Will Hagle is three joints from writing Soujah Boy’s reggae album
After getting rejected from a job that would have paid a steady salary, with good benefits and a suffocating cubicle, I have come to terms with the fact that I need to hustle to make money at all costs or risk dying alone and broke on these American streets.
I didn’t have the same wisdom in 2010, when I spent a portion of the summer as a “remote intern” for a hip-hop magazine. I basically did nothing for them and they compensated accordingly. Googling things from a laptop in Champaign, Illinois in order to help random people in New York make money doesn’t exactly count as experience, but that is what I received. There’s no use in harboring ill feelings towards the scam of unpaid internships, though. They were just doing business and I was a victim of their hustle.
The one thing I remember doing was contributing to an article about business. Labor Day was coming up, so they wanted a list of songs about rappers working regular jobs. I immediately thought of the nagging bosses in Eminem’s “Just Don’t Give A Fuck,” but they chose “Rock Bottom” instead. It was cool to see Mr. Lif get picked, though (taking credit for that even if it wasn’t actually my idea). It was also tight–or whatever adjective I was using in 2010–to feel like I somehow contributed to a piece of journalistic excellence: “15 Rappers That Put in Work -XXL’s 9-to-5 Anthems.”
Rap songs that mention regular jobs are hard to find because rappers don’t have regular jobs. Making music is a 24/7 hustle, which is why that word appears in verses much more than “toner” ever does (which doesn’t make sense because it obviously rhymes with Danish Kroner, boner, and “Karl Malone-her”).
I made this mix without really thinking about the reasons why I was making it. I just wanted to put together a bunch of songs about hustling. Then I thought maybe it would be good to post it on the Internet because much of the world is freezing right now, and that’s all the more reason to hustle. It’s Lent now so if you’re giving something up, hustle your way to Easter. It’s the Oscars and in 2013 there was a movie called American Hustle. 200 days until Labor Day, hustle. Maybe my experience paid off after all.
The truth is that those news stories are fleeting but hustling is eternal (both the general concept and male prostitution). It’s also inherently personal. We all have to grind to get by and only some of us get to play as Bob Burndquist. I didn’t get that job I wanted in 2015 but it’s reassuring to hear Paul Wall say that you don’t get a 401k when your job is the People’s Champ. Listen to him and other rappers talk about that and other things in this inspirational, motivational, poorly DJ’ed HUSTLEMIX.
Rick Ross – “Hustlin” / Jay Z – “I Just Want 2 Love U”
Paul Wall ft. E-40, Lil’ Scrappy, Sean Paul – “Oh Yea (Work)”
Hustle Gang – “Puttin In Work”
Les Sins – “Bother”
Clipse – “Grindin”
DJay / Terrence Howad – “Whoop That Trick (Intro)”
50 Cent – “Hustler’s Ambition” / Rick Ross – “Hustlin”
Cassidy – “I’m A Hustla”
Nipsey Hussle – “The Hussle Way”