he/him. i tell stories for black people. work: @taylorstrategy @nike @twitter @gatesfoundation @ted @hbo @ethelsclub @medium @newsweek @twloha #BXFOREVER
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When the relationship no longer serves either person, it’s okay to pivot.

“Everybody look at you strange say you changed, like you worked that hard to stay the same” — Jay-Z, Most Kingz

Welcome one and all to another edition of my Medium column, “What Would Hov Do?” where I handle some of your most pressing life questions with the help of Jay-Z lyrics. I know, what took so long?!

This week, “New Friends” has a good question that I think all of us have struggled with at some point or another:

How do I let go of friends who no longer align with my energy?

Life is seasonal — things, people, all come and go. Nothing stays the same. Life is transient, and we’re always in motion, moving and shifting and pivoting. What worked ten years ago may not be the same as what worked ten days ago. The relationships we have with one another are no different. We can grow together just like we can grow apart. …

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Word to Jay (and Brené) — own, embrace, and fully step into living with those regrets

“This is the number one rule for your set

In order to survive, gotta learn to live with regrets” — Jay-Z, “Regrets”

If you’re just tuning in, welcome. My Medium column, “What Would Hov Do?,” resolves your random problems with my pen and some invaluable bars courtesy of Hovito.

This week, we’ve got a request from someone we’re going to call “Regrets.” And “Regrets” has an important question many of us sit with regardless of where we are on our journeys:

“How does one move on in life from their past mistakes & regrets?”

Brené Brown once said, “I’ve found regret to be one of the most powerful emotional reminders that change and growth are necessary.” …

There’s still much work to be done, but we can celebrate Biden’s presidential victory

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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

When we talk about liberation, we don’t use words like joy. Empathy, compassion, and love are generally not credited as tools needed to uproot our nation’s trauma.

So, when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were named president-elect and vice president-elect, celebrations erupted in cities like New York, Atlanta, and Detroit. Some felt that the joy on display overshadowed the work that needs to continue.

The joy many feel — especially Black Americans — is not rooted in some idyllic, fairy-tale fantasy. Biden stepping into the role of president is not the answer to all of our woes and salvation.

Trump’s presidency was a setback for millions of Americans across class, race, and gender. Cuts to education, health, and housing, stricter immigration laws, and polarizing racist language created tension and inherent fear. Trump used that fear to galvanize those in full support of his policies; his dog whistles reached those who longed for the days of a past “great” America. …

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It’s not about optimism — it’s about seeing an opportunity in spite of the madness that surrounds us.

Trigger Warning: This week’s column deals with suicide and suicidal ideations.

“A loss ain’t a loss, it’s a lesson

Appreciate the pain, it’s a blessin’” — Jay-Z, “Smile”

What a week, huh?!

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I’m back with another edition of what I’m hoping is slowly becoming your favorite weekly fix, “What Would Hov Do?,” my Medium column where I sift through some of your daily struggles with the help of S Dot Carter. With the election essentially still up in the air, many of us are dealing with a mixed bag of emotions. …

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We can’t avoid the pain. So lean in

“Time don’t go back, it go forward

Can’t run from the pain, go towards it” — Jay-Z, “Lost Ones”

And another one! We back like Pat Sajak for another edition of my weekly Medium column, “What Would Hov Do?”, where I unpack some of your most important questions and daily struggles with the help of Jay-Z lyrics.

With Election Day less than a week away, our anonymous reader — who we’re calling “I’m Done With 2020” — writes:

“I want to know how Hov would handle anxiety, especially amidst the pandemic, election — just the entirety of 2020?”

Listen, 2020 has been a DUMPSTER FIRE. Like, that lil’ GIF with that dog sitting at his lil’ office desk while his surroundings are engulfed in flames? …

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You don’t have to move how the world moves

“Remind yourself,

Nobody built like you

You designed ya’ self.” — Jay-Z, “A Dream”

Welcome back, y’all! We’re here with much-needed advice on some of your personal everyday struggles with Medium’s weekly column, “What Would Hov Do?” Let’s face it; we could all use some help from the almighty Hovito right now.

This week’s question hits close to home. Hype in Michigan writes:

I’m 46 years old. I still live with my mom. At 39, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications, and two years ago, I earned an M.A. in Social Justice Studies. I’ve never been able to secure a job that actually requires a college degree (and until three years ago never had a job that earned more than $12 per hour). I’m too old for the military, and I’m not interested in the police [department]. I’m seriously thinking of just ignoring my hard-fought college education (I still owe tens of thousands in financial aid) and trying to get a job with the Post Office. …

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It’s great to be your own boss, but don’t need to rush the process

“If you can’t buy the building, at least stock the shelf (word)

Then keep on stacking ’til you stocking for yourself, uh” — Jay-Z, “Entrepreneur”

Talk to me, maaaan! We back at it with another installment of your soon-to-be-favorite Medium column, “What Would Hov Do?,” where I guide you through the pitfalls of life with the help of Jay-Z’s discography. The feedback has been love. I’m throwing up the Roc sign as we speak.

Another week, another question. Our anonymous reader asks:

“I resigned from my job in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic because I wasn’t feeling it. Now what do I do — look for another job or start my own business?”

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Know when it’s time to work, and when it’s time to bounce

“Gotta get it while the getting’s good

Gotta strike while the iron’s hot, before you stop

Then you gotta bid it, good riddance” — Jay-Z, “My 1st Song”

I’m back like I never left for another installment of my weekly column, “What Would Hov Do?,” where I guide you through the pitfalls of life with the help of Hovito’s bars. Appreciate y’all for coming out. You could be anywhere in the world, but you’re here with me, yada yada.

This week an anonymous reader asks:

“Help! I’m tired of the grind.”

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“It’s a dirty game so whatever is effective

From weed to selling ‘cane, gotta put that in effect.” — Jay-Z, “Minority Report”

Welcome to the first installment of my weekly column, “What Would Hov Do?,” where I, your trusted scribe and internet life coach, will steer you clear of the D’Evils with the help of Jay-Z lyrics.

Our first week’s question comes from a reader we’re gonna call ROI (return on investment, for those not in the know).

ROI asks:

How can I match my effort with my results (return on investments)?

Ahhh, good question. Also, a timely one. During this period of the ‘Rona, many of us have been trying to ensure that the effort we put into the things we want will result in our desired output. …

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Jay-Z is undoubtedly the greatest emcee of all-time. Argue with ya muva.

But, he is also a motivational speaker, at least to me, anyway. If tall, Trump-supportin’ Tony Robbins’ ass can have that title, then I think Shawn Corey Carter deserves the same acclaim. Who else could get Black men over 40 to STILL wear button-ups and denim jeans to the club like we did when he dropped “Change Clothes,” and simultaneously get us all to cop Motorola pagers (“I Just Wanna Love U”) back in the day?

But seriously, Jay-Z’s music has helped and guided me through some real situations through his music — suicidal ideations (“Regrets”), bossin’ up (the entire American Gangster album), and even falling in love (“Excuse Me Miss”). Imagine a world in which you could have Jay-Z — bucket hat low, Ace of Spades in one hand, keys to a Phantom in the other, cigar in his mouth — planted on your shoulder with the answers to all of your larger-than-life problems? …

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