Congrats Michael! Just for clarification… I don’t think Michael’s related to Jay-Z but I find it funny that his last name happens to be “Carter” too. But whatev…
I appreciate all of you who entered and have shared a few photos in the gallery below.
Michael was selected based on his essay, where he chose a lyric from “Murder to Excellence”:
“Now please, domino, domino, Only spot a few blacks the higher I go” ~ Jay-Z, Murder to Excellence
Check out his essay below:
Murder to Excellence is a great song that in essence captures the story of rising through the ranks of the city slums and challenges and the rewards that are possible if you have the determination and acumen to make it out. The line “Only spot a few blacks the higher I go” is a threefold quote that Jay-Z uses to address the following:
Critics- This song is addressing those who despise Jay-Z and his continued ability to stay relevant in the music business but also remain an innovator for ways to drive his brand as an artist and everything Jay-Z.
Peers-Jay-Z always sets the path for his fellow rappers to follow, but many refuse to follow his lead. The main point that he is trying to express with this lyric is, when you are climbing the ladders of success, the higher you go, the less people that will look like you. This was not intended to deter anyone but more of a challenge for those who desire to attain this level of success.
Motivation-This song really inspires me from a motivation standpoint because I am a graduate of a college that did not have a large African American student population and I noticed that as I progressed further along, the less of my fellow African Americans were there and I think that is what Jay-Z was saying.
There are a lot of places that many of us strive to go, but a lot of our friends, colleagues, and associates will not be able to join us on the journey. The silver lining is that I think our success will be heighted when we understand this concept and take on the challenge and motivate ourselves to be accountable for ourselves & dreams. A perfect example is when Jay-Z appeared in the Forbes 400 magazine last year (link below). The entire magazine mentioned only two African Americans (Oprah Winfrey & Jay-Z)
As I am growing, I am learning that success really does not have a color, but success is a mentality. I think we all could be more successful if we don’t allow our environments to hold us back or get discouraged with the idea that where we are going won’t necessarily be occupied with people that look like us.
Awesome job Michael. You win (Check your email).
See you at the concert!!!