Known for wisdom beyond his years, Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards encouraged a then 19 year old Joey Bada$$ to freestyle his Ten Essential Ways To Make Things Happen. An absolute must for any budding artist or entrepreneur.
The original story was first published in BLAG Vol. 3 Nø 5 print edition in 2015, this is an edited version.
Introduction and Photography by Sarah J. Edwards
Art Direction by Sally A. Edwards
Styling by Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards
Location: Hotel Cafe Royal, London.
When I met Joey I asked him if he’d be happy to handle this very important Ten Essential for us, he happily obliged. What you’re about to read here demonstrates Joey’s quick thinking and eloquent knowledge bank – he literally made a few notes in the time it’d take you to make a cup of tea and freestyled these incredible rules without hesitation. Over to you Joey...
My number one tip on how to make everything happen is you’ve got to study the game. You’ve got to know what you’re up against. You’ve got to observe everything. No matter what field you’re in or what it is you’re trying to accomplish, you’ve got to know things about it, you’ve got to know who’s on top of that field. Who’s running in that field, who does what in that field. You’ve got to know everybody’s position. What position everyone plays in that field, that’s very important that you know that, because once you know these things you can formulate things better and know how to excel in that field.
Number two is discipline. You’ve got to discipline yourself, because if you don’t then there’s going to be a whole bunch of slacking. There’s going to be a whole bunch of mistakes, a whole bunch of excuses, a whole bunch of sorries. So what I do, the way I discipline myself – which is actually another tip that I wanted to get to, so this is kind of two and three. I discipline myself by...for example I write everything down. If not mentally, then literally, physically. I keep this small notebook handy and I just write everything down so I don’t forget. Part of disciplining myself, which is now number three is writing everything down. I keep everything down in a journal, down to my plans, my ideas. Down to even things that I’ve got to get done, like weekly assignments that I assign to myself. That’s number two.
Three - discipline yourself and write everything down.
Number four, formulate a plan. It’s very important because if you don’t have a plan then you’re basically running like a loose chicken with it’s head cut off. It’s very important that you have your tactic, you have your strategy of what you’re gonna do and how you’re gonna do it and what the goals are you’re trying to accomplish. That’s very important. Planning and executing. I like to say P.E, because that’s my team, Pro Era.
Dream big. It’s very simple, very cliché, but you know, it’s important. You’ve always got to set the bar high for yourself. You’ve got to almost set the bar so high, that if people are not telling you that you can’t do it, then your bar is not set high enough.
Ok, this is number five and this is very important. All of them are very important, but this one is very, very important. Time management. You’ve got to be on time for things, you’ve got to be on time for yourself, most importantly because if you’ve got things you’ve got to do, don’t cheat yourself. Don’t say, ‘Oh, I’mma do this later.’ Get things done in the moment that you think about it. That’s the best time to get things done. As soon as the task pops up, just deal with it! It’ll be way easier for later. Simple as that.
Number six is, alright so, this actually comes from a quote from Abraham Lincoln and the quote is, it’s not exactly, but it’s something like this, ‘Never strive to be recognised but always strive to be worthy of recognition.’ That quote alone has taught me a lot, just in the things that I do, when I have goals that I want to accomplish or if there’s a next level that I want to reach. It’s just, I’m always working on how to make myself better, I’m never working to be like, ‘Yo! Look at me!’ ‘Take notice of me!’ I’m always working and just getting my shit tight no matter if you’re looking or not. because as long as I know that it’s good and I know that it’s tight, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says, if anybody’s giving me credit for it, it’s just personally what I like to do and how I like to make things happen.
Number seven, always network and be conscious of who’s around. You’ve got to be conscious, this goes back to the first rule about observing the game. It’s kind of like the same thing, but it’s not. You’ve got to network with people, you’ve got to build relationships. Try not to burn bridges off, because you know depending on what field you’re in, networking... Well, networking’s always going to be vital but it may vary in the field that you necessarily assume. Mine, for example, in the music industry, you’ve got to network with people, if you’re trying to work with big artists per se, you’ve got to start the conversations. People are not going to come to you because you think that they should come to you, or you feel that you deserve the respect. No. Sometimes you’ve got to be the fire starter. You’ve got to go in, see for yourself, make it happen for yourself. So, it’s always good to keep relationships strong, build relationships everywhere you go. Everywhere. I travel a lot, so I like to have people here, here, here so for every time I come back there’s connections. As simple as that.
Number eight. Mistakes. Mistakes are not bad. I like to say that I never lose in anything I do and the reason why is because if I do lose, I don’t look at it as losing. I look at it as me becoming wiser. You feel me? So, now that I’ve lost this one time, now I have this knowledge of what made me lose, of what made me not necessarily succeed. I don’t ever say that I failed at something, I say that I tried to attempt success too early. So, you’ve got to look at mistakes as a way to plunge you into the future. To plunge you forward, because without mistakes it’s just...nothing is going to be perfect. You’re always going to make mistakes, there’s always going to be unknown variables. For example, with clothes, this bucket hat right, I’d been trying to make this bucket hat for about six months and a whole bunch of things happened, that I didn’t even know would happen. I thought I’d just make a design and I’d get it back in two months, but no. What happens is I send it out and the company sends it back to me and then it’s wrong. It’s not the way that I asked for it, so I’ve got to send it back, I’ve got to send them my notes. They send it again and it’s wrong and by the time I finally got it, they didn’t even send me the right amount that I asked for. So, there’s always going to be things that you don’t even know are going to happen that you’ve got to be prepared for. You’ve got to set time for mistakes, you literally do. Put time aside for mistakes. It sounds crazy, I’m not saying go out and just makes mistakes, but you’ve got to put time aside for it, because things are going to happen, but you learn from it: This made me wiser, now I know how to move about this smarter, how to spend less money to get it done.
Number nine. Dream big. It’s very simple, very cliché, but you know, it’s important. You’ve always got to set the bar high for yourself. You’ve got to almost set the bar so high, that if people are not telling you that you can’t do it, then your bar is not set high enough. That’s how I like to think. Actually, my manager taught me that. Just dreaming big and if people are not trying to shoot your dreams down, then you’re not dreaming big enough. That’s just point blank.
My last one, number 10, which to me, I feel like the most important because without doing this, you can’t really push through and feel good about things. You’ve got to trust your gut. No matter what. You’ve always got to trust your gut feeling. If you’ve got a feeling inside your gut, that feeling is real and that feeling is you. That’s what makes you you. Me going with my gut is what got me here. There was a whole bunch of people who told me, ‘It’s going to be hard to do this,’ or I shouldn’t do this, this way or I shouldn’t do that, that way. But I always just trusted my gut, I believed in my gut because essentially that’s who I am. That’s my spirit. That was my Ten Essential Tips on How to Make Things Happen.