An Exploration of Financial Independence Through Hip-Hop/R&B Lyrics
Music and Financial Independence
When you listen to music, does your mind drift off to thinking about financial independence? I know this may sound crazy, but mine does. And the minds of the bloggers who contributed to my financial independence hip-hop playlist.
If you are not a personal finance enthusiast, I am sure you probably do not see the connection between your musical playlist and the pursuit of FI.
But, since I am a self-proclaimed personal finance addict, I do! I promise to show you how the two are connected by reinterpreting some of the lyrics. Some of the key concepts we will explore are drifting, the power of belief, and deliberate practice.
The majority of the song lyrics we will analyze will be from the Hip-Hop/R&B genre, but since I have an eclectic taste in music, I’ll sneak in one or two songs from other genres to make our exploration flow as smoothly as possible :-).
Let’s begin by exploring this concept of drifting. To do this, we will take a look at Ottis Retting’s hit song Sitting On the Dock of the Bay.
Sitting On the Dock of the Bay
Let me put on my wireless earbuds and put the volume on full blast (do this at your own risk)! The lyrics that catch my attention are:
I left my home in Georgia
And I headed for the Frisco Bay
‘Cause I’ve got nothin’ to live for
Looks like nothin’s gonna come my way, soI’m just come sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay, wastin’ time
*Fun Fact Commercial*
While doing some research about how this song was made, I learned that Ottis Retting got the inspiration for this one from listening to the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Unfortunately, Otis was killed in a plane crash a month before the song’s official release.
Okay, the commercial is over. Let’s get back to the next topic…
Don’t Stop Believing
This next track by the band Journey is one of my favorite songs. Let me hit play for you. It begins, “Just a small town girl/ Living in a lonely world/ She took the midnight train/ Going anywhere…” Killer intro but the part I love is repeated three times at the end.
don’t stop believin’
hold on to the feelin’
Abundance vs. Scarcity Mindset
After not seeing any results from my efforts, I adopted a scarcity mindset. I believed opportunities were simply not available to me. They were only available to the lucky ones. You know, those folks who have all the right connections. My belief was that life was unfair and I would have to float in the sea of mediocrity for the rest of my life.
Although none of this was true, I believed it. I could not see the opportunities Martin Luther King Jr. prophesied would open up to me because I was blinded by this scarcity mindset. Now that I have adopted an abundance mindset, I can see opportunities all around me.
Like Mr. Horatio, I have become cognizant that many of these opportunities come disguised as problems. He saw that there were no healthy food options and coffee shops in the community, and he decided to do something about it. That’s why I had to feature him in my story about growing up in the ghetto.
Back when Martin Luther King Jr. was living, having an abundance mindset simply wasn’t enough. People were systematically denied learning opportunities (this is still true in some countries). Today no one can stop me from learning in-demand skills on the internet.
In my mind, there are an abundance of opportunities available to me, and I just have to take advantage of them.
I was once blind, but now I see. My mindset currently is more similar to one of my favorite artist 6lack. He explains on his mindset on his song Rules.
Rules for Success
Rule number one no explaining
Rule number two no complaining
10, 000 hours like it’s nothing
I take my hardest times and turn ’em into something
Instead of complaining about the lack of opportunity, 6lack decides to turn his hardest times into something. He does this by applying the concept of deliberate practice to master his craft.
In his book Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise, Anders Ericsson explore how the concept of deliberate practice can be used to master a certain skill. Deliberate practice, unlike regular practice, is practice with a purpose. There are so many different fascinating stories in this book. One that stands out to me is an experiment where he trains a man to remember more than 100 digits.
How in the world does someone remember that many digits? Must he or she be a member of the Illuminati? Nope. The answer is deliberate practice.
When learning about this concept, images popped into my head of Nina Simone practicing the piano for countless hours. Michael Jackson being forced by his father to practice his dance moves until he got them perfect. You see, deliberate practice requires feedback.
The same type of feedback I received when my mom forced me to look up words in the dictionary I did not know after writing summaries of articles. Using the power of deliberate practice is the secret sauce to achieving financial independence sooner rather than later. How so?
I believe you can increase your income through the use of deliberate practice. My friend Erik from the Mastermind Within recently wrote this highly informative article called 5 Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money This Year.
The five side hustles he recommends are:
- Website Developer
- Social Media Management
- Small Business Content Management
- Graphic Design (My coworker’s side hustle 🙂
All of his recommendations require you to possess these skills already or learn them through the strategic use of deliberate practice.
Now that we have discussed all of the topics I mentioned in the introduction, that’s a wrap, folks! Time to put my phone away. My data is limited now (2 GB a/month), and I am moving outside of my WiFi’s range…
I hope that I have convinced you that there is a connection between listening to your favorite songs and your journey to financial independence. If not, I at least hope you have enjoyed some of the lyrics.
Don’t stay in drift mode too long. Don’t stop believing. And use the power of deliberate practice to gain those in-demand skills! Best of luck to you on your journey.
- Do you think of financial independence when listening to your favorite songs? If so, how are they connected?
- Tell us about a time where you have used the power of deliberate practice to master a new skill
- Have you enrolled in the SaverLife Savers program? If not, what are you waiting on? Take action now by clicking the link in my bio!
Jerry is a Business Insider Contributing Writer who is obsessed with personal finance. He believes you can improve your financial situation by applying principles taught by the financial independence community to your financial life.
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