I know I’ve been obsessed with the grind lately, but you all are going to have to humor me for one more post on the topic. (OK, maybe two. I just got my free copy of The Automatic Millionaire. I’ll holler back if I figure out how to get rich between now and the weekend. Ha!)

Anyway, it was announced today that Luda’s Release Therapy landed the No.1 spot on the Billboard charts, selling a surprising 309,000 records its first week out. You know, it’s kinda nice to see someone finally posting up big numbers after a year of such abysmal sales. In honor of this potential (at least I hope) upswing, I took a few hours out to listen to the album. And it’s not half bad. I’m sure snapperheads are going to get all bent out of shape [1] about Luda’s left-turn “conscious” joints, but to me it just sounds like a man who is growing up. [2]

Track nine also happens to be the type of grind anthem I’ve been waiting for. “Tell It Like It Is” is the quintessential come up record. It talks about how dude made it, how he’s managed to keep it, and the challenges he faces today (a la “Mo Money, Mo Problems”). In detail. It’s one part friendly advice, one part get-it-off-your-chest real talk, and one part dire warning. [3] & [4]

Ludacris is pretty much stating the obvious here, [5] but whatever, I take my pseudo-inspiration where I can get it.  For those of you who haven’t checked for it yet, here’s 10 things I learned listening to “Tell It Like It Is”: 

1. Realize things aren’t always what they seem. Music industry folks can be kinda fake sometimes.

2. Don’t ball until you are in control of your finances and creative products.

3. Get an entertainment lawyer. Start your own company. Trademark the name. Sign yourself. Get your publishing.

4. Record an awful lot of material. Hustle hard. Get your grassroots buzz on.

5. Understand that even if you get paid, money can’t solve all your problems. Don’t get addicted to drugs. (Unless you are just doing speed or weed in the studio. Apparently that’s OK.) Don’t get lazy. Don’t get addicted to fame. Don’t let your friends get addicted to your fame either. Don’t spend your money foolishly.

6. Jealous haters are going to try to sue you.

7. Magazines are going to misquote you.

8. The Hip-Hop Police is going to follow you.

9. Don’t mix business with pleasure.

10. The most important rule for the accumulation of wealth is don’t trust anybody but your own self.


[1] Or else sneer and roll their eyes, which is always a popular pose.

[2] Self-reflection + sentimentality about fatherhood + “Brenda’s Got a Baby” type I-feel-your-pain commiseration = the sort of vibe us females eat up.

[3] No need for Diddy to finish his school tour now. The teachers can just play all the young guns/aspiring rappers this joint and send them on their merry way.

[4] Amazingly, no cautionary words about baby mothers here.

[5] The industry is shady, it needs to be taken over, and whatnot.