As KRS-One articulated throughout his catalog and in his many teachings, "Rap is something you do, hip hop is something you live." As the culture continues to evolve today, many feel it's not only important, but vital to preserve and honor the fundamental elements: Graffiti, emceeing, breakdancing, deejaying and knowledge. This column called "Each One, Teach One" aims to do exactly that. It will highlight various lessons that can be passed between new and old generations alike.
The Law of Attraction can be summed up in three simple words: "Thoughts become things." The age-old belief has been explored by scholars, philosophers and creatives alike throughout history. As such, countless have adapted the divine principle as a guiding mantra, working to best direct where they are placing their focus and trusting that by doing so with intention, it'll help a vision or passion become fully realized in time.
Hip hop is no exception to this, finding its rightful place in the ever-evolving esoteric conversation. The idea that you can speak what you desire into existence has been woven into lyrics and discussed during interviews since the early days of the genre's conception, encouraging fans to look within and be mindful of where one's energy is being placed.
In addition to creating a soundtrack that can double as a medium for self-empowerment and self-expression, music has long been a great tool to help align one's mood and amplify one's manifestations. Specifically, hip hop by design finds its strength in giving a voice to others, speaking truth to power and creating a space for authentic storytelling. Naturally, the genre, as it has evolved over the years, has helped others cultivate a lifestyle that runs deep as a state of mind. This makes it a fitting incubator for manifesting abundance, happiness, health, fulfillment, money, success and so on. Regardless of one's religious or spiritual perspectives, or lack thereof, the conceptual basis behind the art of manifesting is one that many can get behind, even if it's difficult to explain or effectively apply on a regular basis. After all, what you think about, you bring about.
Some of the culture's greatest success stories such as JAY-Z, Will Smith and Drake -- to name a few -- have openly spoken about their own beliefs and interpretations of the Law of Attraction throughout their careers. Big Sean, Gang Starr, Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Ferg, Ab-Soul, Wiz Khalifa, Royce da 5'9, E-40, Jazz Cartier and countless others have touched on it in their music. In recent years, social media has provided another outlet for documenting growth and setting intention -- two factors arguably integral to understanding the power of one's mind. As artists use the platform freely, some utilize sites such as Twitter and Instagram as ways to hold themselves accountable for their goals and aspirations. Timehop is another interesting app that shows a glimpse into where someone was in years past, further speaking to how the Law of Attraction has helped others to realize fulfilling, abundant lives and careers.
Regardless of how it may be articulated, there are countless anecdotical examples of how one's mental attitude has played a role in the materialization of success. And while that may look and feel different for every person, there is still something to be said when our own words resurface in ways that have new meaning years after planting a metaphorical seed. From J. Cole noting the cultivation of his loyal fanbase in the beginning of his career to Khalid expressing his hopes to attend the Grammys one day, let's take a look at 11 artists who have tweeted their goals into existence.
Lil Nas X
“nas your music will never sell”— nope (@LilNasX) July 31, 2018
then what is this??? pic.twitter.com/6b5OMprAit
On July 30, 2018, Lil Nas X began proving his haters wrong by tweeting that he is, in fact, making money off his music... even if it was only $0.56. Fast forward a year later, he found viral success with "Old Town Road" and has certainly added a few commas to that number.
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion went from tweeting about one of her favorite rappers, Juicy J, in 2012 to collaborating with him in 2019.
I need a team bc I promise this rap shit gone take off for me— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) May 27, 2014
She also knew back in May 2014 that her future in rap was destined to take off. From believing in herself and her future need for a team, Megan Thee Stallion was able to apply pressure to her goals in a way that the universe paid attention to.
Yo I got 502 Followers! Probably not a lot for most of these other rappers, but I am thankful for each person who hit that Follow.— J. Cole (@JColeNC) April 3, 2009
In 2009, J. Cole tweeted his gratitude for the 502 people following him on Twitter. Since establishing himself in the rap game, the tweet ended up going viral and serving as a source of inspiration for growth and manifesting one's successes. Cole now has nearly 13 million on Twitter and is crafting a legacy both through his own music and through his label, Dreamville.
I want to go to the Grammys one day.— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) January 27, 2014
In January 2014, Khalid put it out there that he wanted to attend the Grammys one day. Simple enough. After the release of his debut studio album, 2017's American Teen, he not only attended the Grammys in 2018, but was nominated five times.
