Home Featured Dream Crushing: Is It Ever For the Win? Let’s Discuss…

Dream Crushing: Is It Ever For the Win? Let’s Discuss…



A few days ago, boobookins and I were sittin’ on the couch with laptops in laps. We don’t stare at each other’s screens, but it was obvious we were both on Facebook. I was checking up on a few folks I hadn’t heard from since the storm. She was lookin’ at pictures of children in Halloween costumes, and making those cutesy “aww” sounds (||) that make some men uncomfortable. I’m one of them. Anyway…

While I was checking up on east coast fam, I came across this status update of this guy I went to high school with:

Bout to hit the studio and drop these bars. This storm got me motivated.

I laughed. Not because there was anything funny about the status update, but because of the memory of him rapping damn near ten years ago and being terrible. I think we all knew someone like this; someone that was determined to live free and (metaphorically) die rapping…regardless of if their talents were better suited for building spaceships or walking the talk on Wall Street.

The last I checked (probably 3 years ago), this guy was in med school. Upon reviewing his profile, I saw links to Myspace and realized he decided to pursue rap full-time. Yes. He dropped out of med school to rap and make beats.

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Here’s the thing: I’m not clowning the man for pursuing his dreams. I’m bringing this up because it turned into an interesting conversation with boobookins. I told her about the memories of him dropping hot garbage. I told her about how I used to drop hot garbage. Sh*t, I still have a couple terrible songs floating around out there. The difference is I realized I wasn’t going anywhere fast other than the basement. So I put down the mic and left that art to my talented friends.

Boobookins did her “don’t be mean” thing even though I really wasn’t. I clicked on a link to his most recent project and found all sorts of album artwork and professional pics. Then I saw the track list, which had to be 20 songs deep. With intrigue and hope for tolerability, I played the first track.

He improved. More importantly, he no longer sounded like he was trying to be someone else. He’d created his own style. So I clicked on a second track, then a third, then a fourth, then realized he was just less terrible. As she cringed at the high-pitched banter and dearth of rhyme scheme, it was clear she understood my laughter and reluctance. And herein lies the conversation that became the basis of this post:

Me: I know a lot of people are telling him to pursue his dream because he loves it, but do you think someone should tell him this isn’t going anywhere?

Her: Lol. It has to be someone that knows him well; someone that’s close to him.

Me: Won’t be me. I’m just in awe. At what point do you think a dream like this should expire?

Her: It depends. If you start at 15, then 10 years. If you start at 25, then 10 years is way too long.

Me: What if this were me rapping and I’d been at it for five years?

Her: I’d warmly say “Hey, so about this rapping. I know you love it and all, but it’s been a few years with minimal success. I believe in you, but have you thought about trying another career you could be great at?” (Important to note she also made cautiously affectionate faces while speaking)

Me: So you’d crush my dreams?

Her: Yes.

Me: Got it.  *Deletes secret recording program from Macbook*

So how about it? Do you ever think it’s okay to crush someone’s dreams? If yes, at what point? What’s your time limit? How would you convey it? If not, why not? Any thoughts on who has the rights to crush dreams other than the significant other. Have you been a DreamCrusher before? Has someone ever crushed your dreams for the greater good?

I’ma just put the program on my other computer,

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Twitter: @slimjackson



  1. Nope, no need to crush anyone's dream directly if you just write a blog post like this and cross your fingers that they read it… #dreamcrushed

  2. Lol. He really left med school to rap. Jesus take the wheel, and turn his rap career off the road .

    I mean if he has a job that pays the bill, and you want to pursue the rap thing/ music on the side then cool. But rapping on MySpace is not a full time job. You can be real and say ” hey I’m happy that your happy rapping , but your music could be better”.

    I might not agree or see your vision or goal but I’ll always wish you the best if luck.

    1. "Lol. He really left med school to rap. Jesus take the wheel, and turn his rap career off the road ."

      LMAO! This comment made my day!!! lol

  3. Left med school or failed out lol? No, medicine is hard; like I'm a MSIII and haven't slept well in months and the racism is quite papable however, I don't believe anyone should crush dreams. If pressed for criticism answer honestly, especially if you have financial ties to this person (cosigning loans, etc.) but, who are we to say? If you're in a relationship and do not see eye to eye… um leave. I mean with regards to rap can we really say bad music can't go platinum. Like really tho? Creativity and individualism are some of the greatest gifts someone can have and there are so many ways to get paid, legally. So as long as you are not dragging me to your latest multi-level marketing, live and let live hell you may be the next French Montana.

