I must preface this by saying rap and hip-hop are not my thing. I’m a child of The Beatles and that era. When disco hit, music began to generally die for me.
But even though rap and hip-hop are not my thing, I still have respect for the forms. The lyrics are dense, complex, sometimes ciphers for insiders, and capture an energy that is somewhat alien to me. They pump out more words per minute than most songs have in several minutes! How they ever remember the lyrics is something everyone has to respect. That is one hell of a memory to have!
I had to watch episode 1 of Showtime’s Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men out of curiosity. I’m, um, exiled to he general area in which they were birthed. There’s an area named for them not far away.
I really didn’t expect to be surprised by anything in this episode. But I was.
The hustle that got them started is inspiring as hell.
After the break, a video I’ve put together from that first episode that should inspire the hell out of everybody. I hope Showtime doesn’t DMCA it away. It’s a damn good story and many people need to see it.
Look at all the variables at work there!
1) The guy they wanted help from was driving a bus!
2) Mook saw the seriousness is Rza’s eyes!
3) They’d been doing live shows, but they needed a record.
4) They got an important radio show to play their record.
5) It got played because the regular host of the show was off that night!
6) People who heard the record wanted it but it couldn’t be found.
7) Mook came up with a way to tap into demand that was invisible to others.
Jay Diamond once said, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
Mook had to sell that record.
And that’s just the story as it was told. Who knows what else happened that they might not even remember? For instance, how did they get the record cut? What obstacles might have been in their path then? There are always obstacles for just about everything. So there’s more to this story that we’ll probably never know.
But they got past all of those. And every obstacle they faced, they found a way around. They got their sound out there.
And that final point, number 7 — Mook came up with a way to tap into demand that was invisible to others — ties into this clip:
How many people saw rap and hip-hop happening on the street and thought nothing more of it? I was one of those people! Had I paid attention, and had it been something that resonated with me … who knows?
How many things have you seen and let pass by?
Let’s remember what Apple started with!
Easy to dismiss, right?
I really wonder how many things I’ve seen that were invisible opportunities.
You should wonder too!
Respect to Wu-Tang Clan and Mook.