quotes and sayings
2 min readJul 16, 2022

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  1. You cannot get an A if you’re afraid of getting an F.
  2. Melody is king, and don’t you ever forget it. Lyrics appear to be out front, but they’re not; they’re just an accompanying factor. If they’re good, you’re really in good shape. Lyrics are written to be rewritten.
  3. Music in movies is all about dissonance and consonance, tension and release.
  4. We got into all the trouble you could ever imagine. We figured that if the Jones boys and all the gangsters ran Chicago, we had our own territory now. All the stores, all the crime, we were in charge of everything, my stepbrother and my brother.
  5. Working with kids in Soweto in South Africa, it’s rough out there. But the bottom line is you’ve got to go to know. In Cambodia, there are 10,000 landmines. Same in Afghanistan, same in Colombia. I’m totally addicted to traveling.
  6. I’ve met every freak in the business.
  7. I hope that on my tombstone it says ‘Born 1933, died 2043.’ I hope that’s my legacy.
  8. I believe in astrology as much as I do in genetics.
  9. If architecture is frozen music then music must be liquid architecture.
  10. I was reading Omar Khayyam, Kahlil Gibran, Rumi, L. Ron Hubbard, all sorts of philosophy. Bebop cats are like that. Curious. I wanted to know about everything.
  11. I got in the school band and the school choir. It all hit me like a ton of bricks, everything just came out. I played percussion for a while, and stayed after school forever just tinkering around with different things, the clarinets and the violins.
  12. Playing the game, and unfortunately, playing the gangster game is very profitable.
  13. I started imagining this whole different world. It was a society of musicians, a family I hoped I could belong to one day.
  14. I guess hip-hop has been closer to the pulse of the streets than any music we’ve had in a long time. It’s sociology as well as music, which is in keeping with the tradition of black music in America.
  15. I only hope that one day, America will recognize what the rest of the world already has known, that our indigenous music — gospel, blues, jazz and R&B — is the heart and soul of all popular music; and that we cannot afford to let this legacy slip into obscurity, I’m telling you.
  16. My father was a carpenter, a very good carpenter. He also worked for the Jones boys. They were not family members, we weren’t related at all. They started the policy racket in Chicago, and they had the five and dime store.
  17. We spent most of our life almost like street rats just running around the street until we were ten years old.
  18. I’m Pisces with Leo rising. The Pisces part is the dreamer. The Leo says, ‘Let’s execute.’
  19. I was raised in Chicago and I guess that was one of the special breeding grounds for gangsters of all colors. That was the Detroit of the gangster world. The car industry was thugs.
  20. My grandmother had this high-tech security system — a rusty nail she used to lock the door.

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