OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Book Excerpt | F%ck School: Learn Life

Book Excerpt | F%ck School: Learn Life

An excerpt from Chapter 3: JAY-Z

“A lot of people can relate to my story…so that conversation that’s being had (in my music) is drawing energy in one place of like-minded people who’ve gone through the same experience." - Shawn Carter            

I express myself too well to ever allow anyone else to ever speak for me. However, JAY-Z has an uncanny ability to not only speak for me but he speaks directly to and about me in a way nobody on earth can.

JAY-Z spoke about Notorious B.I.G.’s intelligence in a documentary released on the 21st anniversary of BIG’s death because what Black dude in their early 20’s rapped words like “trickle”? There's only one answer: Biggie. I appreciate Hov’s appreciation of Biggie because it mirrors my admiration of Hov.

Former basketball coach & current color-commentator Mike Frattello was known as the “Czar of the Telestrator,” and I honestly had no fucking clue what that meant nor did I have a desire to find out, I just wanted to watch the game. On “Where I’m From,” JAY-Z rapped, “Where the drug czars evolve, and thugs are at odds, at each others throats for the love of foreign cars…” I’ve heard the term drug lord before because I've watched enough 1990's hood flicks to last a lifetime, but the term “drug czar”? Never! But now that Hov said it, I had to find out what the fuck czar meant because a person who looks like me, speaks like me & is from where I’m from (pun intended) was giving me the game.

Experiencing & feeling, more than having things explained, is how I learn because, in my experience, I feel most people are full of shit. JAY-Z is my favorite teacher because he ’s a living affirmation of all things I experience, feel & think.  I was only 12-years-old when Reasonable Doubt was released, but JAŸ-Z automatically became my favorite rapper because Biggie made a cameo in the “Ain’t No Nigga” video. I figured if JAŸ-Z was cool enough to have a superhero like B.I.G. in his music video, he was cool enough to have me as a fan.

“Can’t Knock the Hustle” is the most important song in Hip-Hop history. On the first song of his debut album, Hov stated his intentions, and over the course of his career in the public eye, we've all experienced him fulfilling a self-prophecy in real time. JAY-Z has changed the entire landscape of Hip-Hop by turning us into American history, and I feel that shit. One of my greatest motivations is to always be a man of my word, whether I deliver tomorrow or 10 years from now; I always keep my fucking word, and you’ll never be able to say that this brother lied to you, Jack!

Arriving on June 22nd, the 7th book from Al Patron serves as an instrument of truth. The goal of this book is to teach from experience without preaching. PRE-ORDER HERE

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