Business Book Crosses Over to Hip Hop

People think that Hip Hop artists get their inspiration from life on the street or from experience in the inner city. That might be true. But they also find inspiration in books. Robert Greene’s first book, “48 Laws of Power” published in 1998, sold more than a million copies and critics have called it cunning, crafty, amoral and awe-inspiring. In spite its controversial content, it could qualify as one of the most influential business books of all times. It has captured the imagination of the lot of famous people including rap artists and athletes.

D.J. Premier Reputation is the cornerstone of power tattoo from  48 Laws of Power

“48 Laws of Power” Inspires Lyrics, Tattoo and Much More

  • • Ludacris has mentioned that the “48 Laws of Power” influenced him.
  • • D.J. Premier had the 5th law, “Reputation is the cornerstone of power,” tattooed on his right forearm.
  • • Kanye West and Jay Z cite the book on their album, “Watch the Throne” a collection about opulence, fame, materialism, power, and the burdens of success released in August 2011. Their song “Prime Time,” includes lyrics saying, “At 42, be better than 24s mastered 48 laws.”
  • • Drake’s lyrics in “What I’m Thinkin’ Right Now,” include, “So read ‘48 Laws’ if you never read it, because that is one of the main reasons I’m level-headed.”
  • • Busta Rhymes drew inspiration from the “48 Laws of Power” to deal with a problematic movie producer.
  • • 50 Cent loved the “48 laws of power” so much that he teamed up with Greene to write “The 50th Law” based on the concept of fearing nothing.

Commenting on the “brutal world” of the music industry, author Robert Greene said, “A lot of rappers figured out that they had to control things and learn how the game’s played or else they were going to be continually exploited. That’s what brought them to the book.”

The collaboration with Greene on “The 50th Law” allowed 50 Cent to put his own spin on living a life around a set of values, the hallmark of the original “48 Laws of Power.” By focusing on living without fear, 50 Cent empowered a new generation to boldly go after their dreams.

Professional basketball players Chris Bosh and Andrew Bynum have both mentioned using the 48 laws of power to build mental toughness. Bynum quoted law 18: “Do not build fortresses to protect yourself – isolation is dangerous” as his favorite.
Chris Bosh blogged about it when he was preparing for a game during the 2007 NBA finals.

Robert Greene’s Admiration for 50 Cent

In a YouTube video, released to promote his “33 Strategies of War” Greene refers to a book he wrote in 2006 that emphasizes one particular concept: “See things for what they are: intense realism.” Greene talks about how 50 Cent exemplifies this concept and what he learned during their collaboration. “What happened with this book was that I was dealing with someone who I think is an incredible strategist in life and in business…he’s an incredible businessperson…and I was seeing these abstract ideas of mine in action, so in dealing with 50 and talking and watching him in business, the whole idea that you can have power by being extremely realistic and pragmatic suddenly came to light…”

Richard Green’s Business Books Have a Common Theme

The title of Robert Greene’s blog is “Power, Seduction and War” and that’s the common theme among his four bestselling books: “48 Laws of Power,” “The Art of Seduction”, “33 Strategies of War” and “The 50th Law” (with 50 Cent). In his books, he quotes everyone from Niccolò Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Queen Elizabeth I and Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum. In his latest book, “6 Keys to Mastery: The Secret to Ultimate Power Over Yourself and Your Craft,” Greene focuses on the lives of Charles Darwin, the Wright Brothers, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison and Mozart among others, and describes how they achieved mastery in life. In another YouTube video, Greene describes masters “…as people who because of their intense connection to what they’re studying, their love for it, they actually learn faster more intensely than other people and they push past…obstacles…and reach the mountain.”

Robert Greene could be describing himself…this internationally best selling author speaks five languages and studies Zen Buddhism – as well as rap music.

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