Lessons in life from the Notorious B.I.G

Let me just say that I LOVE Biggie. Love, love, love him. I realize some of his lyrics are quite raw, and even disturbing to a certain degree, but I always feel like I’m getting a real, genuine snapshot into what was his actual consciousness and subconsciousness when I listen to his music. One of my favorite tracks is “10 Crack Commandments”–not because I need tips on how to sell drugs, but because yet again, Biggie drops real ish that is not only applicable to the drug game, but also to life in general. It’s so applicable, that I’ve put together my thoughts on the application of the Notorious B.I.G’s ten crack commandments to lessons in living life.

Biggie said:

Never let no one know how much dough you hold…

Real-life application:

Nobody needs to know how good or bad you’re doing financially. 

This doesn’t necessarily apply to your significant other or your close, and I mean close, friends and family, but your financial status is personal. You don’t need folks counting your pockets, no matter how stacked [or not] they might be. And stuntin’ for social media is just, sigh, I won’t go there right now, but this post explains why I think stuntin’ for social media is a detriment to our society. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t live your life and enjoy the things you enjoy, but flat out, over-the-top bragging can sometimes get people caught up. Just sayin’.


Biggie said:

Never let ’em know your next move…

Real-life application:

All of your moves don’t need to be broadcasted.

What if, for some reason, things don’t pan out the way you planned? What if a premature announcement actually hurts the moves you’re trying to make? What if, well I can’t think of another what if, but sometimes it might not be a bad idea to just do you, silently. There’s no harm in taking pride and sharing the greatness that you’re giving to the world, but should the Internet have a play-by-play of your life? Maybe not. Sometimes it best to grind it out and let the fruit of your labor be the display of what’s been taking place behind-the-scenes of your Snapchat and Instagram.


Biggie said:

Never trust nobody…

Real-life application:

Trust people to be who they are.

Admittedly, I’ve had a trust complex in past, and have boldly made the claim, that “I don’t trust anybody.” Well, that’s a lie. There are a handful of people I do trust. But moreso, I’ve learned to simply trust everyone to be who they are and to care about what they care about. Whether or not that includes my privacy or feelings is not up to me, it’s up to them. And once I understand who a person is and what motivates them, I simply trust them to be that and nothing more. And then I act and engage with them accordingly. So to tweak Biggie’s advice, never trust nobody to be a person they haven’t proved themselves to be.


Biggie said:

Never get high on your own supply…

Real-life application:

Don’t get so full of yourself that you get caught slippin’.

You have to be your own cheerleader, your own motivator, your first co-signer. Read: you need to believe in yourself and what you’re capable of. But know this, you are not above anyone or anything. That said, don’t drink so much of your own Koolaid that you think you can do whatever the hell you wanna do, whenever you wanna do it without any consequences. Life doesn’t work like that.


Biggie said:

Never sell no crack where you rest at…

Real-life application:

Don’t bring drama home.

Point. Blank. Period. Don’t bring drama to the crib. This means no fights, no frienemies, no sidepieces, no ol-dude-made-me-mad-at-work-so-imma-take-it-out-on-everybody-at-home. Your home should not only be “where you rest at,” it should also be where you recharge and get your game face ready to take on the world. Keep the energy positive.


Biggie said:

That go**amn credit, dead it/you think a crackhead paying you back, sh*t, forget it…

Real-life application:

Stop doing and saying things based on expectations of ish you can’t control.

Yea, so there’s that. Don’t assume your actions will lead to the exact actions you expect from other people. Do what you can, based only on what you can do, and be comfortable in the fact that your deed might go unreciprocated. This goes beyond just doing stuff for people to being careful of who you give your emotional energy to as well. Don’t think a man or woman who’s openly not ready to settle down is going to pay you back with a relationship for the time you’ve put in trying to cultivate one.


Biggie said:

Keep ya family and business completely separated…

Real-life application:

Don’t let non-family ish come between family.

Life is way too short. Family is about love, support, trust and relationships. You don’t want to look up one day and find that you’ve wasted years being upset at a loved one over something ridiculous like money or material things that have nothing to do with the ties that actually bond family together.


Biggie said:

Neva keep no weight on you/them cats that squeeze your guns can hold jums, too…

Real-life application:

Lean on your team when you need to. 

Def don’t get your team locked up for holding your drugs, lol, but your team, be it your mom, dad, siblings, cousins or friends, your core team, they’re here to support you (if they’re your real team, anyway). Let them. Don’t keep everything to yourself. The saying, “it takes a village” does not just apply to raising kids, it also applies to making it through life in general.


Biggie said:

If you ain’t gettin bagged, stay the f*ck from police/if n*ggas think you snitchin’ they ain’t tryin to listen…

Real-life application:

Avoid putting yourself in troublesome situations.

Don’t go see that girl after 2am. Don’t stay out thirty minutes longer when you already got to be to work in 4 hours. If you can avoid an f’d up situation, avoid it. Nobody’s gonna be trying to hear any excuse you might have for something you could’ve avoided in the first place.


Biggie said:

If you ain’t got the clientele, say ‘hell no’…

Real-life application:

Just keep it real.

Don’t overcommit, and don’t get yourself in a bind trying to be something you’re not.


If for some strange reason you have not heard Biggie’s “10 Crack Commandments,” I’ve included it here for your listening pleasure. WARNING: It does contain explicit language.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYb_8MM1tGQ&w=560&h=315]

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Southern girl with a soft spot for Harlem. Biggie enthusiast with kindred spirit ties to Beyonce. Martin's Gina. Jerry's Elaine. Communicator. MBA-haver. Too complex for anybody's box.