With the release of Jay-Z's new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, there has been a lot of discussion about the idea of new rules. The concept and marketing angle behind this release was on raising the bar on not only the rap industry but the music industry overall as well that he created his own set of rules for the sales and release of the album. From the Samsung app, to the million in sales before its release, to as I wrote about on Friday the use of 16 year old Wondergurls's beat for a track, it's very clear that Jay-Z continues to find ways to be at the forefront of creating change and inspiring the new generation to find ways to write their own rules.
I've realized that this doesn't have to do with the music industry at all, but can be applied to all of our lives. I always say that when you are reaching for your dreams, in whatever field, you should find someone who is at the top of that field and follow their blueprint. Do what worked for them! But, in learning and following their blueprint it is important to tweak it to your own style and your unique angle.
I've been so inspired by my brother Darren. He's been working hard on his play Secrets of a Black Boy, as it will be hitting the Toronto stage this July 27th and then headed down south to North Carolina on August 3rd. His hard work and hustle make me proud because there is every reason why he shouldn't have been successful with this play or have even created it but he did and he is. Darren created his own set of new rules because as a young black man, who didn't go to theatre school he's not supposed to be the thought leader behind a new generation of theatre that features our voices and the voice of the new generation of young urban males. The topics that he addresses in such a real and authentic way - sexuality, abuse, gun violence, interracial dating, etc., many people would not be brave enough to address out of fear of others opinions or judgements that he is letting "our secrets out". You know how tight lipped the black community can be when it comes to certain taboo topics. But, Darren has always stuck to his vision and declared that if it's not real and doesn't push the boundaries enough so that it incites dialogue, he didn't want to do it.
When it came to theatre, the voice of the young, urban generation was silent. There was plays for the older West Indian generation but nothing that spoke to young adults that looked and spoke like Darren.
He followed my blueprint of 'Da Kink in My Hair, but trust me, Darren is blazing is own trail.
Start thinking this week of what you can do in your own lives to push the envelope and create positive change by creating your own set of rules to live by or conduct business with.
Purchase your tickets for Secrets of a Black Boy www.secretsofablackboy.eventbrite.ca/. I promise, you won't want to miss this!