Over the holidays I fell into an Old School Rap and R&B rabbit hole.

Specifically, I was consuming a lot of the music that was released via the legendary Bad Boy Record label. As I was in my living room trying to twerk to the “Only You Remix”, the song suddenly skipped to The Notorious B.I.G.’s “10 Crack Commandments”. I haven’t heard this song in a while, so I decided to let it play. 

And let me tell you, Biggie is one of the best storytellers in hip hop. You’re able to paint such a vivid picture in your mind as he raps because of his unparalleled ability to bring life to words. And I ended up playing the song on repeat due to the practicality of his advice. 

The 10 Crack Commandments were intended for those who live a particular lifestyle, but they can be applied to everyday life! 

Instead of “New Year, New Me” I decided to set intentions for 2021.  Intentions are not as specific as goals, and they allow you to embody more room for (positive) surprises and changes, which is incredibly helpful after the difficult year we’ve all had.

One thing that 2020 taught me was that you can have a plan that is targeted, well-executed, and pretty much error-proof….and have that exact plan go to shits, quickly. So instead of potentially going through the same disappointment that was experienced in 2020, I decided to take small, yet practical steps to better myself. And low and behold, Biggie came through with his lyrical genius to help guide me through 2021! 

So, here we are! The 10 Crack Commandments, as told by Simone Denise:

Biggie Smalls

1. Never let no one know how much dough you hold

In B.I.G.’s world, this means not making yourself a threat to those who may be jealous of your success. You should always aim to stay humble. We are still living in the midst of a pandemic and times are rough. Use this time to unlearn poor financial habits and lay off of the innanet flexing. It’s not cute folks! 

2. Never let ’em know your next move. 

This is where we have to read in between the lines of what The Notorious B.I.G. is actually saying. Essentially, those in the drug game are just sitting around telling everybody their plans. That’s bad for business. Move in silence. The fewer people that know about your plans the better. This lessens the chance of you getting talked out of your own dreams.

3. Never trust nobody

Now. I’m not saying start second-guessing the motives of your friends and family. Sure, in Biggies line of work he had to be cautious of everyone. For us, this translates to never trust anyone to put our needs and best interest first. Being an advocate for yourself is the best kind of self-care! If you need help, call on a friend! If you’re not feeling like your best, seek out therapy! Don’t expect others to come and save you. 

4. Never get high on your own supply. 

In the literal sense, we all know what B.I.G. is implying. Alternatively, this means that life is all about those ebbs and flows. There will be great moments. And there will be not so great moments. This is where we have to stop taking everything so personally. Don’t get caught up and start smelling yourself when you’re getting hella love and praise. Definitely don’t lose focus if you receive some criticism. 

5.Never sell no crack where you rest at. 

We all know that this is highly counterproductive. For the sake of setting my intentions for 2021, this means finding a balance between working and spending time with my family. It’s okay to take a day or two away from the job to set aside time for those who matter most! 

6. That goddamn credit? Dead it

Chileeeee. The lyrics go on to state “You think a crackhead paying you back, shit forget it!” Since most of us aren’t pushing that hard white, this can mean “You think Sallie Mae gone let you slide on them payments, forget it!”. 

As I stated back in rule #1, it’s time to work on these finances! Setting a budget, investing, and FICO all used to terrify the shit out of me. But since I’m a City Girl that likes money and bags, I need to buckle down in order to live the lifestyle that I’m making my reality. 

7.Keep your family and business completely separated

It’s probably not in the best interest of a trapper to employ his family members. Lol. It’s hard to make business decisions when your loved ones are involved. This year I want to make more decisions solely based on the needs of my daughter and myself. 

I’ve made the mistake of treating my life as if it was a family business by getting too many opinions on what’s best for me. I am going to trust my own judgment and intuitive nudges more. Love you momma! But you just gotta mind your damn business. Respectfully. Lol. 

8. Never keep no weight on you. 

Biggies “weight” is the inventory that could get him in mounds of trouble if he runs into the wrong person. So think of your mental health as “weight”. The more you have on you, the more trouble it can cause you in the long run. Let’s start addressing those unaddressed traumas. It’s not easy facing yourself head-on but doing the work is necessary for growth and healing. 

9. If you ain’t gettin’ bagged, stay the fuck from police. 

Drug dealer or civilian, the police do not have good intentions when it comes to Black people. Most of us steer clear of the feds unless there ain’t no way around it! Keeping this same logic in mind, why do we have people in our lives that we know do not have our best interest in mind. Treat people who have given you their asses to kiss like they are the Feds. And avoid them at all costs! Do not be afraid to set boundaries with or simply cut off people who are not in the business of lifting you up. That includes friends, family, your boo, hell….even your boss! Lol 

10.A strong word called “consignment”. Strictly for live men, not for freshmen. If you ain’t got the clientele, say “hell no!”  

Well! Here we are. The last commandment. Basically, The Notorious B.I.G. is advising kingpins against having more product than their clientele base can handle because they’ll end up losing money in the end. Simply put. Don’t overextend yourself. Last year, I had so much stuff going on that I found myself in a state of creative paralysis. A bih can only do so much! So for the last two weeks of 2020, I did absolutely nothing and promised myself to learn how to say no when I have too much on my plate. You can’t be everything for everybody. And that’s okay! 

2021 is already in full swing but we have all year to get it together! Give yourself some grace and get ready for the ride! Before you go, do your favorite big cousin a favor and leave me a comment below! 

What are your intentions for 2021? Do you have any alternative meanings of any of the commandments? Don’t be shy, I love to chat! 

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