We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow & get better. #TidalFacts— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015
The iTunes Store wasn't built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful…— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015
Months after its launch, JAY-Z declared that TIDAL will be in business for the long haul in a series of stream of conscious tweets. It is now available in 53 countries and like JAY-Z said, it's continuing to grow and get better.
And for funsies, here's a 2010 tweet where Hov declared his purpose, something that reigns true today.
I will never have a "record deal" again.— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) June 4, 2009
And here's a 2009 tweet, where JAY-Z declared he'd be taking ownership of his music. The legal battle that followed was long and certainly not easy, but Hov was determined to have full control of his master recordings and publishings, which he reportedly achieved in 2015. He has since reached billionaire status.
#Eat. No matter how small or grand it is. Get up and go get it. That rock will turn into a mountain.— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) October 1, 2012
Kendrick Lamar tweeted this little gem of wisdom a couple of weeks before the drop of good kid, m.A.A.d city, his major label debut. He later thanked blogs in tweets for early write-ups and soon thereafter, the album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. These were little celebrated victories that led to more wins.
Respect to the blogs and mags that heard these few songs at sessions. Some big write ups.— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) October 12, 2012
He asked and he received. Kendrick Lamar now has 11.8 million on Twitter, one small nod to his monumental success.
im trying to reach 18,000 family/followers today. can we reach that goal today. spread the word..— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) February 2, 2011
This 2012 tweet was years ahead of Kanye West speaking openly about politics... Big Sean, what did you do!
I really appreciate anyone reppin #GOOD! Anybody who can relate to that dream and making it happen. I come from a place— Sean Don (@BigSean) November 29, 2012
Where dreams don't come true... At least we thought so. We're changing those beliefs around. We make our own reality and I hope you always— Sean Don (@BigSean) November 29, 2012
Remember that— Sean Don (@BigSean) November 29, 2012
Months later, he reminded fans of the importance of believing in their goals, while living his dream by example.
Chance the Rapper
Big Sean got finally famous and Keef got finally rich. Lookout for Chance #finallywhippin coming to a crib/gasstation/grocery store near u.— The Big Day out now (@chancetherapper) September 21, 2012
Ay, Shouts out to every single rapper in Chicago. #WeGoneGetThisPaper— The Big Day out now (@chancetherapper) August 14, 2012
Chance the Rapper knew early on that the energy you put out there comes back to you. By paying attention to who he aspired to be, he helped manifest his own position among the greats, all while helping lift up those in his hometown of Chicago.
Randomly just started crying.. This shit actually just hit me ..fuck I've come so damn far smh you don't even know . #Godisreal— SZA (@sza) August 15, 2013
Thank you @iamstillpunch for always believing in me and encouraging me to just create .— SZA (@sza) August 15, 2013
SZA showed her gratitude to Top Dawg Entertainment from the jump, knowing the rarity and importance of signing with a label will help her to grow. Needless to say, gratitude is an integral part of manifesting one's goals, something that SZA was tuned into early on in her career. The rest is history (and history in the making).
22,000 people from Chicago bought tickets to see a kid from Toronto tonight. Believe in yourself.— Drizzy (@Drake) June 3, 2012
Drake's career has been full of inspiration, as countless fans have grown up with him. He's come a long way since this 2012 tweet, but even acknowledging this moment and his choice to turn his own manifested successes into motivation for others is cool to now see in 2019.
I am media. Hahahaha.— Drizzy (@Drake) June 21, 2013
Drake had the foresight to know his fame would rise to a level where all eyes would be on him, allowing him control over sharing his own narrative and the opportunity to use his platform for the greater good. And, of course, get some trolling and jokes off.
Gucci Mane's early Twitter days is an interesting era to explore. From speaking at a career day months prior to his being incarcerated in 2013 to owning up to his own demons and addictions, and embracing sobriety, Gucci Mane declared he'd work to be better – and so it was.
I'm currently incarcerated but I will be going to rehab because I need help. I wanna thank everyone that has stood by me (cont)— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) September 22, 2013
I've been drinking lean for 10plus years & I must admit it has destroyed me. I wanna be the first rapper to admit (cont)— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) September 22, 2013
I'm addicted to lean & that shit ain't no joke. I can barely remember all the things I've done & said. However there's no excuse. (Cont)— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) September 22, 2013
More by KC Orcutt: