Pharell Williams Gets It

Will Beatty

Man… when I say Pharrell Williams gets it, I mean he’s a living example of LifeStyle 4.0! It seems to have come natural for him even in the earlier years of his career.  He always seemed comfortable distancing himself from the heard. He was different right out of gate, tagging himself “Skateboard P” and singing hooks as a Hip-Hop producer and rapper. There was no skateboarding in Hip-Hop! Even I was one of those people who tried to put him in that box back in the day when he sang hooks for those Jay-Z and Mystical songs. I was like “the song is hot but, Buddy needs to stick to producing”.  Well, good thing he didn’t listen to folks like me! Instead, Pharrell chose to live outside the box and be himself no matter what; and it’s working for him.

In a talk with Scott Verner of OTHERtone Broadcasting and ASAP Rocky, Pharrell discusses the dangers of living inside the “box” or the “perceived shell” that people try to assign you to. In this discussion he confirms ASAP’s tendency to step out of that “shell.” Skateboard P says, “when you step out like that and you don’t shiver and you don’t scare and you embrace this new position then you’re good for life. When you’re stuck in that box you will always answer to the perimeter. You will always answer to the walls. You will always answer to the floors and those are the people who are trapped.”

And the younger ASAP, acknowledges that Pharrell being himself inspired him to live outside of the box and only be who he is when he says, “there would be no cats like myself if it wasn’t for fellas like you… (and) Kanye West, being daring.”

The lesson here is that we owe it to ourselves and to people who look up to us to be our best selves… Live our best lives. You never know who’s watching.  I heard a preacher say that ‘even though you might not know them, somebody is languishing in their life right now needing for you to be the best of who you are. Waiting to be inspired by you!’  Let’s get to it!

Pharrell      Explore music by Pharrell here

ASAP Rocky       Explore music by ASAP Rocky here

Source: Complex

The Real Purpose of Art…

“The real purpose of art is not to make saleable pictures. It is to save yourself.”  Sherwood Anderson.

Author, Sherwood Anderson wrote this in a letter to his son who was 18 years old at the time. (You can read more of the letter and Anderson at ) In our case, Art is whatever your Gift is. The most crucial part of living LifeStyIe 4.0 is embracing your gift. It is who you are and stepping into it is the path to becoming your best self. It is your source of passion. Embracing it can improve everything else in your life. If you have denied spending time developing your gift and sharing it with others you are bound to a prison of self-denial. It is time to “save yourself”.

When I first started writing for fun, I wrote poetry. I began to share it in the various little spots in Charlotte, NC including Mynxx and the Moon Room (around 1998).  I found myself holding back work that I didn’t like and I had considered destroying it. Upon hearing, this my good friend Xavier Zsarmani (Zake) told me, “never destroy your work. It is part of you and you never know what it may mean to someone else. Be who you are and share all of it. Don’t rob us of who you are.” He made me see that words that don’t necessarily resonate with me may be a blessing to someone else. The next time I went out to read, I read one of the poems Zake saved from the trash can. After the set a young lady approached me to say how deeply moved she was by the poem. This lesson has stayed with me all these years. Now I want to share it with you. You never know what your gift may mean to someone. Do not rob us of the gift of YOU any longer. This #MakeItHappenMonday begin to spend more time with your gift. Become the best of who you are.

Happy Make it Happen Monday!  Have a great week!