  4. Well, what does success look like exactly? Can you tell that this dude has had little to no success from his music? I think that is for him to decide. But yes, I do think that there should be a time where we take inventory and see what is what in terms of our lives. I have a degree in Theater and English and I stopped doing the acting thing because I didn't much enjoy it and also I didn't feel too hot about myself at that time in my life. I've found a lot more success writing. Now that I'm a bit older tho, and in a different head space, I do think I would like to try a different form of theater, perhaps stand-up comedy, which could be fun. And would probably work well in my favor seeing as how I'm a writer. Sometimes it's about using your talents together.
    I know a woman whose baby daddy is a rapper. I listened to the music. He aight. but that is it. I have no doubt in my mind that he will never "make it." Now, I recently learned that he also owns some studios or something. That in my opinion, is what he should focus on. Building an empire with these studios and making bread that way. Cause the rapping thing, is probably not going to happen. I also had a female friend that wanted to be a rapper.

    1. and about the dropping out of med school thing. It kind of makes sense actually. I don't know how old this dude is, but if he really wants to be a rapper, there is only a certain window of time he has to do that. He can always go back to med school.

      1. Thanks for these thoughts. Success is definitely relative. His version of it may be completely different than mine. You're point about the studios and building an empire is the good one. I didn't mention it in the post, but maybe that's a good point of dialogue, the idea of long term planning. I do know a couple other things about the person I used as an example, but had to leave them out.

        Re: getting older. I think that's why I have the perspective I do now. The decisions I make today (at 29) have a greater impact on the rest of my life with each day that passes.

        i have to ask though. If you were dating someone today who quit what they were doing by day, had focused on music but you didn't see them making the progress needed to get to their goal, at what point would you chime in? Particularly if yall are serious. There has to be a point where you're thinking about the future, food on the table, etc.

        Hope that makes sense.
        My recent post slimjackson: If you havin' squirrel problems, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems, but a tree ain't one.

        1. I wouldn't use the words "dream-crusher." imo it's simply being realistic. Just like if your parents told you to get a real job and stop trying to be the next Jay-Z or Beyonce or whatever.
          Thing is, many times how we see ourselves is not how other people see us, and not always who we truly are, but who we aspire to be.

        2. So as not to be a "dream-crusher" choose your words very carefully and use "tough love."
          If it was somebody I was dating at the point things were serious and we were discussing marriage I would let them know my opinions and how I felt about whatever it was they were trying to do. I would tell them to be mindful of the fact that once your married your decisions are no longer only about you. You AllWays have to be mindful of and consider your family, ie wife and children. I would also let him know that if I did not think his dreams would feasibly support our family, yet he was truly serious about it, then he would have to decide what was more important, his dreams, or us. Whatever his decision I would respect it as such.
          I wouldn't "go completely ham" unless we were married and stuff was actually joint.

    2. we're in the same boat, sometimes people are putting all their eggs in one basket and as a friend you got to tell them they have a few empty baskets they can utilize

  5. I think there is nothing wrong with pursuing your dreams as long as you have a contingency plan in case things dont go exactly according to plan. Like someone said earlier, They should keep some sort of day job. When someone goes about trying to pursue their dream, it is important to make their goal SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and TImely. And it also helps to get opinions of people who arent complete "Yes" men. If Slim were his close friend he would probably tell him it wasnt a great idea.
    My recent post A Fool’s Guide to Natural Disasters

    1. If they don't have a job and on top of that NO talent or clear vision of that dream i clearly won't let them use my couch… Rohhhhh ok i'm mean, let's say i'll give an ultimatum, if in 1year i don't see you going anywhere: BYE!!!
      If you give up that normal life that pay bills, and want my support you need a plan!!! I can't invest in you (cuz obviously you're gonna start using my money…) just like that…
      And anyway, no dream becomes reality without a plan and hard work!!!

