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Outside the Lines With Rap Genius

"OTL 61: Robert Greene Excerpt #1 “The Napoleon Bonaparte of Hip Hop”"

Robert Greene: It was building in my head a little bit beforehand because my books sort of deal with these power figures and I do this sort of intense research where I almost live with the people I'm researching, and I had gotten really in depth into Napoleon for my war book to the point where he was like a friend of mine almost. I had this feeling that there was something about him where he had this feel for warfare, and so the next book was with 50, and I was thinking a lot about Napoleon and I even called 50 the Napoleon Bonaparte of hip hop, cause he is such a strategist, you know. So we sort of discussed it, and I was discussing it with the context of his feel for music, and the idea of his going through an apprenticeship

I remember it was really striking because when you think of a hip hop artist, you don't really think of the word "discipline" so much necessarily -- particularly in relation to 50. So it was really surprising to hear about his apprenticeship with Jam Master Jay and his whole time at Columbia Records and how he saw it as his university education and all that. So it was really weird to have him be kind of the incubation for this next book, but I like the fact that it was so weird, that you wouldn't think about him in that context. And also, From Pieces To Weight -- no one discusses that book, but I thought it was a really good book. There was a lot in there about the same themes that I ended up using in Mastery.

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