Listening to: Kanye West

Reading: The world’s most ridiculous twitter feed

Writing About: Talent, Ego, Consistency, Not being a jerk

Heard 'em Say

Last week there was a world renowned violin teacher on NPR
(Friends, that is how you start a post about Kanye West, take note!)

He was talking about the difficulty of developing children
who have tons of talent (too much talent?).

In the parking lot of Publix, I wrote down this quote:
“I hope they survive the gift”

Can't Tell me Nothin'

I’ve followed Kanye West from way back when
he was a normal human being.

I’m not going to start a debate on this,
this is a fact:
Kanye West is an undeniably brilliant writer and producer

Quick History Lesson:
Early in his career, being cocky was a self-aware part of his shtick.
But somewhere along the line, he became a despicable human being
(At least in his public persona)

“You see we living the American Dream
The people highest up got the lowest self-esteem
The prettiest people do the ugliest things
For the road to riches and diamond rings”

That sounds like it is written about Kanye,
Maybe it is, but it was also written by Kanye (album 1)

Here is one from later in his career:
“I am a God….So hurry up with my d@#n croissants”


I recently had an evaluation at work.
I had to give myself a Grade.

I went with C+
Slightly above average.
“Tyler does slightly above average work”

I didn’t mean it as a slight (on myself)
I think I do above average work,
But I’m no superstar.
I will do above average work
consistently, every day, forever.

I’ve worked side-by-side with A+ players

Early in my ministry career I’d get jealous of my Superstar peers
Ladies who could lead songs like pros, hilarious character actors in skits
Guys who immediately had 30 teenagers signing up for camp

You know who I’m talking about:
things come easily for A+ players.
everything works, immediately.
rocket ship guys.

College Dropout debuted at #2 on the Billboard chars,
It’s frequently listed as one of the greatest debuts of all time
It’s sometimes listed as one of the greatest albums of all time

That’s why the opening line was:
“If this is your first time hearing this,
“You are about to experience something so cold”
he wrote that before anyone had heard it.
He wasn’t wrong.

Maybe I’m just salty,
But I’d like to complain for a minute
About prodigies
They are too good for their own good

Drive Slow

There isn’t anything wrong with talent
There is no shame in being naturally gifted
it’s fantastic, really.

It’s just a little bit dangerous.

A+ players sometimes excel naturally,
and don’t have to work hard.
Over time they get bored,
or get outperformed when
kids who grind it out everyday
catch up.

Or, the opposite can happen:
A+ players put all of their eggs into the gifted basket
A super talented high school athlete may not play in college
Or they may play college and never play pro
Or they may break their arm,
then it’s all over.
I wouldn’t know,
But from observation I can say:
It must be difficult to develop as a normal human being
If you’re ridiculously good at something
The rules work differently, life isn’t balanced.
It’s a world I really don’t want to live in.

Again Kanye, too good for his own good:

“What if Kanye made a song about Kanye
Called ‘I Miss The Old Kanye’
Man that would be so Kanye, that’s all it was Kanye
We still love Kanye and I love you like Kanye loves Kanye”

An actual Kanye Line,
%25 of the lyrics: the word “Kanye”
And, if he ever releases his new album,
Millions of people will reward him for it.

My way Home

If you’re gifted, great!
Keep up the good work.

If you above average:
Keep grinding,
Build skills,
Be Faithful,
Be Steady,
Be Well-Rounded
Remember the Tortoise, and don’t hate the Hare

The Roots released 4 albums in 10 years before they had a break through
Then they released albums for 10 more years before they became a house hold name.
(The Roots are the house band for Jimmy Fallon’s show, and the best band in hip-hop).
Be The Roots:

Not Kanye