What Means the World to You? – Marriage Over Business

I’ve been married for a little over two years now. As a matter of fact, my wife and I just celebrated our anniversary not too long ago and thus far, it’s been pretty much the same as the day we both said, “I do.”

But I’m definitely not saying it’s been easy.

The one thing I can say that has brought me marital success has been the fact that I treat my marriage like I do with my music and anything else that I’m working on, and that’s no matter how successful I think I am, I always strive to do better and I continuously work at it.

I put it like this; when I did “Papers” for Usher, that turned out to be a pretty big hit for me, gave me platinum status and was my first No. 1 hit, but instead of sitting back and eating off that check, I still woke up everyday like I hadn’t ever made one chart-topping single. It actually made me want to go even harder because I want to stay perfecting my craft.

With my marriage, I handle it the same way—we both do. My wife is a hairstylist and we met while I was in barber school, so I think that connection has helped. Well, that and the fact that we give each other space to be the individuals we were before we got married and the ones we are now. Other than that, church and family keep us grounded, as well.

We do a lot of things as a family and I don’t mean just me, her and our two kids, I mean my family, her family, all of us. I also include my wife in a lot of what I’m doing professionally. She recently came with me to L.A. where I got my first big honor, which was from BMI for the Billboard No. 1 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Song. We turned that trip into a mini-anniversary celebration, hit up Mr. Chow (and Carl Jrs.), did a little shopping and, as much as we love ‘em, just enjoyed being kid-free.

You hear about a lot of marriages breaking up in this business and in general and I certainly don’t claim to know it all, I just know what works for us. My family reminds me of the scripture John 15:5 and to summarize: My family is the vine and I’m the branch. If I stay connected to them and they stay connected to me, we will be successful but apart from each other, we can’t do anything.

My family keeps me grounded and gives me a greater purpose than just making hits and stacking checks, although that’s still cool because I gotta feed us. But I keep in mind that anything worth having is worth fighting for and my marriage is definitely one of those things.

What are you willing to fight for?

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePmSVFljay4 Always In The Game

    I think that part about being individuals before marriage is Key.

    (click name)

    • Pete from Harlem

      I concur with you on that one.
      Also…nice how you made your name a link.
      Need to learn how to do that.

  • jim

    good post

  • render

    Real talk…well put and it applies to any man with a woman regardless of walk of life…a relationship is something that you gotta treat as a hustle and like any hustle, it rewards you for what you put into it

    lol where all the blog mafia haters on this one btw? Funny how bullshit blogs get 50 comments about how shitty they are but no one here can recognize and give daps to a genuine drop

  • El Tico Loco

    What you say is very true, as long as you’re with a woman that shares the same values. So yes you must treat a relationship like a hustle but we all know that not every investment is a good one, it has to be a two way street 100/100 partnership 50/50 don’t cut it, that’s half ass. After reading this all of a sudden “Papers” becomes a very ironic song.

  • skinnybiggie

    real post…as someone who has been married for three years, I agree with the post totally. Especially the remaining who you were before the marriage. Major props!

  • cutch

    i think zaytoven is an amazing producer. He brings funky beats with sounds you wouldnt always associate with rap music. He definately helped craft gucci manes style in terms of production. I see a zaytoven stamp all over the drumma boy songs gucci does now. He keeps it real with his music and his wife. dedication to the game. Stay making slaps zay!

  • John Cochran

    Sounds cool now, but two years in is still a honeymoon. Marriage is tough yo. Good to hear a black man trying to keep his family together though.

  • oskamadison

    Zay, I dig where you’re coming from and I especially dig the John 15 reference. I’m not the perfect Christian but I know and acknowledge where my blessings come from. As someone who just had an anniversary as well (11 years and counting, together 16 years total), one important element is friendship. We were frinds before we got together and still are to this day. Another factor: keep people out your business as a couple. Overall, good insightful post. Keep ‘em comin’.