in the year of our lord, 2015, the great philosopher big sean (sean don if you're nasty) rapped, "i wrote myself a million dollar check in fifth grade/I put it on the wall and promised it'd be this way." while the line doesn't quiiiite rhyme, the motivational sentiment remains.
clearly, my man sean is also a proponent of the law of attraction. i was intrigued when i heard this lyric, as the LOA typically appeals to bizarre middle-aged white men that host sweat lodge retreats, millennials who read the secret and attribute every good or bad event to *~the universe~* (guilty as charged), and jim carrey. the basic tenet is that like attracts like, and that positive thinking brings about more positive circumstances in our lives. pretty straightforward stuff. and then, i realized what i love about hip-hop. well, besides those sick beats that i bump in my impreza en route to my corporate job, and the fetty wap lyric, "so fine, i swear i see you with my left eye." what i love is the unapologetic arrogance of its key players. all dj khaled does is win. every time you see drake, it looks like he hit the lotto TWICE. 2 chainz just ate a $300 hamburger. lil' wayne's been fly so long, he fell asleep on the fuckin' plane! nicki minaj is on a diet, but she's doing donuts in the six-speed. and don't even get me started on kanye.
while some may view this ridiculous bravado as off-putting, i think it should be an inspiration to us all, honestly. misogynistic lyrics aside, i think that all of the bragging and boasting can certainly be applied (more humbly, natch) to our own ambitions and pursuits. i won't go so far as to say that these mainstream rappers are lacking in talent; have you heard some of kendrick lamar's brilliant verses? but also, have you heard some of french montana's terrible verses? "shorty saw the wings on the car/she forgot about her plans for tomorrow?" i could probably freestyle something that's ten times better ... and probably have, after a few glasses of riesling. i think that was also the night i felt inspired by chris brown to change my tinder tagline to "i don't fuck with broke bitches." but i digress.
my point is, it seems to me that most of these guys quite literally faked it 'til they made it, writing rhymes about bugattis, bling, and bitches until that actually became their reality. or such is the story they tell us. for all we know, they could be living at a holiday inn and relying on food stamps. but we buy into their larger-than-life projections and set our sights on more for ourselves, with aspiring teenagers peddling mix tapes on the street and upper-middle-class women like myself trying to twerk at suburban dinner parties.
you may not dream about fancy cars or private jets or gold grills. personally, i'd feel pretty pimpin' with a six-figure salary, a published book, and an apartment with in-unit laundry. when i crank up the waka flocka flame as i'm churning out a blog post, or nod along with rich homie quan while i'm lugging my sheets and towels to the washing machine in the basement, all of those things feel a bit more within reach, thanks to their not-so-quiet confidence.come to think of it, i guess a million dollar check would be pretty nice, too.