How Quasimoto taught business.
You can learn about business in many different ways and inspiration for ideas or the motivation to succeed can come from everything around you. I listen to a lot of Hip Hop and I’ve noticed that, amongst the rhymes, many artists pass on knowledge and experiences, just like your business mentors. So I decided to analyse what I hear and apply rap lyrics to business. Each week, I shall showcase a different artist and this week, it’s the Lord Quasimoto.
I’ll let Quas’ record label, Stones Throw, tell you a little more about him before we get the class in session…
Quasimoto first came to life on Madlib’s personal beat tapes in the producer’s early years, the mid-90s in Oxnard CA. These beat tapes were private music, made for himself and a small circle of local smokers and their car stereos.
By the time of Quasimoto’s debut album The Unseen, most had caught on to the fact that Madlib and Quasimoto were one in the same.
Find out more about the man (Madlib) behind this character here, or read on as I dig deeper into the Lord’s business lessons.
“In the 12th grade thinkin’ about million dollar riches”
Microphone Mathematics — The Unseen (2000)
We’ll make Quasimoto the same age as Madlib because, after all, it is his alter ego. With this information we can see that Quas was already thinking about million dollar riches at the age of around 17/18 years old. Although he may not have been actively doing something to achieve it at that stage, you should or at least be encouraging young people to. The idea of getting started early in order to achieve your goals is an important one because it allows for valuable experience and lots of mistakes. Making these mistakes at a young age means you’re learning from them quite early on your path and you’re giving yourself lots of time to experiment, learn, build and experience what it will take to reach your goal. If you know Madlib you’ll know that being hugely rich has never been his goal as an artist so the riches he refers to here may not be money but rather the richness of being able to be creative and live your dream. This is definitely something to consider as an entrepreneur and you’ll find out why in the next line…
“Oh, them some n*ggas let the money control the soul
And flip their goals, and end up in holes”
Real Eyes — The Unseen (2000)
Here, Quas is specifically speaking about the music industry and artists but the idea behind it can apply to a business. Money shouldn’t be the only motive. You need to Real Eyes that there is much more to life and if you let money control the soul you’ll end up in holes. When becoming rich becomes your only goal you’ll begin to lose what is important in life and you won’t enjoy what business is all about; connecting humans and providing a product/service to make our lives better.
“Always programming a new type of Antidote in your perimeter”
Discipline 99 pt.1 — The Unseen (2000)
Madlib has always approached his beat-making with a lot of creativity and is known for using peculiar samples but ensuring his influences are still noticeable. This is a pretty true statement even for Quas as the ‘fast forwarded, high pitched’ voice is an innovative approach to rap music. Again this ideology can be applied to business because you should always strive to program a new antidote. Be creative and be innovative. If you’re not very creative, then surround yourself with creative people and draw from their thought processes and get inspired. Take all of this and pair it with your strengths so you can start to create the antidote to cure whatever problem your business solves or is looking to solve.
“There’s more than just size, It’s all about do you got heart?”
24–7 — The Unseen (2000)
There are two ways that this line can be contextualised.
- It doesn’t matter how tiny your current team is or how small your current customer base is because the goal of any business is to grow. Growing is going to be hard and it’s all about do you got heart?. You have to believe in the decisions you make and believe in the whatever you deliver for it to have any chance of success. This is usually natural so if you don’t have your heart behind a decision or idea then re-evaluate and change so that you do. Having passion and belief will push whatever you are working on to new heights and it will also keep you focused.
- It doesn’t matter how huge your current team is or how large your current customer base is because the goal of any business is to be great. Now growing a business can be easy when you are accumulating a bunch of customers for different reasons such as pricing and marketing. But how many are happy? There are many businesses that are getting away with giving bad customer service and/or selling bad products and it all depends on if you got heart? to care about this or not. Don’t be a money-hungry entrepreneur. Think about your customers and see yourself in their shoes to constantly improve whatever you provide.
“Maybe if you let it grow naturally you’ll accomplish much more dear”
Another Demo Tape — The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas (2015)
Although this isn’t a direct line from Quas, the sample is used to back up the point being made; take your time, work on your craft and you’ll accomplish much more. If it’s forced its usually not good. So find inspiration, research thoroughly, deliver good shit and if you’ve executed well; everything will grow naturally.
“I don’t move slow, I get my cash flow
And then I go where brothers don’t know, I’m on the down low”
Fatbacks — The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas (2015)
Don’t take this the wrong way and rush whatever you are working on. The point being made is rather; don’t go too slowly either. If you’re making progress every day as an aspiring (or current) entrepreneur then you’re on the right track. You also need to innovate each day and go where brother’s don’t know. This is what drives a business forward and it’s key to solving our biggest problems. Whilst doing all of this, keep on the down low and be humble. Let your product or service do all the shouting and showboating, nobody in business (or anywhere else for that matter) will appreciate you being pretentious or pompous.
I recommend giving a listen to these songs by Quasimoto as well as the full albums. I’ll be back with another rap artist next week. If you like what you’ve read then let me know by throwing a tweet @ me, and be sure to follow me on Medium to see future posts from this series and more!