    2. There are people who quit their jobs to start their own businesses or new careers. Cool. But we have to remember with age comes responsibility. This is not like being 16 yrs old and quitting the volleyball team to join the track team, this is not like being 18 or 19 and transferring schools because your not happy, this is THE REAL DEAL REAL LIFE, bills don’t stop because you have dreams.

      1. COnt
        So to me if you’re 23 or older and you want to pursue a dream I think you should take 6 months to a yr and plan/save money to the side, especially if you’re going to quit your job (only source of income). And when I say plan not just from the starting line then jumping to the finish line, you have to plan for all the things in between and be ready for set backs. Maybe instead of quitting your job you could just get a part time one that gives you more availability to work on your craft/goal. Maybe you need to go back to school to pursue your dream great, look for grants, fed money, fin aid that applies to your situation and go after it. Start researching the path you’re trying to pursue. Look for all of the avenues you can pursue within that area.

        You can Dream big, just play smart, use your head to guide you on the path your heart has sent you on.

    3. Slim if he doesn't have a job then it's up to me to be ride or die no matter what or let it go and call it another love TKO.
      I think the other person at some point has to do whats best for them. If what their partner is doing and/or not doing is affecting them and their well being it's time to discuss it. If your partner feels like their passion is more important than anything, (including you) then it's up to you at that point to decide if your ok with that or not and how you choose to handle it.
      I was reading Doc J's article on Madame Noir and read a few other articles on there. I checked out the one about celebs that had kids together that people probably didn't know about. I knew about Joi and Gipp from Goodie Mobb. They have a child together and she is quoted as saying that the "rap game stole him" from her. Based on the story and her quote he chose to dedicate his life to his music, and not her and their child.

  6. Boobookins? Awww n sh t…

    im a dream redirector, I'll offer up realistic alternatives. Too many rappers/producers not enough composers. Too many ESPN analysts not enough scouts. I wouldnt try to crush anyone's dream I dont want to be the hater that motivates them.

  7. I won't lie… I do enjoy crushing that dream of being a rapper that a lot of you black men have deep down… if you can't rap i'll tell you straight… You're gonna be mad at me for a while, but you'll thank me later!!!
    Everytime i see someone who can't sing going to American Idol i'm like where is his/her family?? Why do they let him/her get embarrassed on national TV?? why don't they tell him/her the TRUTH?? Cuz really it's just about being honest…!!!!

    We live in a world where we are not realistic…

  8. Eh…lol. Depends.

    If you're in my immediate circle, I'm crushing dreams by pushing the person in the direction of their strength(s) or by pushing them to get HELP to excel in the area of their choice. I won't say they are good/great at something that they aren't. You don't let your close friends/family waste money and time like that. I don't flat out tell the person to quit or that they suck…but I don't encourage wackness either…and I'd expect my friends/fam to save me from myself as well. *shrugs*

    Now, if we aren't cool like that? My "go to" response, "Wow! That's wussup…good luck with that!" Nice and political, right? LOL.

        1. If talking bad about Anita Baker's singing abilities is not a federal offense, it should be, LOL!

          Anita Baker is a LEGEND who can SANG SANG SANG!!!!!

      1. I mean wasn’t DMX 30 when he finally got a deal lol. When it comes to rapping it so hard to take some men serious; because every guy with a youtube account, and some beats by Dre headphones think they HOV. I mean he dropped out of med school to rap about what exactly. I hope he's not going to be a Rick Ross, French Montana, Coke boy wanna be. (Which is a whole other issue)

        I mean if he loves music more power to him thought, always wish the best of luck.

        I also think a 30 singer and a 30 yr old rapper fall in 2 different categories. I think there are more avenues for older singers to prosper.

  9. ahem. lol

    i think it all depends on your end goal. if your end goal is to make quality music and be an "underground" rapper and you have the revenue stream(s) to sustain your lifestyle whatever that may be, then go for it. if you're trying to be the next jay z for 10 years and haven't made it onto local radio yet or haven't done any shows, aren't making any money, and that's your only source of income, i'd say have a plan B.

    i'm not into dream crushing for the sake of crushing dreams. but i just know a few grown men trying to make it as a rapper who have very real bills, homes, and children to care for, and the rapping isn't doing that. if anything, paying for studio time is taking away. i think you just have to have a healthy balance of dream chasing and realism. if your financial situation is good, hey… do what you want. it's really hard for me to take serious someone who is starting a rapping career at 30, though.
    My recent post too much, too soon?

