“Please don’t die over the neighbourhood, that your mama renting.”

This line on ‘The Story of OJ’ by Jay-Z, stuck with me. No amount of chewing could prepare me to digest what this line denotes. It hit home.

“‘The Story of OJ’ is really a song about we as a culture, having a plan, how we’re gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists especially. But how, when you have some type of success, to transform that into something bigger.” – Jay-Z

Jay-Z follows this line with “take your drug money and buy the neighbourhood, that how you rinse it.” Alluding to the fact that in order to win the game, you must always be several steps ahead. Plant seeds for tomorrow, invest in something that will reward you and begin preparing for checkmate with your very first move.

Applying this idea to my own life, drug money isn’t something that I have any involvement with; monetary wealth, in general, is not something I possess. What I do have is a wealth of the mind. I have game-changing ideas and a developing career, and I often ask myself what I intend to do with the future success of these things (self-belief is essential).

Do I wish to become rich? Do I wish to become famous? Do I wish to be recognised? None of the above. I wish to be free. I wish for myself and my loved ones to be free. I wish for us to have ownership of our lives.


To me, ownership is freedom. Being able to make your own financial, emotional and physical decisions – is what makes you free. The freedom of choice is something that is not systematically afforded to everyone in society. People are not always limited by their minds, they are limited by circumstances and have to work in overdrive to transcend those circumstances.

Being an immigrant, the child of immigrants in this country, everything my parents have worked for has been to have ownership of their lives and to give us, their children, the freedom of choice.

I am free to follow the career path I am passionate about. I am free to be educated and to educate myself. I am free to…

This Jay-Z line hit because thorughout my whole life my parents have rented our home. Striving and always working towards a mortgage, being close several times, and being held back once again by unfortunate circumstance. When you rent, the place you call home is entirely in the hands of the landlord. From not being able to put posters of your favourite artists on the wall, to the uncertainty of having the landlord request his home back on any given day.

What I desire from success is the kind of wealth that allows me to have ownership, I desire financial freedom and I desire happiness.