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Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

‘Sleep is the cousin of death’

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“I never sleep because sleep is the cousin of death,” spits Nas in his Illmatic track ‘N.Y. State of Mind.’

What he may have overlooked is that sleep, and indeed rest can make you even more productive.

It’s a canard to think that all successful people do is just work. It’s more complicated than that. Scientists Charles Darwin and writer Ernest Hemingway excelled at relaxing. They put in a few deliberate hours of effortful work and just as equally, took their foot off the gas to do other stuff: socialize, spend time with family, walk. They were wise slackers.

24/7 connectivity exacerbates our always work-leisure problem. Like a doctor, we make ourselves available to everything from the trite to the important, treating work and freedom as continuous instead of mutually exclusive.

Integrating task and play backfires. Availability is a game of neediness, we want to show people what we’re up to but then get sucked into the abyss of distraction. We are addicted to the endless stream impressions to alleviate the anxiety in our heads.

What if our productivity depends on the ability to chill out? What if we could practice more deliberately so we could slow down afterward. The work is vital; to master it, we need to free the mind from labor’s oppressive demands.

Read Darwin Was a Slacker and You Should Be Too

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Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film, told through the lens of rapper NAS and his bluesman father OLU DARA, which deconstructs
Nas’ indelible rap album Illmatic and the socio-economic and cultural conditions that inspired it.

Time is Illmatic

Best and most influential hip-hop album of all-time. Where it all started.

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“No idea’s original, there’s nothing new under the sun. It’s never what you do, but how it’s done.” – Nas Steal like an artist.
“No idea’s original, there’s nothing new under the sun. It’s never what you do, but how it’s done.” – Nas Steal like an artist.
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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

No Struggle, No Story

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Failure doesn’t sell. Most articles on the web provide tips on how to succeed but rarely review the missteps taken to get there.

“You don’t want to miss the dash in between. That’s a good time. If you just go from point A to Z, there’s nowhere else to go.” — Nas

Who doesn’t want to be Michael Jordan or Eminem at the get-go? But both of them went through hell to the rise to the top. Easy is not a reason to do anything. If you enjoy learning and improving, struggles are really just lessons in disguise.

Success requires that you do the work right now to get what you want in the future. Don’t worry, your accolades will be remembered but the backstory is really all that counts.

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Hiphop at Harvard

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“Ether”
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Hip-hop didn’t invent anything…hip-hop re-invented everything.” – Grandmaster Caz

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