  10. I am glad none of you guys are my friends too much honesty kills the fighting spirit.
    if i recall, Steve Harvey's x-wife spent many nights living in a car with him so he could fulfill his dreams. now she does not have a happy ending he does, but she did support her man dreams.

    1. i think it's just because the example used is rapping and it brings to mind a teenager or really high odds against you. i doubt people would be so iffy if it was singing, or writing or painting or being a firefighter or starting a business. not that it's right, but i think that specific example is just too commonly seen.
      My recent post too much, too soon?

    2. Glad you brought up Steve Harvey because a lot of people don't find him very funny at all but he's a very wise business man. A lot of times a musician who may not seem very talented will go to a record label & be molded into something marketable. It all boils down to "will it sell" if you can make your dreams into something that will pay your bills, go for it.

  11. Is it ok to crush someone's dreams? Eh…I suppose the way I look at it is if that person pursuing their dreams isn't doing so hot at all and subsequently that is causing strife, headache and stress to external parties involved then it may be a good idea to have a strong heart to heart (assuming you're close with the person).

    So as long as you're not hurting anyone else then I guess go ahead and do you. But be open-minded to other alternatives.

  12. I watched the story of Marla Gibbs on Life After on BET. When she started out as an actress on the Jeffersons she was around 40 yrs old or close to it. But she didn't even really get her big break until 227. In fact, she ended up owning the rights to the show. So you just never know, sometimes their may be something in someone that we don't see. Practically every celebrity I've seen interviewed on t.v. has a "testimony" about someone who told them they would never make it and would never be anything. Brandy has said that a teacher of hers told her she wasn't pretty enough to be famous, despite the fact that she could sing. Patti Labelle was told she sang too loud. Celebs tell countless stories of how often they were turned down for parts and how many auditions they had to go on and all the years they struggled before they made it big.

    1. I think it's important to Not crush anyones dreams. The only thing you can control in the situation is yourself. The best thing to do is to decide if you can be by that persons side and fully support their dreams and ambitions or not. If you can't then walk away and support them from a distance and pray for them. You don't have to be with them. Just be real and let them know that you choose the lifestyle that you want and financially security. Whatever they choose is on them. Make your decision based on your wants and needs and let them be about you, not the other person.

  13. You know. This is a tough subject. As a person who had a dream crushed, I hate to say that it would be okay to crush another person's dream but sometimes it just has to be done. Couple of people in my family made an album. Nobody said anything. They kept trying to get shows but were not coming up very successful. Finally, an uncle stepped up and was like "nah boo." One of them let the dream go while the other one (the most untalented one) kept on. Sooo…I guess I see both sides of this. It hurts but it would hurt if you let a person put in twenty years with no success rather than just a few and you tell them like it is. So my vote is (get it? bc today's election day…) break it to them…but gently, bring cookies and ice cream too.

  14. This is interesting. This is a very American mindset (not a bad thing). My parents had no problem telling me I was not that great at something and that I should play to my strengths. Was I upset at the time, sure. I think there are pros and cons to both approaches. I haven’t figured out which one i will take in regards to my chirren.

  15. Straight to the point…there’s a difference between crushing dreams and getting people to face reality. They both may have the same result, but the difference lies in outside influences telling somebody what theu can’t do, versus outside influences helping a person see that there is a better way to use their “talents”.

    I’ll never forget a guy at my church said he just knew he was going to play pro football. Well, the time came around…and went and football plans still hadn’t happened yet. Someone told him about semi-pro and how it MIGHT be a conduit for him. He played semi-pro but the NFL dream never materialized. However, he had other skills and was a business whiz. So he began, and now owns a semi-pro team.

    The football dream was real, but he found another way to fulfill it. If more people would look at the skills, abilities, and opportunities they have, in accordance to their dreams, they could possibly find a way to fulfill them even greater than their original dreams could.

  16. Education gives you the power to fight with yourself. It’s very easy to fight someone and defeat him but fight with yourself is very difficult. If you have the knowledge you fight with your inner self. For example if meat is not good for your health then you can say yourself that it can harm yourself very badly keep it away.


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