A Lesson From the Greats

Pusha T, Kenedrick Lamar, Nas, Busta Rhymes and Wu-Tang Clan easily make the list of my all time favorite rappers.  In 2022, I was fortunate enough to either get new music or to see them on tour.  In some instances I got both!! My first few blogs of the 2023 will be a few lessons I learned from my favorite rappers

Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Busta Rhymes – NY State of Mind Tour

The moment I heard about the NY State of Mind Tour,  I immediately blocked the Philadelphia date on my calendar.  If I’m honest, as a Wu-Tang Clan fanboy, I also blocked the dates for Toronto, D.C., and Norfolk.  Wu-Tang Clan is my favorite rap group of all time,and I have never missed an opportunity to see them live.  You add Nas and Busta Rhymes,  two of the greatest individual M.C.s of all time, and the show was destined to be epic. 

The tour was in the fall and my football schedule would only allow me to attend the show in Philly.  My boy and I booked our tickets and patiently waited for the night of the event.  A few days before the show, my buddy texted me asking

“Yo!!! You want the setlist?” 

The setlist? I thought.  I was about to see artists who have been in the rap game for 30 plus years with catalogs filled with music.  Why would I want to know what songs they were going to perform in advance? I emphatically replied


It was the right choice because for two straight hours, Wu-Tang, Nas, and Busta Rhymes performed hip hop classic after hip hop classic.  Of course, there were songs that I knew each act would perform, but there were also plenty of surprises.  I nearly went crazy when Busta Rhymes rapped

As I combine all the juice from the mind
Heel up, wheel up, bring it back, come, rewind
Powerful impact (boom!) from the cannon!

I wasn’t alone as just about everyone was caught off guard when Busta killed his iconic verse from the song “Scenario”.  Can you guess who wasn’t surprised?  My buddy and anyone else who saw the setlist online prior to the show.   As my favorite rappers performed cult hits like “Eye for and Eye”, “Duel of the Iron Mike”  and “Glaciers”, I was transported back to my younger days, hearing all of these songs for the first time.  However, my friend didn’t seem to have the same experience.  Why? He already knew what songs were coming.    

The lesson: Be open to the surprises of Life.   It is human nature  to try and grab onto any details and information about the future. I am extremely guilty of trying to figure out exactly what’s coming next in my life so I can adjust and prepare in advance    

However,  that night at the concert I was reminded of the joy of uncertainty, thrill of anticipation,  and excitement of the unexpected.  The Wu-Tang Clan, Busta Rhymes and Nas gave me a night to remember and dropped some knowledge too.  The all time greats reminded me that the concert of life can be more exciting when I don’t try to figure out the setlist in advance.


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