My boys are really into rap music and my second son Kolby has a legitimate passion to become a rapper. He's 11. Kolby is writing, composing, and performing his own material now and wants to get better. We've began studying other successful artists in the Christian rap genre to learn what they did to reach the pinnacles they've reached. These rappers include Lecrae, NF, Andy Mineo, KB, TobyMac, and others! Personally, I'm a big fan of Lecrae.
Recently, my oldest son was playing a Lecrae song while we were working in the basement together. It's called "Take Me As I Am". As soon as Lecrae starts rapping in that song, I immediately heard 2Pac. It was like 2Pac really came back, converted to Christianity, and dropped this SICK song! And yes, I like rap too. I have gone through so many seasons of music including infatuations with the Beatles, heavy metal, and rap. I've listened to everything. I was a big fan of 2Pac in college and used to play in my frat room. Yup, you just learned that I was also in a college fraternity. It was all before I personally accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have no regrets and made so many friends during this time in my life. Let's go back to the basement. I stared at the bluetooth speaker totally mesmerized as a podcast idea and teachable moment was forming in my brain. If you ever wondered, this is how it usually happens. I told Kenny. "This is Lecrae. You've probably never heard of Tupac Shakur (and he had not). This Lecrae song sounds exactly like 2Pac. I knew it within moments of the song. 2Pac's rap music was so unique in his style and delivery that I'd know it anywhere, any time because I was a fan of his music. I know 2Pac's unique signature. The best rappers and musicians ALL have a unique signature that separates them from the mainstream and makes them memorable." Kenny thought about that and got it. He rattled off 4 other musicians including some rappers that he would know within moments too because of their unique style and sound. Another Christian rapper that has blown up recently is NF. At first, you would think it was Eminem. Their sound is so similar, yet NF has gone beyond the similarities to create his own sound and signature. Lecrae has as well. I was already doing research on rappers for Kolby, so I found some articles on NF and Lecrae. It was no surprise to me that NF was heavily influenced artisticly by Eminem and Lecrae by 2Pac. In fact, listen to this excerpt in a May 6, 2016 interview with Revolt.TV.
"For an artist who often gets pigeon-held in a box as a “Christian” rapper, Lecrae lays it all out in his new memoir discussing everything from domestic abuse, feeing lost in life, an abortion and Tupac’s influence serving as sort of a surrogate father figure in his life. Lecrae states in “Unashamed” that “without any constant male role models, hip-hop artists became my heroes” and “Tupac became my second parent.”
I didn't need the proof of Lecrae saying this to know he was influenced by 2Pac. I already knew 2Pac's signature and recognized it right away in Lecrae's song. In music, the best artists have a signature that is recognizable immediately by their fans. These legends are completely different and set apart. They might not follow all the rules or they might be out of the mainstream. It's not like the boy bands of the 90's, where like 10 different bands sounded exactly the same. I'm talking about legendary rappers like 2Pac, Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre. They were so unique that anyone that liked them or not would recognize their music right away because of the style, format, and delivery. Lecrae was influenced by Tupac, but has gone on to create his own signature. The Beatles had a signature to them. People can still recognize a Beatles song 60 years later because their signature was so unique and powerful. They created a brand new genre of music. There are so many artists along the way that have done the same and I won't bother to list them all. As I thought about this more, I truly believe this. The musical artists with the most iconically, recognizable signature, which makes them one of a kind are the ones never forgotten. Others that fit into this definition with the Beatles are the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Madonna, Billy Joel, Metallica, Garth Brooks, Chris Tomlin (from the Christian worship genre), and so many more. The artists that created music to fit into a formula that was selling at the time made a lot of money. But after the money, they were forgotten. The boy bands like Backstreet Boys and NSync are great examples. Will they truly be remembered in 50 years? Not likely. Then, there's the other extreme. There are bands that fit the formula so well that they become known for it. Here it comes. Sorry Nickelback fans... Some people say that there's music and then there's Nickelback. I used to listen to Colin Cowherd on ESPN and he used to call Nickelback "musical vomit". They created a lot of songs and every one of them sounds exactly the same to follow the same formula. Nickelback sold a lot of records, nearly 50 million worldwide! That's insane. Compare that to the best of all time from this Statistica article.
Nickelback scored big in sales, but they also won these distinctions in Statistica -- #1 in "The 5 Biggest Musical Turnoff in 2011, by gender" and #3 in "Most Popular Canadian Musician 2015". The Backstreet Boys have a reported 100 million sales in some online sources, but didn't get credited on the Statistica. Here's the point. Formulas work. There have been many boy bands and musical vomit bands that have sold a ton because of the winning formula at the time. But they are not remembered. When I look at that Top 20 list, I see 20 iconic artists that will likely not be forgotten. For the record, I do like the Backstreet Boys and Nickelback. There, I said it.
It's time to transfer this mindset to your cleaning business. Yes, you MUST learn the formulas that are out there. What systems should you build your company upon to make it work? Our episode sponsor is a great one. Beyond that Smart Cleaning School listeners, what signature can you create in your house or office cleaning business that makes your company so unique that others will talk about it for years? Don't tell me that it's not doable. It is. It could be the detail level of your clean and the extra little things you do at each client's house or business. It could be the unparalleled level of service that you provide. It could be the impact your company has inside the community and that you are known as a community builder. It could be that you have the number one place to work in your community. It could be so many things and ultimately the one that you choose will connect with your Why. Go back to "Goal-Setting I". What is your purpose or cause? Connect your business signature to that. Start implementing this signature over a consistent duration of time. Your business will explode and you will never be forgotten.
Check out my interview with the CBF Founder, entitled "A Buffalo Charges the Storm with Debbie Sardone". Debbie is offering free consultations to listeners of this show through the Smart Cleaning School Resources Page at smartcleaningschool.com/resources to see if CBF could be the right solution for you.
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