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, but JAY-Z has this uncanny ability to speak for, to, and about me, in a way people I’ve known my entire life never have. 

JAY-Z talked 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”? The answer is 1, Biggie. And I appreciate Hov’s appreciation of Biggie because it mirrors mine for Hov.

Former basketball coach & current commentator Mike Fratello was known as the “Czar of the Telestrator,” and I honestly had no fucking clue what that meant nor did I have any 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 other's throats for the love of foreign cars…” I’ve heard the term drug lord before because I watched New Jack City New York Undercover, but drug CZAR? Never! 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.

I’m a person who learns more by experiencing & feeling things than having them explained to me because, in my experience, I feel most people are full of shit. This is why JAY-Z is my favorite teacher; he’s my living affirmation of all things I experience, feel & think. I was only 12-years-old when Reasonable Doubtwas 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.

I consider “Can’t Knock the Hustle” the most important song in Hip-Hop history, why? On the first song of his debut album, Hov stated his intentions, and over the course of his career, I’ve experienced him fulfilling a self-prophecy while changing the entire landscape of Hip-Hop as a culture, and I feel that shit. One of the things I’m driven by 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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