Electric Forest: Producing Change Beyond the Trees
May 31, 2019
May 31, 2019
The Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition has been a showcase for thirty of the world’s best bartenders all centered in San Francisco. While the drinks will always flow heavily at these types of events with only the most ideal drink ideas, Jillionaire and Walshy from Major Lazer decided to sit down with two bartender heavy-weights and one Spotify rep to not only talk shop behind the bar, but also behind the music. Zach Pentel from Spotify managed to direct questions that blur the lines behind the careers of musician and bartender by focusing on the “hustle” and entrepreneurial spirit that is required in these industries. Think you knew everything about Major Lazer? Well, within the first minute, Jillionaire manages to surprise most of us by mentioning the fact that he ran a bar and acted as a bartender in 2006. Citing that communicating with people is sometimes the most important job as a bartender, yet also in his current field of work in Major Lazer. Bringing the conversation to more parallels in their field about the term, “hustle,” Ivy Mix, 2015 Bartender of the Year from Brooklyn understands that the concept is not just an adjective, but a spirit of mind that is “overcoming anything that gets in your way.” Even Walshy had his own definition of what the hustle truly means: even if he had to sleep on a “cold stone” and drink sugar water before he gave up.
Major Lazer Roundtable at Bacardi House Party
Hustle in these two fields not only reflect knowledge of the craft, but an intense drive to accomplish something regardless of the odds, while communicating to the room no matter if it’s a sold out show, abandoned dive bar, or a tiny basement gig. To all in attendance, everyone agreed that the most important trait to succeeding in the hustle is to be a good communicator, and communicate not only who you are as a person, but wake up in the morning and ask yourself, “do I really want to do this,” and “can I be the best at this.”
So, we all just watched a video with two hot DJs who have brought the house down, two bartenders with unquestionable credentials that clearly have their life together and made a career in a field that is incredibly difficult to become renowned in. I mean, come on, even the moderator from Spotify probably has a cooler job than all of us, and they didn’t even list his position! We may clearly make an assumption that their cool-ness level is pretty damned high. I mean, we have heard this rhetoric since high school that if we try hard enough, our dreams will come true. That is all nice and dandy, but how many glimpses of the American dream do we have to take before the hustle becomes complete?
If you asked me 3 years ago to watch this video, I would have laughed in your face. When you tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor and a penchant for books and movies, you start to see the same trend that America loves to hang onto: the underdog rising to the top, and at a point, it almost becomes cheesy and comical. Today, I viewed the video with an almost stone cold expression, grasping each word they felt on the meaning of the hustle.
From the day I learned to properly structure my papers in junior high, I knew I wouldn’t be doing anything else. Of course I became distracted in high school when I rediscovered the same sex, and even in college when I had a short stint in the Biotechnology field, failing horribly I might add. Writing was the only outlet I couldn’t shake off, and it haunted me until I learned to love it for the fire it gave inside of me, and I couldn’t avoid it. If you are going into the field because of the high paycheck and nothing else, avoid it. We can all inherit our daddy’s business, we can always push ourselves to succeed in a field we hate, but hustle is a noun that cannot be bought. Hustle is a house constructed as hope acting as the foundation, action providing our walls of safety, and the roof being the end goal.
Sometimes we never see that house in full-completion because we begin other projects, and sometimes we have that lack of hope to support the walls of our efforts to lead it to our finished project. I would really love to quote some high-and-mighty intellectual right now, but you know who speaks to me most? Meg Griffin from Family Guy; if you haven’t watched the show, get out of your cave and learn something:
“Meg Griffin on Hope”
“Hope is what gets you out of bed in the morning when it’s the day of prom and you haven’t been asked. Hope pushes the caterpillar through the cocoon and drives the salmon upstream. Your breasts may be small and your glasses may be thick, but hope doesn’t hold up a mirror. Hope is a horizon we head for, leaving nothing behind us but fear. And though we may never reach our goals, it’s hope that will save us from who we once were.”
I remember distinctly the very first time I heard Mila Kunis’s voice coming through the screen, I realized that sometimes it’s okay if the house is never finished. Of course I have dreams to write for Playboy, the New York Times, and any credible publication, but it’s not about that anymore: Hustle is learning to love what you do, and make yourself better at it through time, dedication, and improving your craft. Every time I see an article of mine on the Relentless Beats website, it reminds me how much went into that article, and what can I do to make it better. Hustle is feeling you’re not the best, fighting in the trenches for some kind of success in that effort, but still soldiering on.
In retrospect, I’ve become less concerned about placing that roof on the top of my house and calling it finished, but instead focusing my efforts on just being the best writer I can be and feel good about myself. I can tell you all day about what hustle is, but I think only a Meg Griffin-esque Seth McFarland format sequence will show you the true meaning:
The Hustle is what made me work out after I gained weight; The Hustle is what made me dive into the very risky field of Journalism even when people told me no; The Hustle taught me that when a publication rejects your article, to bring it somewhere else; The Hustle is what woke me up from the dream of “party life” and becoming a bit more sober; Finally, The Hustle is knowing that even if I don’t get paid for my ideas today, you still took the time to read it, and I appreciate you for appreciating a work of mine.
You ever wonder why a bunch of bartenders and DJs like Major Lazer can sit down and talk about their fields without encountering differences? The hustle does not discriminate against any sort of indicator or person, but can bring people together in the thought that fine-tuning your craft can bring you places;
Even if that place isn’t where you’d thought you would end up, Jillionaire didn’t think he would be a world famous DJ in 2006, and even I didn’t think I’d be getting any of my work published at this point. Sometimes when you get dealt a bad hand in life, that foundation of hope and the true love of your craft reminds you why you need to be alive to share that message, keep calm, and carry on.
Sources: Digital News Agency