodes were in each season; I reckon it could have gotten away with being a character of the day type show if it really came down to it. I felt like I craved some character development because Black Lagoon has an interesting cast of characters and Roberta was without doubt one of those characters. I’d be lying if I said that the OVA didn’t deliver on that front because I got to see the side of Roberta that she at all costs didn’t want to reveal to Garcia and I also got to see a different side to Rock. I feel like I should have seen the direction that Rock was going in but I didn’t which made it better.

This group of episodes might have been based on Roberta but I found that I was more interested in Rock’s story and his mindset. I feel like he had a less active role in the OVA as opposed to the series yet the focus never really stopped being on him; he gambled the lives of everybody on what came across as a game of chess (I’m still trying to figure out if it was an ego thing or not. He’s also starting to sound more like Light Yagami every time I read this) and you could see the lack of regard that he had for everybody since he seemed to be desperate to win. Yukio Washimine’s words about Rock really held some weight in this arc, at the start of it I thought that Rock was being the moral compass, especially because he seemed apprehensive when it came to helping as he knew that it wouldn’t end well but that really wasn’t the case. Rock really proved that he’s the guy that stays in the twilight zone between being normal and completely messed up and I thought that there might even be a case to argue that Rock enjoys the lifestyle.

I had no problem with the dark direction of the OVA, I felt like Black Lagoon and the second barrage were dark but it kind of creeped around the fact that it was dark if that makes sense. Since this wasn’t Rock actively comparing the morals of Roanapur to his own, it looked as if there was more leeway to show how dark the series could get. In all honesty I felt that the way these episodes were presented made everything better; I feel like I said that in Black Lagoon it was clear that everybody had skeletons in their closet and if those secrets were going to be explored then it only made sense that the series would go down a darker path. I will say that there were some moments that honestly made me scratch my head, I really didn’t expect to see some things and I tried to ask myself if they held any significance which I’m struggling to figure out; namely when Garcia kissed Roberta and when Garcia watched Roberta dry hump a soldier.

Even though five episodes were dedicated to this story, I still feel like I didn’t see enough episodes (or at least they could have made the episodes an hour). One thing that I’ve accepted about Black Lagoon is that it leaves me wanting more, luckily it’s coming back from hiatus so I’m looking forward to seeing the anime come back eventually and seeing the direction that Rock and Revy’s relationship goes after what Fabiola said.

Other thoughts:

  • A couple of the rebellious types I see on social media would like Roberta
  • When the series comes back I want to see more of a story involving Benny and Dutch
  • I wish they didn’t remix the opening theme song