Get Out of My Own Way

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In the dimly lit Midtown bar, she excitedly talks about one of her favorite rappers, Blu. Never heard of him.

Here is a quick bio: talented LA rapper, named Rookie of the Year 2007 by HipHopDX, named Top Ten Freshman of 2009 by XXL Magazine. With such laudable recognition from reputable sources, why is Blu not a household name or at least a name that has made a noticeable bleep onto my hip hop radar?

My friend, a music insider, giggles and rhetorically asks her, “Why won’t Blu let himself be great?” The female fan, puzzled yet ready to defend her musical homeboy, questions his comment. “What do you mean?” she utters inquisitively. My friend goes on to state a laundry list of missed opportunities, recalling Blu’s “random disappearance” before potentially star-forming shows at the South x Southwest venue in Austin and the legendary SOBs in New York’s West Village. Each time, he recalls, Blu was “found” at a random lady friend’s house, claiming that he “didn’t feel like performing that night.”

Wait, what?

I, like Blu’s ardent supporter, am baffled that Blu, a talented rapper and producer, would seemingly sabotage his pending success. His fan shakes her head, and then recounts being disappointed when she saw him perform live because “he didn’t want it.

A few days later, my friend sends me links about a recent show in San Francisco where an audience member called Blu out on his weak performance, highlighted by his forgetting of lyrics and his obvious inebriated state.

Why won’t Blu let himself be great? I thought while scanning the various websites filled with negative and disappointed reviews of Blu’s recent shows.

I started to think about my own missed opportunities to be “great,” often sabotaged or tampered by no one other than myself. I, like Blue and I assume many others, block success. In other words, I get in own way.

Hard work beats talent, when talent does not work hard is the recurring phrase played in my mind as I type.

I guess the real question I need to ponder is:

Why won’t I let myself be great?

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