Jay-Z Would Say You Don’t Have To Keep Grindin’

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.”

Our anonymous reader is not about grinding, unlike the Pharrell-produced track by the brother duo from Virginia, which includes a Bible thumper and a Drake-giant slayer — we not debating this.

Wooosaaah. I hear you, fam. I do.

With the dumpster fire that has been 2020, we feel compelled to run on all motors, with all four stovetop burners cooking while we juggle and hustle our ways to some formulaic version of what success should look like. Granted, a lot of this yearning for the grind and love for hustle culture directly correlates to capitalism, but that’s another talk for another day.

Take a break. Do it for you. Do it for your mental, physical, and spiritual health — for your community’s health. Remember, your oxygen mask comes first.

Listen to Hov — it’s all there in those bars you just read from “My 1st Song,” the last track on what is probably still my favorite Shawn Carter project, The Black Album. In just those few lines, Jay shares pretty simple advice when you unpack it: Get it all in — the work, love, dreams, alladat.

But he goes even further, and this is the jewel: We have to know when it’s time to stop. Know when it’s time to say bye to the grind, to the hustle, whatever that means to you. We get to choose how we show up for the work. We determine the length of time we engage, or even if we need to engage at all. We make that decision for ourselves. And yes, sometimes it feels like the grind can’t stop, won’t stop. We got bills, car notes, rents, mortgages, and of course, $200 dates. It makes us feel like we have to constantly DO in order to feel accomplished. As if being tired means there is a lack of drive or motivation on our part. Because capitalism.

The grind will make you feel like you have to stay in whatever is draining you for posterity purposes, for the sake of being seen, to keep the lights on.

Nah. Hov tells us when it’s time to dip, it’s time to DIP. Leave that relationship, job, school, or toxic home. We need to learn when to say goodbye before we’ve overstayed our welcome.

You have the right to be tired. And you get to rest because of it — word to the god emcee.

For the newbies out there, feel free to get familiar with some of my previous Medium work here. And here. Oh, and here too.

he/him. @tedtalks giver. @EBONYmag / @medium writer. @frankwhiteco . creative. @taylorstrategy senior copywriter. @thecc_nyc 21’ class. @twloha board. #BRONX

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store