This rant is less about Nikki or her CD. It’s about what the image represents and what it embodies. For whether it be Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake having a “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl. Whether it be Britney Spears and Madonna open mouth kissing each other at the MTV awards, Whether it be Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson taken shots at Nas and Jay-Z because he admittedly said that “A war between him and the other two aforementioned emcees would be good for hip-hop” (paraphrasing) or whether it be Toni Braxton showing up half naked for award shows; the message is clear and the message is this;

Hugely successful people in their own right, still believe that they have to do these types of things in order to stay relevant… and so the knife cuts to the meat of this debate. If you love your body and you simply want to show it for the sake of the art fine. It’s hard for anyone to judge that effort. If you truly love the way your vagina looks… so much so that you want to time an exit from your limousine perfectly with your legs open so that the paparazzi can take a photograph of it; that is also your right. However, most of these incidents are not done for the sake of “art” they are done for the sake of free publicity.

(which I might add is also the artist’s right)

I am not here to pass judgment on any art. I think Nicki Minaj is a dope rapper; although the majority of her music does not necessarily move me. I am not here to pass judgment on anyone. The meat of my rant is really about success, the definition of that success and the strategy to obtain that success; as it pertains to me and my art. My belief as far as success goes, is that if you are on top and you are trying to maintain that top spot, just know the seductive nature of power. The mere quest for power can make you intoxicated just by thinking of the perversion of that power once you attain it. We have seen example after example of wealth, fame and success, not being a guaranteed ingredient for happiness. There seems to be an emptiness and unfulfilled quality that walks hand in hand like a purposeful karma for those who don’t define their terms beforehand. Simply because there is no ceiling, there’s always a bigger fish, there’s always someone that seems greater than you, richer and more talented than you. My advice to people seeking success, is to first define what success is to them before embarking on the journey. For whichever horizon symbolizes your perception of success; make sure your boat is seaworthy of that journey before you set sail. My definition of success is as follows: Simply be the best artist that you can be. I believe there is no way that you can be the best artist you can be and not be successful. For ultimately, you will be, as a result, the best artist you can be! It just comes down to a case of physics… for there is no way you can plant the best seed in the richest Earth and not bear fruit from that. What you put out as far as energy goes will come back to you; will it not? All we can do is search for innovative platforms for our expressions, go hard and pray that someone recognizes our greatness. That’s all we can do if we want to maintain integrity. That’s one of the only things we actually have total control over. If you put your success in the hands of others in the form of validation,you are setting yourself up for failure. If a million people don’t buy a certain album, it doesn’t mean that the music isn’t good. If a certain amount of people don’t buy a novel, it does not mean that book isn’t well-written. No matter what you talk about or discuss at the water cooler for example; may or may not create interest in a certain product or body of work; but it does not make the artistic vision of it more or less genius. OK folks… confession time: Do I like accolades? Absolutely. It is a joy to be recognized and acknowledged for your contributions to the arts? Fuck yeah. However, when they don’t come, they don’t come. I will leave you with this:

My mother would always say: “Son what’s for you is for you, God works in his own time” and deep down, I already knew. I am more relaxed at this stage of my creative career than I’ve ever been. I no longer carry the burden of what other people perceive as a success. I already know that I’m striving to be the best person that I can be and the victory is already won.