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We all have a past.  This is not a glorification OF it, but rather a glimpse INTO it.

Did I mention I am from the inner city? I mean I was the nerd, but I was an observant nerd. Anytime one can tell a woman “don’t embarrass me” while cheating, come from a place where you shot your drug induced brother, got exonerated after allegedly stabbing another, swaying public opinion by making an anthem for the people that states “not guilty ya’ll got to feel me” to the point where you eventually evolve into a corporate giant…

YOU HAVE STREET MENTALITY. Not learned from books.

Let’s be clear, I have never really been a die hard Shawn Carter fan, enjoying only the radio and family friendly hits like “Anything” and “Hard Knocks Life” but he has a business acumen like none other. I believe that’s what pulled Beyonce’ in, she admired his hustle even though it could have ruined her own credibility. After all, she was just 19 years-old at the time. Shawn Carter’s story is the difference between becoming Jay-Z and ending as Dame Dash.

We all know about his business moves there are too many to catalog. His moves are like chess but, let’s explore some similarities between Jay-Z and successful ex-dealer moves.

Move silently: He does not announce to the world his next step until his bag is secure. For instance, he’s never really publicly announced his mogul wife until recent times and it came with the acknowledgement of his infidelities.

Stack and Flip: Jay-Z is quoted as saying “I have to know about a budget I was a drug dealer.” Nothing has changed, although most may not reach the global success of Jay-Z, many ex-dealers find success by stacking and flipping. Washed and clean.

Be relentless: Insert Dame Dash situation. What dealer you know didn’t rise to the top by killing off stragglers or competition?

He hires loyals: Jay-Z wasn’t the run of the mill drug dealer, he pushed weight- kilos in fact. He admired men like Emory Jones whom he once ran for in the streets and upon Emory’s release from incarceration he became creative director of RocNation. Name an drug dealer who doesn’t still ride with their day 1’s.

Shawn Carter is now a changed man but his mentality is still that of a hustler which is what has helped him to evolve into the business savvy mogul that he is, in fact he is nowhere near done, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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