One of the things that makes hip hop great is that songs are a productive embodiment of emotions.
You have the dis-track, the rap battle, the stick-it-to-the-haters song, the nobody-believed-in-me album, and the stop-begging-for-my-money-and-attention verse, and so on.
Rappers deal with beefs and frustrations through their art. The product they make is also their therapy. This is an amazing thing. I want to find out how to do this in other kinds of work. Yeah, success is the greatest revenge and all that, but general success over a long time span doesn’t quite pack the punch of a specific song that charts. Most kinds of work don’t have individual, tangible products that have so much room for direct expression of thought and feeling, tangential to the product’s main purpose.
Sometimes I try to think of the work I do like a hip hop album. An email might be the “I’m still in the game” track; a decision could be a particularly fire set of bars.
Of course daily blogging is a way to express these things, but it’s a bit too direct. You want a product that has the plausible excuse of just being a product, but really it’s also a delivery mechanism for something you need to say. A rapper just saying what they think about their former record label is one thing. Releasing a song that says it cleverly in a way enjoyed even by those outside the know is another thing.
I aspire to that kind of mastery.