The 48 Laws of Power for those who aren’t really familiar with it is probably one of the most inspirational books to have ever been written. The book tackles on how to handle every day life in a fearless mindset, how to deal with enemies and keeping yourself ahead in the chess game of life. Robert Greene knew that he found a solid fanbase being that artists such as 50 Cent has publicly admitted that he followed these laws so he can climb up the ladder of success in not only the rap game but also corporate America as well.
Robert Greene being the opportunist he is figured he’d tap into the African-American market by having 50 Cent as the Co Author of his new book titled the 50th Law. The book reflects on how 50 used most of the 48 laws to survive in the streets, the rap game and corporate world. 50 wasnt the only rapper to have utilize these laws but many rappers have done so as well and I’m gonna break down some of the examples of how much of an effect the book had on Hip Hop.:
1. Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
They play the soldier role and with them staying loyal through the good, bad, ugliest and at times violent(50 getting shot). 50 took care of them guys. Took them out of the hood and put them in a comfortable space. Both Game and Young Buck didn’t follow this law and the results of them are either struggling for the moment(Game) or in a situation where they signed their life away(50 owning Buck via contract).
2. Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.
I’ve already covered the whole recap of their battle in the previous blog so Jay signing Nas not only proved to be a smart market move but also a strategic move as Nas was showcasing more loyal to him because he has more to prove whereas guys like Dame, Beans and many others that were his friends at the time are now his enemies.
5. Crush your Enemy Totally
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.
NWA and Ice Cube’s fallout spilled into a very nasty fued back in 1990-1991. Ice Cube wanted to let bygones and just get paid releasing music. NWA as a group was left in dismay of confusion. Ice Cube was one of their main writers and basically the backbone of the group so moving on without him was gonna be very tough. They felt heavy pressure to come through with a dope album without Cube. They needed attention so they went after Ice Cube publicly on the song 100 miles and Runnin:
“Started with 5 and one couldn’t take it
So now its 4 and the 5th couldn’t make it.
Ice Cube then threw a shot back at NWA on Jacking 4 Beat to let them know that he’s listening:
I’ll you are til you put a funky beat on a record
Then I have to show and prove and use your groove
Cause suckers can’t fade the Cube
And if I jack you and you keep comin
I’ll have you marks a 100 Miles and Running!
Cube knew exactly what he was doing when he threw the shot, NWA then feeling the pressure fired more shots and dissed Ice Cube even harder on the tracks Benedict Arnold and Real Niggaz. Basically calling him soft, a New York dickrider, and a traitor.
This was the opening Ice Cube needed. He already followed the Law #25 which was to recreate himself and his whole image(by cutting the jeri curl) and releasing the album titled The Death Certificate which was even more controversal and harder than his previous.
But it was the last track on Death Certificate titled No Vaseline is where Ice Cube executed Law #5 perfectly as he CRUSHED NWA. Cube brought up nothing but facts on this diss. He dug up all of the dirt of his old friends and kicked in ither faces. This would made No Vasaline one of the most brutal diss songs in hip hop. It crushed NWA to the point where they couldn’t even deliver a response and the group fell apart from there.
6. Court Attention at all Costs
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all costs. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.
Everything Kanye say or does causes attention or controversy. If he isn’t bumrushing award show, Saying he’s the best producer in the game or publicly criticizing George Bush Jr for his mishandling of Hurricane Katrina. Ye knows how to get attention and its one of the reasons why he remains a popular artist within pop culture today.
10. Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.
These were 50’s friends coming up. Bang Em Smurff took care of 50 after he got shot and were basically his shooters. The problem is that Smurf’s reckless street behavior started taking effects on 50 and it got to a point where 50 would have to constantly spend money to keep Smurff out of trouble. After Smurff caught another case, 50 had enough and just left Smurff in his cell and disowned the crew all together because he knew keeping them around would be bad for business. The result is 50 is today one of the richest men in America while Smurf is deported in Brazil and Domination is still struggling to look for a deal.
16. Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.
2000 was Eminems year. The Marshal Mathers LP was probably the best selling album of the year, Everything Eminem said or done made headlines. He built a very controversal character Slim Shady to stand out among the rest (again following the law of recreating himself) and he worked the gimmick to perfection .Every single from the Real Slim Shady to The Way I Am to Stan became major smashes and he even pulled one of the boldest moves in the Industry when he decided to perform the song Stan with openly gay artist Elton John at the Grammies.
Then after putting verses on the D-12 album, Eminem all of a sudden just disappeared from the Rap Game so he can shoot for his up and coming movie 8 Mile. He took a break from the Rap Scene but he made sure he wasnt forgotten, And when he did, He caused another impact with his appearance on JayZ’s Renegade track is where he once again grabbed peoples ears and built anticipation of another album from him.
Em’s return in 2002 this time built more anticipation, He was gonna release his 3rd album titled The Eminem Show and the 8 Mile Movie/Soundtrack that same year. Eminem executed the plan with perfection and he ended up being even bigger than he was in 2000 with major success from both projects and signing a major acquisition to his label(50 Cent) was proving to be the Icing on the cake.
28. Enter Action with Boldness
If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.
In the beginning stages of his career. T.I. was looking for a identity and a way to stand out from his Southern Rap peers. He became lost in the shuffle after his debut album at Atlantic flopped and was soon dropped from the label. So T.I. fed up with being ignored by the Industry decided to take his career into bold action and proclaim himself as the “King of the South”.
Alot of critics panned him hard for making such a proclaim and felt it was disrespectful to the pioneers of the Southern Rap Scene(Scarface). Alot of people dismissed him and his advisors told him that it was a bad move that was gonna either offend his peers or ruin his career. But T.I. feeling he had nothing to lose at this point didn’t care and stuck with the gimmick until he eventually landed a new deal. Trap Muzik opened up doors for the majors to take heed in the young cocky rapper and he continued his campaign as the King of the South until he eventually won the support from the fans and peers as he would remain as one of the top selling acts of today. Those who tried to challenge him fell under Law #5 and got crushed completely(Shawty Lo, Lil Flip, Z-Ro ).
More to come in the future.