We live in an era of instant gratification. I call it the microwave generation. An entire group of man and woman-childs who have that ever deserving sense of accomplishment, without ever really doing anything. A generation of grown ass children who have set out to make a difference via facebook post. I am not discrediting the dedicated activists who spend their entire existence fighting for a greater cause; no, they are not included in this conversation. I am talking about the spoiled, selfish, ignorant youth who have yet to leave the confines of their safety net, and venture off into the real world. Maybe this is a self-inflicted rant. Maybe I am just fed up with the copious amounts of brainwashing the media has perpetrated on this generation. Maybe, I just need a drink. A great woman once said: Its happy hour somewhere. (Please excuse the underlying feminist insinuations throughout this piece; I promise, it is harmless.) My point is: We need to take control. I can go on a bluster of quotes from reputable men and women who have been lost in the pages of history books, or I can make my own. I think as young people, we are not privy to the idea of growing old. We are not aware of the consequences of our actions, because we have yet to reap them. We think being good enough is just enough. Where is the fight? Where is the perseverance? And why are we so accepting of mediocrity?
I’m from the old school, well at least my driver’s license says so (I feel like I’m 22 but that’s another story). Nonetheless, I’m not so disconnected that I feel like someone such as Lil B is an abomination. I like Lil B; I think he’s clever and he has a niche. My colleagues, however, feel otherwise. Most of them are 27+ and they think he’s a rap parody. I understand what Lil B represents as an artist. On the flip side, there’s artists like Jay Electronica: straight lyricism, hard beats, and a message. There needs to be a balance in order for us to thrive. How does that relate to taking control? Let me explain my crazy theory.
Regardless of the messenger, there’s still a message. Lil B has over a million twitter followers. He can say “Love Yourself, You are amazing” and 500,000 people will retweet him. That is what I call significant to the generation. Here you have a rapper known for occasionally vulgar and misogynic lyrics, but he’s using his platform to spread positivity. He speaks at refined institutions such as MIT. He created a cult following based solely on his ability (or non-ability depending on who you speak to) to rap. Music transcends all forms of communication. It is the one constant in our lives that brings people together in good times and in bad. Jay Electronica on the flip side goes into hiding. He tweets maybe once a light year, and has yet to release an actual project. However, his words hold just as much weight as a Lil B. Two opposite sides of the spectrum, commandeering a generation of lost souls.
Imagine a million people with the drive and force of a Lil B or a Jay Elec. Imagine a group of people dedicated to waking up, saying “I’m not standing for the bullshit today”, and taking control. Imagine the protesting, the rallies, and the petitions on a grander scale. Why isn’t it possible? Why can’t we, as young people, use the blueprint and fight for what is rightfully ours. Why can’t we achieve greatness? WHY CAN’T WE TAKE CONTROL?
Because we’re lazy.
Greatness does not come from sitting at home on the internet. Greatness is hard work; its doing things we don’t want to do, to get where we want to be. It’s about taking initiative. Everybody wants to be a rapper, but doesn’t want to learn the history or the business. Everybody wants to own a clothing line, but has no idea what e-commerce and SEO entails. Everybody wants to be a boss, but has not the inkling of clues where to begin. Taking control starts with you. Taking control begins with changing habits. “Know Yourself” is not just a catchy Drake song, it’s indefinitely the motto (no pun). Once you have mastered yourself, you can accomplish anything. Envision a world where people helped each other accomplish greatness. Imagine Reciprocity.
I am not saying everybody go out and become the next Lil B or Jay Electronica, they are one of a kind. I am simply stating that we should learn from them. We should know that anything is possible with drive and dedication. We need to take control before someone else does. There are no more excuses. The time is now.