Life Lessons From Nas- Mastermind

Going through my Hip-hop collection I found the song Mastermind by Nas quite didactic. The song is part of his God son album.  The underlying ,message is about preparedness, foresight and planning. I listened to this from a time I started thinking of building my life and my career, though his lyrics are talking about the street and beef. I realized the message still applies to any endeavor.

“A mastermind sees it coming before it comes (foresight),

A mastermind before he go to war he count his ones (preparedness),

A mastermind everything planned out perfec’

In case y’all n***s gotta get murdered!!”


That’s the chorus of the song. The first part is talking about foresight; or being able to see possibilities that may happen before they happen. The second part talks about preparedness and the last about planning. If you notice these 3 depend on each other. In order to prepare you must have foresight so that you know what you’re preparing for and take appropriate action plans. In the body of the song he’ll tell you that he studied every past experience where he failed and he took down his weaknesses .


“… And my principle was to study drama,

Look what happened in Manhattan

A couple ‘a years ago when guns started clappin’,

Two of my dawgs fell, two f my n****s ran,

They was amateurs and beef would have grown mad,

It taught me lessons of how the strong stand,

And how the weak end up in the coffin…”


So here: Nas relates back to a situation when he went into a battle ill prepared and lost. Now instead of him dwelling on the loss he took down notes on why he failed to win. I believe if we grasped the lessons in hip-hop t6his way we’d go far, instead of looking for the evils of the culture. The underlying message in that part of the verse is definitely that you should learn from mistakes. When you do so you are now able to have more foresight…. More foresight means better preparedness, planning and victory. Any obstacle we go through in life metaphorically is war, so his experience relates to anything, whether it’s an exam or searching for a life partner. What made the last one fail? Now that you’ve researched the reason, how are you preparing to overcome it if it comes again? In fact what are the fundamental signs that show that it’s about to happen?


Let’s continue this conversation in the comments.




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