Navigating through 2020 was filled with bizarre and sometimes difficult moments that often affected our everyday lives. One artist and entrepreneur who has shown us how to make the best out of a bad time this past year is none other than 21 Savage. In addition to releasing his highly awaited album Savage Mode 2, the Atlanta staple took home his first GRAMMY award and teamed up with Chime to teach the youth financial literacy. It’s safe to say that 21 Savage epitomizes the mantra “go hard or go home.”
To kick off the new year, here are 21 quotes from the star to motivate you to make the year 2021 one of your best thus far.
1. “Whatever you’re doing, think fifty steps ahead.”
While reflecting on moments that shaped his life and success over the years, 21 opened up on T.I.’s expediTIously Podcast about the importance of thinking before doing. “It’s really a way that you can do s**t and not be stupid,” he told Tip. “Whatever you’re doing, think fifty steps ahead. It’s certain things you do to keep yourself out of certain s**t.”
2. “I stay focused on moving forward and not letting stuff put me in a hole or make me feel depressed.”
During an interview with Paper Magazine, 21 spoke about losing his best friend in an encounter on his birthday. Showing resilience, the Atlanta rapper chose not to let his losses affect him in a negative way. This quote serves as a motivator that despite the losses you take in life, you must continue to push forward in a way that doesn’t impair you nor others.
3. “Never stop hustling.”
Speaking with NBC, 21 Savage gave a handful of financial tips. One of them being, “Don’t focus on what you have, focus on making more.” In the four-minute clip, he said, “When I go do a show, I don’t even care how much I made, I’m onto the next one. Don’t think that you can chill out ...keep on, never stop hustling.”
4. “I started doing more positive things, positive things started happening for me.”
In a 2016 interview with “The Breakfast Club,” Savage talked about how incorporating good deeds into his life lead to a better living. “Once I started doing more positive things, positive things started happening for me,” he stated. “I’m humble, I show love to everybody.”
5. “Don’t be no idiot.”
“It’s a thin line between being a gangster and an idiot. Don’t be no idiot,” 21 emphasized in his recent interview with “Big Facts.” “You ain’t got no money, no hope, no way to do nothing; go fill out a fucking application. Go to your job and work.”
6. “The richest people don’t wear jewelry.”
On why he doesn’t wear jewelry anymore, 21 Savage shared with Vogue: “I stopped wearing jewelry for a couple reasons. One is because everybody where’s jewelry, I’ve outgrew it. I’ve gotten a little wiser and grown. Another reason is because the richest people I’ve met in life, they’ve never had on jewelry.”
7. “What you eat don’t make me shit. That might work for you, that don’t mean it’s going to work for me.”
Taken from 21 Savage’s 2019 interview with DJ Akademiks, he told us, “That might work for you, that don’t mean it’s going to work for me. I’m not going to compare my career to your career, we two different people.” Generally speaking, what other people say or do doesn’t affect you. Be different.
8. “If your goals and my goals aren’t the same we shouldn’t be on the same team.”
In a previous tweet from September 2019, 21 basically said that if your friends don’t have the same goals or drive as you, it’s time to get new friends.
If your goals and my goals aren’t the same we shouldn’t be on the same team— Saint Laurent Don (@21savage) September 4, 2019
9. “Be smart with your money because money can make life a little easier.”
“Just focus on your goal, don’t really focus on the limelight or the flashiness. Invest in yourself, bet on yourself,” 21 told Forbes during their profile in early 2020. “I done bought a lot of stuff that I really didn’t need to buy.”
10. “If we know everything that everyone else knows, it’s no stopping us.”
In mid-2020, the rapper teamed up with technology neobank company Chime to speak on the importance of financial literacy. Simply said, while we may not know everything, the more we become financially knowledgeable, the barriers we face will cease to exist.
11. “In 2021, we gotta stop co-signing bulls**t.”
“If you see a n**ga doing some bulls**t, don’t side with it,” 21 tells DJ Scream and Big Bank. “Start calling that s**t out, stop standing behind acting like you’re ready to go do life or catch a bullet for it.” If you’re looking for a sign to call out someone doing something wrong, here it is.
12. “Superhero in my hood, I don’t need a cape.”
Simply put, you don’t need a costume or cape to show acts of bravery or commit to outstanding achievements. While the lyric itself — taken from 2020’s “Said N Done” — is a nod to Metro Boomin’s debut studio album, NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES, it’s also a nod that you too can become a neighborhood hero.
13. “You just gotta take risks.”
Giving advice on flipping your money through investments, 21 Savage told DJ Scream, “You just gotta take risks. So, I might put a hundred, two hundred and maybe it might not go to nothing, maybe it might turn into a billion dollar company. You just gotta gamble.” He added, “Everything is a risk, life is a risk.
14. “The goal is creating generational wealth.”
“It wasn’t until I hired a business manager that I learned about investments and building credit,” 21 Savage told PAPER in mid-2019. “Kids should be learning that before they get into the real world and make mistakes with their finances.”
15. “It’s always gone be problems. And as soon as we figure out that it’s always gone be like that, everybody gone be able to live a better life.”
“It’s just certain s**t you not gone able to change,” 21 Savage told XXL during their Spring 2018 cover story. “I don’t care what it is, certain s**t you just can’t change no matter what you do.”
16. “Hard to tell the real from fake / ‘Cause nowadays, they got masks on.”
In his 2018 song “All My Friends,” 21 Savage delves into the tropes of loyalty and friendships amongst other things. Fast forward two years later, the lyrics have become quite literal amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
17. “All business partnerships are just me wanting to do things I like to do anyway, so it does not feel forced.”
When asked what drives his decision making in a recent interview with The Source, 21 replied, “The key is growth. What I learn I want to go back and teach the people where I’m from that might not understand financial literacy.” He continued: “All business partnerships are just me wanting to do things I like to do anyway, so it does not feel forced. I’m making sure I make choices that my kids can eat from.”
18. “The way you dress says a lot about you and your character.”
“The way you dress says a lot about you and your character, and I’ve always wanted to represent who I am even if I wasn’t wearing the most expensive things,” 21 told Coveteur during a 2018 interview. He added: “There’s a lot of extra s**t going on right now — people wearing too many clothes. I like to be clean; I don’t like to overdo it. It ain’t about how much you got on, it’s about how it looks and how you wear it. Less is more.”
19. “Building Black-owned businesses is a powerful way to shift the narrative—and sustain wealth in our communities.”
In an op-ed with TIME, 21 Savage discussed the importance of building small enterprises that support and employ within their own communities. “We need to follow their lead. Building Black-owned businesses is a powerful way to shift the narrative — and sustain wealth in our communities.” If you’re looking for motivation to start or even support a fellow Black-owned business, there you go.
20. “You can’t get taught how to manage money by somebody that’s poor.”
On several occurrences in the past, 21 has spoken about coming from poverty and not being educated on financial literacy. “It’s, like, a lot of poverty in our communities like where I’m from. You can’t get taught how to manage money by somebody that’s poor,” the rapper told Mic. “I didn’t know none about bank accounts until I was probably about 23.”
21. “You can have all the fame in the world / All the money in the world, won’t stop no cry.”
Said by Savage best on 2018’s “Monster,” despite how much money and fame one has, it will never be able to prevent pain. Cherish what you have while you still have it.